Unlike a grievance process that acknowledges an infringement of someone’s rights through policy of the organization, “whistleblowers” are people who act in good faith to report serious offences such as a criminal offence, a breach of legal obligation, a miscarriage of justice, a danger to the health and safety of an individual or the deliberate covering up of information pertaining to any of the aforementioned actions.
The whistleblower policy is intended to encourage and enable directors, volunteers, and employees to raise concerns within the agency for investigation and appropriate action. With this goal in mind, no director, volunteer or employee, who in good faith reports a concern, shall be subjected to retaliation or, in the case of an employee, adverse employment circumstances. Moreover, an employee or volunteer who retaliates against someone who has reported a claim in good faith, is subject to discipline up to and including termination from the volunteer or employment position.
Concerns regarding management or supervisory staff are to be addressed directly to the CEO. Concerns regarding the CEO are to be directed to the President of the Board of Directors. Concerns with the Board of Directors are to be taken to the CEO, or, if the concern is deemed to be beyond the scope of the local YWCA Member Association (in this case the YWCA), then these concerns are to be lodged with the CEO of YWCA Canada.
The authority in receipt of the complaint will notify the sender and acknowledge receipt of the claim within five (5) business days, if possible. Please note: it will not be possible to acknowledge anonymously-submitted claims. All reports will be promptly investigated by the person with whom the claim has been lodged. In addition, action taken must include a conclusion and/or follow up with the complainant for complete closure of the concern. The CEO and Board have the authority to retain legal counsel, accountants or any other resource necessary to conduct a full investigation of the allegations.
Anyone reporting a concern must act in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information disclosed indicates inappropriate accounting or auditing practice or a violation of the Code of Ethics for the YWCA. The act of making allegations that prove to be unsubstantiated and that prove to be maliciously, recklessly, or with the foreknowledge that the allegation are false, will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense and will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from any employment or volunteer position. Please note that such actions may give rise to further proceedings including civil law suits. Reports of concerns and investigations pertaining thereto shall be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.