Model Whistleblower Policy for Nonprofits

Strengthened protection for whistleblowers is one of only two provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley that are applicable to nonprofits. Nationally recognized nonprofit attorney Tom Silk wrote this Model Whistleblower Policy for CompassPoint Nonprofit Services to use and to make available on pro bono for all nonprofits.

Board resolution: The board of directors approves the inclusion of the following statement in the Employee Handbook, and directs the Chief Executive Officer to ensure that it is given to and acknowledged by all employees. In addition, the Chief Executive Officer will ensure that whistleblower protection notification is posted in the workplace(s) as required by state law.

Notes: The Model Whistleblower Policy extends beyond the law by encouraging reporting of law violations as well as prohibiting retaliation. Whistleblower Posters can be downloaded from each state.

Policy: If any employee reasonably believes that some policy, practice, or activity of NAME OF ORGANIZATION is in violation of law, a written complaint may be filed by that employee with the Chief Executive Officer.

It is the intent of _________ to adhere to all laws and regulations that apply to the organization, and the underlying purpose of this Policy is to support the organization's goal of legal compliance. The support of all employees is necessary to achieving compliance with various laws and regulations. An employee is protected from retaliation only if the employee brings the alleged unlawful activity, policy, or practice to the attention of _________ and provides _________ with a reasonable opportunity to investigate and correct the alleged unlawful activity. The protection described below is only available to employees that comply with this requirement.

_________ will not retaliate against an employee who, in good faith, has made a protest or raised a complaint against some practice of _________, or of another individual or entity with whom _________ had a business relationship, on the basis of a reasonable belief that the practice is in violation of law or a clear mandate of public policy.

_________ will not retaliate against an employee who discloses or threatens to disclose to a supervisor or a public body any activity, policy, or practice of _________ that the employee reasonably believes is in violation of a law, or a rule, or regulation mandated pursuant to law or is in violation of a clear mandate or public policy concerning health, safety, welfare, or protection of the environment.

My signature below indicates my receipt and understanding of this Policy. I also verify that I have been provided with an opportunity to ask questions about the Policy.

Employee Signature and Date

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