Purpose and Scope
Shambhala Mountain Center has formally adopted a Code of Ethics and Grievance Procedure, which apply to, among others, SMC Governing Council members, employees, teachers, volunteers and guests. The Code of Ethics defines prohibited conduct and outlines our commitments to certain shared values and principles. The Grievance Procedure provides protocols for reporting violations of the Code of Ethics. Both the Code of Ethics and the Grievance Procedure explicitly prohibit retaliation against anyone who reports an alleged harm.
This Whistleblower Policy is intended to supplement the Code of Ethics and Grievance Procedure by 1) defining what constitutes retaliation and outlining the potential consequences, and 2) creating an alternative reporting process that further protects those who report violations or suspected violations by people in certain leadership roles, or certain types of serious illegal or dishonest activities.
1) No Retaliation
Consistent with the Code of Ethics, no person who in good faith reports a violation or suspected violation shall suffer retaliation for making such a report. Retaliation includes harassment, threats of physical or other harm, and adverse employment actions, including termination, compensation decreases, and poor work assignments.
A Governing Council member, employee, or volunteer who retaliates against someone for reporting a suspected violation in good faith is subject to discipline, up to and including termination of position, employment, or volunteer status.
This Whistleblower Policy supplements the Grievance Procedure by providing an alternate avenue for reporting the following:
- Violations or suspected violations of the Code of Ethics committed by a Governing Council member;
- Violations or suspected violations of the Code of Ethics committed by the Executive Director;
- Violations or suspected violations of federal, state, or local laws committed by any Governing Council member, employee, or volunteer;
- Fraudulent or suspected fraudulent accounting or financial reporting.
Directors, managers, and Governing Council members are required to report any violation or suspected violations listed above to the chair of SMC’s Governance Committee, Karen Wilding (email@example.com). If the chair of the Governance Committee is alleged to have engaged in the reportable conduct, a report must be made to the chair of SMC’s Governing Council, Connie Rogers (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Other employees and volunteers may report any listed conduct to Karen Wilding or Connie Rogers as described above, or to the Grievance Resolution Team as outlined in the Grievance Procedure.
The Governance Committee chair (or Governing Council chair, if appropriate) will acknowledge the receipt of a report in writing within five (5) business days and is responsible for investigating reports under this policy.
Participation in Process
The Governance Committee Chair (or Governing Council chair, if appropriate) has the discretion to seek assistance from other Governing Council members, SMC employees, or outside sources for the purpose of investigating any report under this policy.
An individual alleged to have engaged in any reported conduct under this policy is prohibited from participating in an investigation into the alleged behavior or their involvement.
Good Faith Reporting
Anyone reporting a violation or suspected violation under this policy must be acting in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information provided indicates a violation. A reporter who intentionally files a false report of wrongdoing will be subject to discipline up to and including termination.
Anonymity and Confidentiality
Consistent with the Grievance Procedure, violations or suspected violations may be reported anonymously or confidentially. The confidentiality of a reporter’s identity or content of a report will be maintained to the greatest extent possible, subject to the need to conduct an adequate investigation. To make a completely anonymous report, use this form.