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Whistleblower Policy

Whistleblower Policy

Policy

Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy (MJBHA) has established a whistle-blower policy which enables employees and others to report allegations of known or suspected Improper Activities (as defined below) to MJBHA.

 

Improper Activities” include, but are not limited to, (i) questionable accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing matters; (ii) public disclosures made by MJBHA that may not be complete or accurate; (iii) violations of federal or state laws or regulations applicable to the MJBHA; (iv) fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, or any other fraud against MJBHA; (v) forgery or alteration of documents; (vi) misappropriation or misuse of MJBHA resources, such as funds or other assets; (vii) authorizing the receipt of compensation for goods not received or services not performed; or (viii) any other activity by an employee that is undertaken in the performance of the employee's official duties, whether or not that action is within the scope of the employee’s employment, and that is in violation of any state or federal law or regulation, or constitutes malfeasance, bribery, misuse of MJBHA property, or willful omission to perform the employee’s duties, or involves gross misconduct.

 

All Reporting Persons are encouraged to report in writing and in the following order, as applicable:

 

·      for financial/accounting matters, report all evidence of an Improper Activity by a MJBHA employee or others acting on behalf of the MJBHA to one of the two MJBHA Compliance Officers: Finance director or Headmaster.  

 

·      for personnel/human resource related matters, report all evidence of an Improper Activity by a MJBHA employee or others acting on behalf of the MJBHA Human Resources director or directly to Headmaster. 

 

 No Retaliation for Employees Reporting Improper Activities

 

  No MJBHA employee who in good faith reports any Improper Activity in accordance with the Policy shall suffer, and shall be protected from threats of harassment, retaliation, discharge, or other types of discrimination, including, but not limited to, discrimination in compensation or other terms and conditions of employment caused by the employee’s reporting of an Improper Activity. An employee harassing, retaliating against or discriminating, or threatening to harass, retaliate against or discriminate another MJBHA employee who in good faith reports any Improper Activity is subject to discipline, including, but not limited to, the termination of employment. In addition, no employee may be adversely affected because such employee refused to carry out a directive which, in fact, either constitutes or may lead to an Improper Activity. 

 

  However, an employee who files a report of an Improper Activity on the basis of evidence which the employee knows to be false or without a reasonable belief in the truth and accuracy of such evidence will not be protected by the Policy and may be subject to disciplinary action and legal claims.

 

Procedure

  

  REPORTING IMPROPER ACTIVITIES

 

       If the Reporting Person reasonably believes that any of MJBHA’s employees or others acting on behalf of MJBHA have engaged in an Improper Activity, the Reporting Person should write a letter describing such Improper Activity. 

 

    For financial/accounting matters, the letter should be addressed to one of the two MJBHA Compliance Officers, either the Finance director or a Headmaster. If the reported Improper Activity relates to questionable accounting or auditing matters, the Reporting Person may address such report directly to the Board Treasurer,  Confidential – Accounting and Auditing Matters. Generally, reports of Improper Activities relating to questionable accounting or auditing matters may be submitted in an anonymous manner. However, reports of Improper Activities that are not related to questionable accounting or auditing matters must be signed by the Reporting Person. Anonymous reports will normally not be investigated, unless the report concerns questionable accounting or auditing matters.

    For personnel/human resource matters, the letter should be addressed to one of the two MJBHA Compliance Officers, either the Human Resources director or the Headmaster. Reports of Improper Activities relating to personnel/human resource matters must be signed by the Reporting Person. Anonymous reports will normally not be investigated, unless the report concerns questionable personnel/human resource matters.

    If the reported activity relates to MJBHA Compliance Officers, such reports will be directed to the President of the Board of Directors. The letter must be addressed to the President and signed by the Reporting Person. Anonymous reports will normally not be investigated, unless the report concerns questionable accounting or auditing matters. 

 

       MJBHA will not consider or investigate reports containing foul language. MJBHA will also not investigate reports containing allegations of unspecified wrongdoing without verifiable evidentiary support. The report of an Improper Activity must be factual rather than speculative, and must contain the following specific information to justify the commencement of an investigation, as described in Section IV below: (i) the alleged event, including the date and location of such event, or issue that is the subject of the report; (ii) the name of each person involved; and (iii) any additional information, documentation or other evidence available to support the report. However, Reporting Persons should refrain from (i) obtaining evidence to which they do not have a right of access; and (ii) conducting their own investigative activities. 

 

  TREATMENT AND RETENTION OF REPORTS OF IMPROPER ACTIVITIES

 

       The MJBHA Compliance Officer(s), or the Board Treasurer in case of reports submitted directly to the Treasurer, will maintain a log of reports submitted pursuant to the Policy, which will track their receipt, investigation, if any, and resolution.

 

       The report of an Improper Activity will be treated confidentially unless disclosure is required or deemed advisable by MJBHA in connection with any actual or potential governmental investigation or unless advised by MJBHA’s outside counsel that disclosure would be in the interest of the MJBHA. 

 

       The MJBHA Compliance Officer(s) or, the Board Treasurer in case of reports submitted directly to the Treasurer, will evaluate each report as to whether the investigation should be conducted regarding the Improper Activity so reported. Except in case of anonymous reports, the results of such evaluation will be communicated to the Reporting Person submitting the report. Generally, the investigation of an Improper Activity, other than questionable accounting and auditing matters, shall be supervised by the MJBHA Compliance Officer. However, the investigation of an Improper Activity related to the questionable accounting and auditing matters shall be supervised by the Board Treasurer . Once a violation is found to exist, MJBHA will take corrective and disciplinary actions, if appropriate.

 

       Copies of reports of Improper Activities, the logs of reports maintained in accordance with the Policy, and any documents pertaining to the resolution or investigation of the reports submitted by Reporting Persons will be retained pursuant to the MJBHA’s document retention policy.