Whistleblower Policy for YJI

Youth Journalism International requires directors, officers and employees to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities. As employees and representatives of Youth Journalism International, we must practice honesty and integrity in fulfilling our responsibilities and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

Reporting Responsibility
It is the responsibility of all directors, officers and employees to report ethics violations or suspected violations in accordance with this Whistleblower Policy.

No Retaliation
No director, officer or employee who in good faith reports an ethics violation shall suffer harassment, retaliation or adverse employment consequence. An employee who retaliates against someone who has reported a violation in good faith is subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment. This Whistleblower Policy is intended to encourage and enable employees and others to raise serious concerns within Youth Journalism International before seeking outside help.

Reporting Violations
Youth Journalism International has an open door policy and suggests that employees share their questions, concerns, suggestions or complaints with someone who can address them properly. In most cases, an employee’s supervisor is in the best position to address an area of concern. However, if you are not comfortable speaking with your supervisor or you are not satisfied with your supervisor’s response, you are encouraged to speak with anyone in management whom you are comfortable in approaching. Supervisors and managers are required to report suspected ethics violations to the Executive Director, who has specific and exclusive responsibility to investigate all reported violations. For suspected fraud, or when you are not satisfied or uncomfortable with following Youth Journalism International’s open door policy, individuals should contact the Executive Director immediately.

Compliance Officer
Youth Journalism International’s Executive Director is responsible for investigating and resolving all reported complaints and allegations concerning violations and should advise the Board of Directors of potentially serious concerns. The Executive Director should report at least annually any serious concerns investigated and the outcome of such investigations. Concerns about the Executive Director or any member of the Board of Directors should be brought directly to Shaina Zurlin, a member of the Board, or, if circumstances require it, to the Board as a whole.

Accounting and Auditing Matters
The Board of Directors or a committee appointed by the Board shall address all reported concerns or complaints regarding corporate accounting practices, internal controls or auditing. The Executive Director shall immediately notify the Board of Directors of any such complaint and work with the Board until the matter is resolved.

Acting in Good Faith
Anyone filing a complaint concerning a violation or suspected violation must be acting in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information disclosed indicates a violation. Any allegations that prove not to be substantiated and which prove to have been made maliciously or knowingly to be false will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense.

Violations or suspected violations may be submitted on a confidential basis by the complainant or may be submitted anonymously. Reports of violations or suspected violations will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.

Handling of Reported Violations
The Executive Director shall endeavor to notify the sender and acknowledge receipt of the reported violations or suspected violations within five business days. All reports will be promptly investigated and appropriate corrective action will be taken if warranted by the investigation.

Note: Policy Approved by Youth Journalism International’s Board of Directors on September 16, 2016. Updated on January 7, 2024.

Based on a draft prepared by the National Council of Nonprofit Associations.

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