Adopted per Resolution #99 of April 1, 2010 by the Franklin County Legislators
Franklin County, New York (the "county") encourages all county employees, board members and volunteers acting in good faith to report suspected or actual wrongful conduct. Any employee, board member or volunteer who reports in good faith suspected or actual wrongful conduct will not be disciplined or otherwise retaliated against for making the report.
This whistleblowing policy is intended to protect the reporter when he or she raises concerns regarding the county such as, but not limited to, the following:
- Unlawful activity
- Incorrect financial reporting
- Purposely filing false claims for state or federal reimbursement
- Activities which are not in line with other stated county policies; or
- Activities which otherwise amount to serious improper conduct
Franklin County is committed to upholding the highest standards of ethical, moral and legal conduct, and to open communication among all levels of employees, board members and volunteers. All employees, board members and volunteers are required to uphold high standards of business and personal ethics while conducting their duties and responsibilities. This policy provides an avenue for all employees, board members and volunteers to raise any concerns without fear of retaliation.
Any employee, board member or volunteer who files a report concerning suspected or actual wrongful conduct must do so in a good faith effort and have reasonable grounds for believing the information in their report indicates a violation of this policy.
Any employee, board member or volunteer who knowingly makes a report/complaint in bad faith (gives false information or makes a report in retaliation) will be subject to disciplinary action up to - where applicable and appropriate - termination consistent with County policies, civil service rules and collective bargaining agreements.
Any employee, board member or volunteer who, in good faith, files a report concerning suspected or actual wrongful conduct will not suffer any harassment, retaliation or adverse employment consequences. Any employee who retaliates against someone who has filed a complaint in good faith is subject to disciplinary action up to - where applicable and appropriate - termination consistent with County policies, civil service rules and collective bargaining agreements.
All violations or suspected violations may be submitted on a confidential basis. Reports of violations or suspected violations will be kept confidential to the extent possible, and in consideration of the need to conduct an adequate investigation or turn the matter over to a proper authority.
Employees, board members or volunteers should share their questions, concerns, suggestions or complaints with the County Manager, who will address issues promptly. If it is inappropriate to make the report with the County Manager, the individual can do so with the Chairman of the County Legislature. An alternative reporting method available is to place an anonymous Whistleblower Reporting Form in the County Manager's mail box in a sealed envelope marked confidential. All complaints should be filed using the Whistleblower Reporting Form.
An appropriate investigation will be undertaken into all reports of suspected or actual wrongful conduct. A report summarizing the finding of facts will be given to the individual who filed the complaint within five (5) business days and filed with the County Legislature. If more than five (5) business days are needed to conduct the investigation, the individual who filed the complaint will be notified in writing of a date the investigation is estimated to be complete. Steps will be taken to deal with the issue(s) consistent with County policies, rules and collective bargaining agreements.
All employees, board members and volunteers must be knowledgeable of this policy. All reports/complaints made must go through the appropriate channels as noted above.
Management must make sure that all employees, board members and volunteers are aware of this policy and understand the reporting channels. Any findings of wrongful conduct or false allegations will be filed with the County Personnel Office and/or referred on to the proper authority.
Individuals, such as the County Manager, complainant and witnesses, involved in an investigation must uphold confidentiality to the fullest extent possible, and must cooperate with one another in an honest and forthright manner.