Standing Board Policy 900 (Whistleblower Non-Retaliation)
Organization of the State Bar & Admissions / Standing Board Policy 900 (Whistleblower Non-Retaliation)
POLICY ON WHISTLEBLOWER NON-RETALIATION
The State Bar of Georgia is an administrative agency created by the Supreme Court of Georgia for the purposes of: (a) fostering among the members of the State Bar the principles of duty and service to the public; (b) improving the administration of justice; and (c) advancing the practice of law.
The Whistleblower Non-Retaliation Policy of the State Bar of Georgia establishes certain standards for the following persons who are elected, appointed, or serve ex officio: elected State Bar officers; members of the Board of Governors; members of the Bar's Executive Committee; officers and other members of the Executive Committee and Executive Council of the Young Lawyers Division; and employees and staff of the State Bar ("Covered Persons"). This Policy is intended to supplement, but not replace, any applicable state or federal laws or regulations applicable to the State Bar of Georgia or its members, as well as the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct and any other ethical rules or obligations governing Georgia lawyers. With respect to State Bar employees, this policy is not intended to govern any issue covered by the employee manual of the State Bar.
Whistleblower Non-Retaliation Policy
- Any person may report concerns regarding suspected fraud, violations of law, conflicts of interest, breakdowns in internal controls, financial reporting issues, and other areas of major governance concern regarding the State Bar of Georgia to the General Counsel of the State Bar, or someone designated for that purpose by the General Counsel for investigation and action as it is deemed to be appropriate. Such a report may be made anonymously.
- The State Bar of Georgia forbids any retaliatory action, including harassment, intimidation, or adverse employment actions of any kind, to be taken against an individual who, in good faith, reports a concern about any matter addressed in paragraph 1, or who in good faith complains about or raises a concern about any type of harassment, retaliation, or discrimination prohibited by applicable law or State Bar policy. Retaliation is also prohibited against persons who are not themselves complainants, but who participate in good faith in an investigation.
Any person who engages in any form of retaliation will be subject to discipline up to and including employee termination (or removal of a volunteer) from his or her position. Individuals who believe that they or someone they know is or has been subject to retaliation should immediately report this to the General Counsel of the State Bar or someone designated for that purpose by the General Counsel. Any such report shall be investigated and handled in accordance with the State Bar's Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy, and Reporting Procedures set forth as § 1.29 in the Personnel Manual of the State Bar of Georgia. The General Counsel and/or his or her designee shall have the authority to set up a process and procedures for the handling of such reports, which shall be published to all potentially affected persons, including but not limited to the establishment of a hotline telephone number.
- Nothing in this policy shall prohibit the State Bar of Georgia from taking disciplinary or other employment action on grounds independent of the acts for which retaliation is forbidden.
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