We, The United Methodist Church, want to create an environment in our churches, institutions, organizations, boards and committees that reflect and model healthy Christian values. We are particularly attentive to create a safe environment for all people regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, status or economic condition. This policy of the United Methodist Church in the Nordic and Baltic area aims to help ensure such a safe environment for employees, leaders, members and participants. We encourage Board members, staff (paid and volunteer) and others to act as “whistleblowers” and report suspected or actual occurrence(s) of illegal, unethical or inappropriate events (behaviors or practices).
1. The Whistleblower should promptly report the suspected or actual event to his/her supervisor. Relevant addresses can be found on the websites of each annual conference https://www.umc-ne.org/about-us/countries.
2. If the Whistleblower is uncomfortable or otherwise reluctant to report to his/her supervisor, then the Whistleblower could report the event to the next highest or another level of management, including to an appropriate board, committee or member. Relevant addresses can be found on the websites of each annual conference https://www.umc-ne.org/about-us/countries.
3. The Whistleblower may report the event with his/her identity or anonymously.
4. For a report that was provided in good faith without malice towards another or the church, the Whistleblower will be protected from retaliation and retribution.
5. A Whistleblower who makes a report that is not done in good faith is subject to discipline, which may include termination from the board or employment, or other legal means to protect the reputation of the church and members of its board and staff.
6. Anyone who retaliates against the Whistleblower (who reported an event in good faith) will be subject to discipline, which may include termination from the board or employment.
7. Crimes against person or property, such as abuse, assault, burglary, etc., will immediately be reported to local law enforcement personnel.
8. Sexual harassment is unacceptable, and the United Methodist Church in the Nordic and Baltic area practices a zero tolerance policy. Sexual harassment is defined as “any unwanted sexual comment, advance, or demand, either verbal or physical, that is reasonably perceived by the recipient as demeaning, intimidating, or coercive” by the United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline.
9. Supervisors, managers and/or Board members who receive the reports must promptly act to investigate and/or resolve the issue.
10. The Whistleblower shall receive a reponse within 2 weeks of the initial report regarding the investigation and resolution of the issue.
11. If the investigation and resolution of a report, that was done in good faith and investigated by internal personnel, is not to the Whistleblower’s satisfaction, then he/she may report the event to other appropriate legal or investigative agencies.
12. The identity of the Whistleblower, if known, shall remain confidential to those persons directly involved in applying this policy, unless the issue requires investigation by law enforcement.
Approved by the Central Conference Council March 2019