Many sport organizations have dispute resolution policies so that members can submit disputes against the organization and other members. But most organizations do not have a mechanism by which employees, volunteers, or Directors can confidentiality submit concerns about the operation of the organization or the conduct of its leadership. How can an employee report possible wrongdoing by his/her boss?
The Sport Law & Strategy Group (“SLSG”) will act as Ombudsman for your organization and provide services addressing internal complaints about administration malpractice, employee or volunteer harassment, and other instances of perceived wrongdoing.
The SLSG will provide your organization with a comprehensive Whistleblower Policy to be posted publicly on your organization’s website. The Policy will make clear which individuals may use the Policy and will identify alternate policies if the Whistleblower Policy does not apply. The Policy will explain to potential complainants how to report perceived wrongdoing and to whom. The Policy will also outline how the complainant’s report will be handled, what processes the organization may take, when there may be an investigation, which parts of the process will be confidential, and what corrective action may be taken by the organization.
SLSG as Alternate Liaison
The SLSG will act as an Alternate Liaison if the complainant feels that he or she cannot report perceived wrongdoing directly to an individual within the organization. In the role of Alternate Liaison, the SLSG will guide the complainant through the process of reporting perceived wrongdoing and serve as an unbiased neutral liaison between the complainant and the organization.
Internal Policy Review
The SLSG will review your organization’s internal policies on reporting harassment, complaints, and other disputes. The SLSG will suggest revisions to these policies with the aim of highlighting when the Whistleblower Policy should be used by a potential complainant.
SLSG Appoints Investigator
The SLSG can appoint an Investigator if your organization has determined that an investigation of a report of perceived wrongdoing is necessary. The Investigator will contact the individual who reported the perceived wrongdoing (if identified) and any other individuals who are involved with, or who may have witnessed, the perceived wrongdoing. The Investigator will provide a detailed Investigator’s Report – ensuring confidentiality, when possible – to the organization and may suggest options for corrective action.
Before engaging the SLSG as Ombudsman, the SLSG and your organization would sign an agreement outlining terms and agreeing on the autonomous nature of the role of Ombudsman. The SLSG and your organization would further agree on the authority provided to the Ombudsman by your organization.