The USTA* is fully committed to its obligations to eliminate Conflicts of Interest in all areas where it has control. The following summarizes the material terms of the Conflicts of Interest Policy.
1. General Provisions and Purpose
The Conflict of Interest Policy is intended to ensure that the business of the USTA is conducted effectively, objectively, and without improper influence or the appearance of improper influence. Employees and volunteers must maintain high standards of honesty, integrity, and impartiality in the performance of their duties. The USTA’s policy is designed to help directors, officers, employees and other volunteers to identify situations that present potential conflicts of interest and provide a procedure that, if observed, will allow a transaction to be treated as valid and binding even though one has or may have a conflict of interest with respect to the transaction. It is the duty of each person to become familiar with, and abide by, all rules and regulations of the USTA including, but not limited to the Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Policy (hereinafter “Policy”).
2. Loyalty and Conflicts of Interest
The following circumstances will be deemed to create a potential Conflict of Interest:
a) A contract or transaction between the USTA and an employee or volunteer;
b) A contract or transaction between the USTA and an entity in which an employee or volunteer has a financial interest or of which an employee or volunteer is a director, officer, employee, partner, or other representative;
c) An employee or volunteer competing with the USTA in the rendering of services or in any other contract with a third party; and
d) An employee or volunteer having a financial interest in, or serving as a director, officer, employee, agent, partner or other representative of, or consultant to, an entity or person that competes with the USTA in the provision of services or an any other contract with a third party.
Employees and volunteers of the USTA owe a duty of loyalty to the USTA to fulfill conscientiously their responsibilities on behalf of the USTA. Employees and volunteers should disclose and, where appropriate, refrain from engaging in any activity that might conflict, or appear to conflict, with the interests of the USTA, or that might result in or create the appearance of using one’s position as an employee or volunteer at the USTA for private gain; giving preferential treatment to any person; impeding the efficiency or economy of the USTA’s operations; or making decisions without impartiality.
Employees and volunteers may not do indirectly, through family or friends, what they are precluded by the Policy from doing directly.
Discrimination and Harassment Policies
The USTA is fully committed to its obligations to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace and all areas where it has control over the environment including USTA work-related contexts (i.e., conferences, work functions, social events, meetings, and business trips). The following summarizes the material provisions of the Discrimination and Harassment Policies.
Discrimination and Harassment
The USTA recognizes it is the right of every employee and volunteer to be able to work and to perform their duties without being subjected to any form of discrimination or harassment. Equally it is the obligation and responsibility of every employee and volunteers to ensure that the workplace is free from discrimination and harassment.
The USTA prohibits discrimination or harassment of staff or volunteers by an employee, supervisor, volunteer or a USTA vendor, for any reason prohibited by federal, state, or local law.
Discrimination and/or harassment do not have any legitimate workplace function. The USTA will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or victimization under any circumstances. The responsibility lies with every manager, supervisor, employee, and volunteer to ensure that discrimination, harassment or victimization does not occur.
The principles set out in this policy are intended to apply to any USTA work-related context, including conferences, work functions, social events, meetings, and business trips.
The USTA strongly encourages any employee or volunteer who feels they have been harassed to take action, preferably by making it clear that such behavior is unwelcome and offensive; alternatively, or in addition, follow the procedures for reporting the behavior. Any reports of harassment will be treated seriously and promptly.
While it is not easy to define precisely what harassment is, it includes, but is not limited to, slurs, epithets, threats, derogatory comments, unwelcome jokes and teasing, derogatory pictures, posters, gestures, unwanted blocking of movement and interference with work.
A breach of this policy will result in disciplinary action. Depending upon the severity of the case, consequences may include apology, counseling, transfer, demotion, removal, dismissal, or other forms of disciplinary action deemed appropriate.
The Association has a Whistleblower Policy. The following summarizes the material terms of the Whistleblower Policy.
Reporting Suspected Improper Activities
Any person may report allegations of suspected improper activities. Normally, an employee should make an initial report to the employee’s immediate supervisor, or a volunteer to the next level or volunteers. However, in the interest of confidentiality, when there is a potential conflict of interest or for other reasons, the reporter may make a report to another corporate official whom the reporter reasonably expects to have either responsibility over the affected area or the authority to review the suspected improper activity on behalf of the Association.
2. Reporting to the Whistleblower Hotline or Committee
The Whistleblower Hotline is an alternate reporting process. Whistleblower complaints typically address improper activities that threaten the integrity of the Association. Employees or volunteers should use the Hotline if they feel they cannot use other reporting channels or if the initial complaint is unresolved. Reports may be made anonymously if the reporter so chooses.
3. No Retaliation
The Association does not condone or permit retaliation against anyone who participates in a Whistleblower activity, and anyone who participates in a Whistleblower report has the right of protection from retaliation. This right does not extend immunity for any complicity in the matters that are the subject of the allegation or an ensuing investigation. A supervisor or superior may not take adverse action against an employee or person because they: file a report of suspected improper activities; or participate or give information in an investigation, hearing, court proceeding, legislative or other inquiry, or other form of administrative review.
4. Good Faith Reporting
An employee or person is presumed to have communicated in good faith when reporting suspected improper activities to a supervisor superior, volunteer leadership, or the Whistleblower Hotline. The presumption may be rebutted by showing that the employee or person knew or reasonably ought to have known that the report is malicious, false, or frivolous. This is itself considered an improper activity that the Association has the right to act upon.
Anonymous whistleblowers must provide sufficient corroborating evidence to justify the commencement of an investigation. An investigation of unspecified wrongdoing or broad allegations cannot be undertaken without verifiable evidentiary support. Because investigators are unable to interview anonymous whistleblowers, it may be more difficult to evaluate the credibility of the allegations and therefore, less likely to cause an investigation to be initiated. Protection of a whistleblower’s identity will be maintained to the extent possible within the legitimate needs of the law and the investigation. Should the whistleblower self disclose his or her identity outside the reporting structure, the Association will no longer be obligated to maintain such confidence.