Code of Ethics

Section 1. Applicable Parties.
This code of ethics and conduct (hereinafter known as “the Code”) shall apply to all Four Freedoms Democratic Club (FFDC) Officers, FFDC Board members, and FFDC Committee and Working Group Chairs, general FFDC members, and all candidates and elected officials (hereinafter known as “applicable parties”).

Section 2. Applicable standards
Under no circumstances are racism, misogyny, sexism, ableism, bullying, discrimination, or harassment of any kind to be tolerated by or among applicable parties. Harassment or discrimination based on race, color, religion, lack of affiliation with an organized religion, atheism, agnosticism, Humanism, gender, gender identity and expression, age, national origin (ancestry and/or culture), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status will not be tolerated.

Applicable parties, as well as non-members attending an FFDC event (i.e. event-goers), or participating in a conversation on an FFDC-controlled social media page (including the club's Facebook and Twitter accounts and any other similar website), shall treat each other with respect and dignity and are expected to encourage a welcome, open space for all individuals, free of bullying, harassment, and discrimination. FFDC Officers and members shall be respectful of and promote equality among race, gender identity and expression, and sexuality. FFDC will not tolerate any harassment or any other unwanted interactions by or to non-members at an FFDC -hosted or co-hosted meeting or event, whether the meeting or event is in person or online.

Section 3. Remedy/Recommendations
Failure to adhere to this code may result in accountability measures including but not limited to removal from an event, required attendance at an unconscious bias training or a similar event, or any other accountability measure as prescribed in the FFDC by-laws and constitution.

Section 4. Ethics Committee
The Ethics Committee shall be comprised of 3 Four Freedoms Board members who are elected during regular annual Board elections. Board members will volunteer to sit on the Ethics Committee for one year; should more than 3 board members volunteer, the board will hold an internal vote. No board member shall be on the committee for two consecutive terms, unless doing so creates a vacancy on the committee.

If an Ethics Committee member steps down from their position prior to the end of their 1-year term, the Board will hold a vote at the next Board meeting to fill the vacancy.

Section 5. Submitting a complaint
If an applicable party or non-member attending an FFDC event believes the code was violated, they may submit a complaint for review and investigation by the Ethics Committee.
Such complaint should be filed as soon as possible. The complaint must include:
• The name of the person submitting the complaint and their contact information, including email and phone number;
• The date or in the event a specific date cannot be determined, the date range, that the alleged incident(s) took place;
• The names of parties involved in the alleged incident, including the name of the person who allegedly violated the code, the person or people harmed, and potential witnesses;
• Details of the alleged incident in violation of the code
The complainant may also include any supporting documentation, and/or reconciliation and accountability measures sought by the complainant.
The complaint should be submitted via email to: [email protected]. If submitting the complaint electronically is a barrier for a complainant, they may request to speak with the chair of the ethics committee, who will write up the complaint on behalf of the complainant.

Section 6. Responding to a complaint
Within 15 days of receiving a submitted complaint, the Ethics Committee shall notify the respondent of the alleged misconduct. Respondent shall have 15 days to respond, if they so choose, to the complaint. The response should be submitted via email to [email protected]. If submitting the complaint electronically is a barrier for a complainant, they may request to speak with the chair of the ethics committee, who will write up the complaint on behalf of the complainant.

Section 7. Investigation
Upon receipt of the response, or 15 days after the respondent was notified of their alleged misconduct, the Ethics Committee shall conduct a thorough investigation of the complaint.
The investigation must include, but may not be limited to:
• Follow-up interviews with the complainant and respondent in order to go over the alleged violation and ask any follow-up questions;
• Interviews with any potential witnesses;
• Acquiring and reviewing supporting documentation
The Ethics Committee must keep contemporaneous notes of the investigation. The investigation must not take more than 60 days. Should the committee need additional time, they can seek an extension of up to 60 days from the FFDC Board by a simple majority vote. Should an extension be granted, the Ethics committee must notify all parties involved.

Once the investigation is complete and within the 60 day time period, the Ethics Committee must formally submit its findings and recommended remedies to the FFDC Board. The Ethics Committee must also notify the complainant and respondent that the investigation is complete and that a report has been submitted to the FFDC Board.

At the monthly scheduled board meeting immediately following the submission of the report, the Ethics Committee will present its findings and recommendations to the Board, and answer any questions.

Section 8. Adoption of recommendations
Recommendations made by the Ethics Committee shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority vote. In consultation with the Ethics Committee, recommendations may be amended by the board.
Within 3 days of the adoption of the recommendations, the Ethics Committee will notify the complainant and respondent via email.

Should the Ethics Committee recommend, and the Board adopt a recommendation of, expulsion, the process will be governed by the FFDC Constitution and Bylaws.

Section 9. Confidentiality
Complaints and deliberations shall be confidential until a decision is reached. Violation of confidentiality will result in the immediate removal from the Ethics Committee, and may result in removal from the FFDC Board, and/or general membership.

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