Board and Annual Meeting Minutes
Minutes of board meetings and our annual meeting where voting for board members and bylaw changes are posted once reviewed and approved.
FLATHEAD AUDUBON SOCIETY CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS
FLATHEAD AUDUBON SOCIETY FINANCIAL POLICY
FLATHEAD AUDUBON POLICIES
Publication and Re-use of Printed Materials
It is the policy of Flathead Audubon Society (FAS) that all materials published in The Pileated Post, as well as written materials used in the FAS Education Program, plus written materials incidental to any other FAS activities, are the property of Flathead Audubon Society and, unless otherwise restricted in the byline, may be used, re-used, quoted, and reprinted by any other person or group. Any use outside of Flathead Audubon must include attribution to the author of the material and either “Flathead Audubon Society” or “The Pileated Post.” Minor changes to the content of the material so used are allowed, providing that the changes are truthful and do not alter the overall meaning of the piece.
Upon Board approval of this policy, Flathead Audubon Society considers all materials referenced above to have been created and submitted in accordance with this policy.
(as approved by FAS Board of Directors 3/14/2013)
Commitment to Diversity
The Flathead Audubon Society is committed to diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity in our programs, community service, employment, membership and leadership. It is the policy of FAS not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, age, or national origin.
(as approved by FAS Board of Directors 5/6/2013)
Sexual Harassment & Abuse
Flathead Audubon Society is committed to maintaining an environment free of discrimination and harassment based on a person’s sex, race, age, color, creed, religion, disability, ancestry or national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other classification as protected by state and/or federal laws. Flathead Audubon Society’s position is that sexual harassment is a form of misconduct that undermines the integrity of the organization. All members and affiliates have the right to participate in anenvironment free from all forms of discrimination and conduct which can be considered harassing, coercive, or disruptive, including sexual harassment. Harassment, whether conducted by, or affecting an employee, contractor, vendor, client, volunteer, board member, or any other individual connected with the Flathead Audubon Society is strictly prohibited. Any such harassment is prohibited by this policy, whether or not the conduct also violates federal or state law. Anyone engaging in harassing conduct will be subject to discipline, ranging from a warning to expulsion from the Flathead Audubon Society.
This policy applies to all employees, directors, officers, contractors, volunteers, and agents of Flathead Audubon Society. A copy of Flathead Audubon Society’s sexual harassment policy is posted on the official website.
In order to minimize the possibility that sexual harassment or abuse might involve minors, Flathead Audubon Society requires that at least three persons be present when a minor is present. Ideally, this would be two unrelated adults with a minor, but could also be two or more minors with a single adult. The exception is when a single adult present is the parent or legal guardian of the minor.
What is sexual harassment? The definition of sexual harassment is based on that set forth by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Sexual harassment is defined as any unwanted physical, verbal or visual sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other sexually oriented conduct which is offensive or objectionable to the recipient, including, but not limited to epithets, derogatory or suggestive comments, slurs or gestures and offensive posters, cartoons, pictures, or drawings. Sexual harassment refers to behavior that is not welcome, that is personally offensive and that debilitates morale. Examples of sexual harassment are demanding sexual favors in return for employment conditions; unwelcome physical touching; sexual remarks, innuendos and jokes; graphic, obscene or sexual posters or calendars or other print material; e-mail, voice messages, or similar communications which are persistent and unwelcome and sexual in nature; and lewd suggestive comments regarding a person’s style of dress, appearance, body, or personal life. A person’s conduct will be considered unwelcome and in violation of this policy when that person should have known that the conduct was unwelcome, or when the person subjected to the conduct has voiced his or her objection.
It does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature.
What should you do if you are sexually harassed? If you feel that you have been the recipient of sexually harassing behavior or have witnessed sexually harassing behavior, you should immediately report it to a Board Member of the Flathead Audubon Society. Anyone observing harassment should immediately bring the offensive conduct to the attention of any Flathead Audubon Society board member. It is preferable to make a complaint in writing, but you can make a verbal complaint. In order for Flathead Audubon Society to properly investigate the report, it cannot be anonymous. Your identity will be protected to the extent possible and you will not be retaliated against for making a complaint.
What happens after a complaint is made? Within five days after a complaint is received, at least one Board Member will investigate the complaint. Any complaint that involves minors will be turned over to the proper authorities, usually the Flathead County Sheriff s Office. The investigating Board Member(s) will speak with possible witnesses and with the person named in your complaint. Your anonymity will be protected to the extent possible. Information will be disclosed only as necessary in order to conduct a thorough investigation. During the investigation period following a complaint of harassment, the alleged harasser and alleged victim are not permitted to have one-on-one unsupervised contact at Flathead Audubon Society functions. Depending on the complexity of the investigation, you should be contacted within one week after the investigation about the status of your complaint and whether action is being taken. When the investigation is completed, you will be informed of the outcome of that investigation.
Flathead Audubon Society will take prompt disciplinary and remedial action in response to policy violations, including breach of confidentiality, retaliatory action, or bad faith allegations.
Harassment Investigation Guide
Getting the member to describe the claim:
- Listen to the charge. Don’t make comments like, “You’re Overreacting.”
- Acknowledge that bringing a harassment complaint is a difficult thing to do.
- Maintain a professional attitude.
- Gather the facts; don’t be judgmental.
- Ask who, what, when, where, why, and how. Find out if the member is afraid of retaliation. How does the member want the problem resolved?
Conducting an investigation of the claim – general rules to follow:
- Investigate immediately. Delaying or extending an investigation can make witness testimony increasingly unreliable.
- Remember that the manner in which the investigation is handled can itself furnish grounds for a hostile environment claim, so carefully document every step.
- Treat all claims seriously – even those that seem frivolous – until you have reason to do otherwise.
- Keep the investigation confidential. Emphasize to those involved that your discussions are not to be shared with unconcerned parties. Warn of possible disciplinary action, if necessary.
- Limit the number of persons who have access to the information. Communicate strictly on a “need to know” basis.
- Ask questions so that information is not unnecessarily disclosed. For example, instead of asking, “Did you see Paul touch Joan?” ask, “Have you seen anyone touch Joan at work in a way that made her uncomfortable?” Remember – the purpose of the investigation is to gather facts, not disseminate allegations.
- If there is more than one allegation, treat each separately.
- To avoid defamation liability, never broadcast the facts of a given situation or the results as an example to others or as a training tool.
Interviewing the complainant: (Can be done when member first reports charge)
- Get specific details.
- Find out whether there was a pattern of previous episodes or similar behavior toward another member.
- Get the specific context in which the conduct occurred. Where? What time?
- Determine the effect of the conduct on the complainant. Was it economic, noneconomic and/or psychological?
- Determine the time relationship between the occurrence of the conduct, its effect on the complainant, and the time when the complainant made the report.
- Prepare a detailed chronology.
- Analyze whether there might have been certain events that triggered the complaint, i.e., promotion, pay or transfer denial.
- Determine whether there were any possible motives on the part of the complainant
- Find out what the complainant wants.
- Explain to the complainant that the charges are serious, that you will conduct a thorough investigation before reaching any conclusion, and that he or she will not be retaliated against for making the complaint.
- Don’t make any statements about the accused member’s character, performance, or family life.
Interviewing the accused:
- Obtain a statement from the accused.
- Identify the relationship of the accused to the complainant.
- Was there any prior consensual relationship between the parties? How long have they known each other? Is there a history of group or individual socializing?
- If the individual was in a leadership position, indicate the individual’s position and determine the individual’s specific duties at the time of the alleged harassment.
- Determine whether the accused directed, or had responsibility for the participation of other members or the complainant, had authority to recommend participation decisions affecting others or was responsible for the maintenance or administration of the records of others.
- You can expect the accused to deny the charges. Observe the reaction. Note whether there is surprise, anger, or disbelief.
- Describe the details of the allegation and note the areas of disagreement between the testimonies of both
- Parties. If the accused denies the allegations, probe further to determine with the accused the background, reasons, and motivation that could possibly trigger the complaint.
- Obtain statements from any witnesses who support or deny any of the complainant’s allegations. Be aware that witnesses are often reluctant to come forward out of fear of reprisal.
- Assure all witnesses that their cooperation is important, that their testimony is confidential and that they will not be retaliated against for testifying.
Resolving the complaint:
- Apologize for the incident occurring, if that is appropriate.
- When attempting to remedy the conduct, avoid requiring the claimant to participate differently. This helps ensure that the complainant is not being illegally punished for reporting discrimination or harassment.
- Consider the severity, frequency and pervasiveness of the conduct when imposing discipline on the harasser. There are several disciplinary options available, including:
- oral and written warning
- When imposing discipline on the accused, any form of discipline short of dismissal should be accompanied by a warning that similar misconduct in the future may result in immediate dismissal.
- If no discipline is imposed, document the reasons why.
- Provide remedial counseling and training on sexual harassment, if appropriate.
- Also take the opportunity to re-communicate your policy.
- Carefully and fully document the investigation, the discipline imposed, and any remedial steps taken.
- Conduct follow-up interviews with the parties to inform them of the company’s actions.
Requests for Access to Flathead Audubon Board and General Meetings
Upon receiving a request for access to Flathead Audubon, the following shall provide guidance. This operational policy includes proposals from any source outside of Flathead Audubon requesting access through an in-person address to members, visual displays, or distribution of printed materials.
- No for-profit or commercial access shall be allowed.
- Flathead Audubon continues to share membership data only with Montana Audubon.
- Requests from individuals or nonprofit organizations shall be first presented in writing to
- Program Chair, if request is for access to general meetings
- Conservation Co-chair, if request is for Flathead Audubon to support or oppose an issue
- President, if request is for access to Flathead Audubon Board of Directors
- Decisions by the Program Chair, Conservation Co-Chair or President will be made after receiving written request. Topics must pertain to birds, conservation or education and should be consistent with the mission of Flathead Audubon.
- If the Program Chair, Conservation Co-chair or President are uncertain about a request, final decision will lie with Flathead Audubon Board of Directors.
- Flexibility will be allowed for program speakers and recipients of Flathead Audubon recognitions and honors at the time they give a program or receive an honor.
The views expressed in user comments do not reflect the views of Audubon. Audubon does not participate in political campaigns, nor do we support or oppose candidates.