COUNTY OF CHAUTAUQUA INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
SECTION 1. SCOPE. Every member of the board (the “Board”) of the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (the “Agency”) and all officer and employees thereof, in the performance of their duties shall conduct themselves with honesty and integrity and observe the highest standards of business and personal ethics as set forth in the Code of Ethics of the Agency
SECTION 2. DEFINITIONS. For purposes of this section, unless the context specifically indicates otherwise:
(a) “Employee” means an individual who performs services for and under
the control and direction of an employer for wages or other remuneration.
(b) “Employer” means any person, firm, partnership, institution, corporation, or association that employs one or more employees.
(c) “Law, rule or regulation” includes any duly enacted statute or ordinance
or any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to any federal, state or local statute or ordinance.
(d) “Public body” includes the following:
(i) the United States Congress, any state legislature, or any
popularly-elected local governmental body, or any member or employee thereof;
(ii) any federal, state, or local judiciary, or any member or employee
thereof: or any grand or petit jury;
(iii) any federal, state, or local regulatory, administrative, or public
agency or authority, or instrumentality thereof; or
(iv) any federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, prosecutorial
office, or police or peace officer.
(e) “Retaliatory personnel action” means the discharge, suspension or
demotion of an employee, or other adverse employment action taken against an employee.
(f) “Supervisor” means any individual with an employer’s organization who
has the authority to direct and control the work performance of the affected employee; or who has managerial authority to take corrective action regarding the violation of the law, rule or regulation of which the employee complains.
SECTION 3. PROHIBITIONS. An employer shall not take any retaliatory personnel action against an employee because such employee does any of the following:
(a) discloses, or threatens to disclose to a supervisor or to a public body an
activity, policy or practice of the employer that is in violation of law, rule or regulation which violation creates and presents a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety;
(b) provides information to, or testifies before, any public body conducting
an investigation, hearing or inquiry into any such violation of a law, rule or regulation by such employer; or
(c) objects to, or refuses to participate in any such activity, policy or practice
in violation of a law, rule or regulation.
SECTION 4. APPLICATION. The protection against retaliatory personnel action provided by paragraph (a) of Section 3 of this policy pertaining to disclosure to a public body shall not apply to an employee who makes such disclosure to a public body unless the employee has brought the activity, policy or practice in violation of law, rule or regulation to the attention of a
supervisor of the employer and has afforded such employer a reasonable opportunity to correct such activity, policy or practice.
SECTION 5. OBLIGATIONS.
(A) Obligation to Report Violations of the Agency’s Code or other Applicable
Laws. Each member, officer or employee is responsible to report any violation of the Agency’s
Code or any other applicable laws (whether suspected or known) to the Agency’s Executive
Director. Reports of violations will be kept confidential to the extent possible.
(B) Obligations of the Executive Director. The Executive Director is responsible
for immediately forwarding any claim to the Agency’s counsel who shall investigate and handle
the claim in a timely manner.
SECTION 6. VIOLATION; REMEDY.
(a) An employee who has been the subject of a retaliatory personnel action in violation of this section may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction for relief as set forth in subdivision five of this section within one year after the alleged retaliatory personnel action was taken.
(b) Any action authorized by this section may be brought in the county in which the alleged retaliatory personnel action occurred, in the county in which the complainant resides, or in the county in which the employer has its principal place of business.
(c) It shall be a defense to any action brought pursuant to this section that the personnel action is predicated upon grounds other than the employee’s exercise of any rights protected by this section. It shall also be a defense that the individual is an independent contractor.
(d) A court may order Relief in any action brought under Section 6 of this policy as follows:
(i) an injunction to restrain continued violation of this section;
(ii) the reinstatement of the employee to the same position held before the retaliatory personnel action, or to an equivalent position;
(iii) the reinstatement of full fringe benefits and seniority rights;
(iv) the compensation for lost wages, benefits and other remuneration; and
(v) the payment by the employer of reasonable costs, disbursements, and attorney’s fees.
SECTION 7. EMPLOYER RELIEF. A court, in its discretion, may also order that reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs and disbursements be awarded to an employer if the court determines that an action brought by an employee under this section was without basis in law or in fact.
SECTION 8. EXISTING RIGHTS. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to
diminish the rights, privileges, or remedies of any employee under any other law or regulation or under any collective bargaining agreement or employment contract; except that the institution of an action in accordance with this section shall be deemed a waiver of the rights and remedies
available under any other contract, collective bargaining agreement, law, rule or regulation or under the common law.