AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY ORGANIZATION
We consider qualified applicants for employment, volunteer positions, and services without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, mental or physical disabilities, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. All decisions on employment and volunteer assignments shall be consistent with the principles of equal opportunity. Accommodations to enable all individuals to participate in the application process may be provided upon advance request.
VOLUNTEER AND STAFF POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
As a Vet to Vet Maine volunteer or staff member, you have a right to:
- Assignments that suit you.
- Clear and specific instructions about your assignment.
- Continuing staff support.
- Treatment as an equal coworker.
- Opportunity to offer your ideas and suggestions.
- Appreciation for your efforts and accomplishments.
As a Vet to Vet Maine volunteer or staff member, you have a responsibility to:
- Make a serious commitment to the assignment and perform it to the best of your ability.
- Abide by all policies and procedures.
- Be willing to learn and ask questions.
- Work with Vet to Vet Maine employees, volunteers, and participants and those of related agencies.
- Keep track of and report your volunteer or staff time.
- Keep confidential Vet to Vet Maine-related information.
Have a manager who is available to help you fulfill your volunteer experience.
Have a volunteer assignment that is designed to meet your stated goals to help others.
Criminal Background and Driving Records Checks
All staff and volunteers who work with or have access to confidential records pertaining to vulnerable individuals through the Vet to Vet Maine program must pass a criminal background check. Positions included: Volunteer visitors, database manager, program director, executive director, and any other staff member or volunteer with access to such materials. Volunteers without access to such materials and who do not work directly with vulnerable individuals are not required to undergo a background check. Vet to Vet Maine will cover the cost of all required background checks. Individuals may opt to contribute to the cost of their background check. Background checks will be updated every five years or in response to a complaint or question.
The background check will be conducted by a reputable firm, which will conduct the following searches:
Those taking the background check will have access to a Summary of Rights (Fair Credit Reporting Act). If the person is dismissed or barred from serving based on the results of the background check, that person will be provided with a letter stating the reasons for disqualification and a copy of the background check results and will be given an opportunity to dispute the findings.
Disqualification Based on Background Check
Anyone involved in Vet to Vet Maine who has undergone a background check will be barred from participation in the program if found guilty of any of the following crimes:
- All sex offenses regardless of the amount of time that has elapsed since the offense. Examples: child molestation, rape, sexual assault
- All felony violence regardless of the amount of time that has elapsed since the offense. Example: murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault
- All felony offenses other than violence or sex within the past 10 years. Examples: drug offenses, theft, embezzlement
- All misdemeanor violence offenses within the past 7 years. Examples: simple assault, domestic violence
- All misdemeanor drug & alcohol offenses within the past 5 years or multiple offenses within the past 10 years. Examples: driving under the influence, drug possession, drunk and disorderly
- Any other misdemeanor within the past 5 years considered a potential danger to vulnerable individuals. Examples: fraud, crimes against the elderly, scams
Anyone charged for any of the disqualifying offenses will not be permitted to work or volunteer for Vet to Vet Maine while the case is pending; reinstatement in Vet to Vet Maine will be considered once the case is settled and the person is found not guilty or the charges are dropped.
A driving record check is required for volunteers or staff members who transport veterans as part of the Vet to Vet Maine program. Volunteers and staff member who have a record of reckless or negligent driving within the past 5 years will not be allowed to transport veterans in the program.
Employees and volunteers who are processing sensitive data will be disqualified for the following offenses or findings:
- Felonies including but not limited to fraud, financial misdeeds, identity theft, and similar offenses.
- Inclusion on the sex offender registry.
- Violent acts and/or theft including burglary, embezzlement, forgery, and fraud.
Volunteers who are veteran visitors may be accepted as visitors but will be barred from transporting their assigned veteran if they have any driving offense of a serious nature within the past five years. These include but are not limited to:
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Driving to endanger
- At fault for serious bodily injury or death
- Excessive speed
- Five or more citations for speeding
Volunteers will be given the opportunity to contribute toward the cost of their background checks; Vet to Vet Maine will cover the full costs of background screening for volunteers who choose not to contribute.
Vet to Vet Maine will screen volunteers every five years or more often if there is a substantiated claim presented against a volunteer.
Commitment to privacy
Vet to Vet Maine takes seriously its commitment to respect the privacy and right to confidentiality of its volunteers and employees. It is the policy of Vet to Vet Maine to abide by the following:
- Openness and Purpose.Volunteers and employees will be notified if a background check is required, the reason for the check, and the extent of the screening. They will receive a copy of the results of their personal check.
- Collection and use limitations.Volunteers and employees will be asked to undergo background checks only when their specific roles require such checks. Results will be used to determine fitness for specific duties/roles which require screening.
- Quality (accuracy).Screenings will be conducted under a specified protocol by trusted Vet to Vet Maine employees or by a screening company recommended by a trusted source.
- All confidential data, including but not limited to Social Security Numbers and other highly sensitive information, will be kept in a locked filing cabinet in the offices of Vet to Vet Maine.
- Volunteers and employees can contact the executive director of Vet to Vet Maine if they have questions or complaints about the process or other matters regarding background check screening.
- Volunteers and employees will have an opportunity to dispute inaccurate information by contacting the program director and/or executive director.
- You have the right to know what is in your file.
- You must be told if information in your file has been used against you.
- You have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information.
- Consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information.
- Consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information.
- Access to your file is limited.
- You must give your consent for reports to be provided to employers.You may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report.
- You have a right to place a “security freeze” on your credit report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in your credit report without your express authorization.
- You may seek damages from violators.
- Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have additional rights.
- States may enforce the FCRA, and many states have their own consumer reporting laws. In some cases, you may have more rights under state law. For more information, contact your state or local consumer protection agency or your state Attorney General. For more details about your rights as a consumer and for information about your federal rights, click consumer rights
Volunteers and staff members will wear their personal photo ID badges supplied by Vet to Vet Maine whenever they are on the job, volunteering, and/or representing the organization.
Workplace Safety for Volunteer Visitors
Before the first home visit:
Notify program director—by phone or e-mail—of date and time of first visit.
After the first visit:
Contact program director by phone or e-mail with a report of visit.
Report any problems that concern you.
Workplace Safety for Volunteers and Staff
Do not do anything that makes you feel unsafe.
Notify the executive director or other Vet to Vet Maine official of any unsafe or undesirable working/volunteer condition or situation.
Report all incidents or concerns involving sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying, financial improprieties, or other prohibited activity to the executive director or other Vet to Vet Maine official.
Motor Vehicle Safety
In accordance with state law, Vet to Vet Maine staff members, volunteers, and the veterans they serve are required to wear seat belts while on assignment. Use of all handheld electronic or distracting devices while driving is prohibited by state law. Staff and volunteers should refrain from driving when there are unsafe weather conditions.
In the event of an accident or injury of any kind while serving with Vet to Vet Maine, volunteers and staff members must promptly notify the Program Director to complete an accident report, even if medical treatment was not obtained. Vet to Vet Maine volunteers are not eligible for workers compensation.
Proof of Insurance
Volunteers and staff members who drive others while serving Vet to Vet Maine are required to provide proof of automobile liability insurance and to notify the program director and/or executive director if their coverage lapses.
All volunteers and staff members must sign a confidentiality agreement. Volunteers and staff may not divulge or disclose confidential information to anyone not designated by Vet to Vet Maine or by the person involved without proper release and approval.
Examples of information that must be kept confidential include but are not limited to:
- Personal information about assigned veteran and/or veteran’s family;
- Personal information about employees or other volunteers;
- Social Security numbers, Medicare numbers, birthdates;
- Organization mailing lists or business plans;
- Proprietary materials.
Vet to Vet Maine’s technology protocol requires that:
- No confidential information be transmitted via unsecured e-mail.
- Confidential and sensitive information be transmitted via secure sites only.
Relationships with Others
Volunteers and staff should:
- Treat all with courtesy and respect.
- Respect personal boundaries.
Volunteers and staff should not:
- Engage in romantic attachments with participants to whom they have been assigned.
- Promote a particular religious or political viewpoint.
- Engage in sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying, or other disrespectful or demeaning behavior.
Financial Transactions with Assigned Veterans
Vet to Vet Maine volunteers are not permitted to enter into financial transactions with the veterans they visit, their family members, or caregivers.
If assigned veterans are in immediate financial need, notify the Vet to Vet Maine program director, who will make appropriate referrals.
Volunteers are prohibited from accepting gifts of substantial value from the veterans they visit or from giving gifts of substantial value to the veterans they visit. They may exchange gifts of sentimental or minimal monetary value with each other. When expenses are incurred during activities they share together, each veteran is expected to pay his/her own way unless alternative arrangements have been approved by Vet to Vet Maine management. Contact Vet to Vet Maine staff or executive director if a question arises regarding the appropriateness of accepting or giving a gift of monetary value.
Conflict of Interest
Volunteers and staff are expected to act in a professional manner and not to engage in inappropriate conduct that would reflect poorly on Vet to Vet Maine or give the appearance of a conflict of interest. Volunteers are not permitted to enter into agreements to become a POA or make other such arrangements with the veteran they are visiting beyond their assigned duties as a Vet to Vet Maine visitor. Refer any such needs to the program director, who will make referrals to the appropriate agency.
Volunteers and staff of Vet to Vet Maine must report all instances of abuse they witness or evidence of scams directed at the veteran to the program director.
Accidents and Injuries
Volunteers are required to report immediately to the program director any of the following events that occur during their visits to their assigned veterans:
- Accidents and injuries to or caused by a volunteer;
- Health issues;
- Errors in judgment
- Substandard performance
- Lost possessions;
- Boundary breaches;
- Offensive remarks;
- Sense of danger or risk while on duty.
Procedures for Emergency Situations
Call 911 immediately if:
- Veteran has fallen and has a potentially serious injury.
- Veteran exhibits severe illness, has a heart attack, loses consciousness, or experiences a life-threatening condition.
Call for a home safety check (business number for your local rescue/police/fire department) if:
- Veteran does not answer the door for a scheduled appointment, does not answer the phone, and the emergency contact (or nearby neighbor) can’t be reached or has not contacted him/her.
Contact Vet to Vet Maine by the next working day if:
- You have taken any of the steps outlined above.
- Veteran exhibits problems that are not an emergency, such as:
- Unusual crying,
- Noticeable loss or gain of weight,
- Anything else that is unusual.
- Veteran appears to be severely depressed.
Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Vet to Vet Maine will keep on file permanently all documents related to financial, legal, and tax-related matters, including:
- Articles of incorporation
- Audit reports
- Corporate resolutions
- Determination Letter from IRS and any related correspondence
- Year-end financial statements
- Insurance policies
- Minutes of board meetings
- Tax returns and other federal or state reports
Vet to Vet Maine will destroy all paper files relating to employees after 7 years of no activity and all electronic files after 10 years of inactivity. Paper files that identify volunteers and veteran friends (veterans visited by volunteers) will be destroyed after 5 years of no activity and all electronic files after 10 years of inactivity. Examples: background checks, veteran application forms and summaries, volunteer enrollment forms. Data may be retained as long as personal identities have been expunged.
Grievances and Concerns
All volunteers have the right to address concerns regarding their assignment and discipline. Vet to Vet Maine strives to provide a fair and impartial hearing for grievances.
Volunteers should report all grievances to the program director or to Vet to Vet Maine’s executive director.
Approved by the Board of Directors, April 14, 2020.