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Goodwill Code of Ethics

Ethics Statement

Goodwill staff is committed to following the highest ethical standards which are rooted in our mission and values.

Our Mission

Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut strengthens communities by helping people with disabilities and other disadvantages maximize independence through job training and other support services.

Code of Ethics - Treatment of Persons Receiving Services (Service Delivery)

All Goodwill staff is expected to treat people served and their families with the utmost respect and dignity. They must represent Goodwill service capabilities and expectations accurately and professionally to prospective, current and former service recipients, including the identification of any potential conflicts of interest. Staff must also adhere to all professional responsibilities. Goodwill provides a safe, clean and healthy environment while striving to provide the best quality of service. All contact with people served must maintain clear boundaries of personal and professional conduct. Employees have the responsibility to ensure that their relationships with persons served are not potentially aversive, abusive, neglectful, harmful or exploitative in any way including financial. Employees are therefore prohibited from engaging in relationships with program participants that fall outside of a professional realm, including but not limited to flirtatious relationships (e.g. physical flirtations, or flirtations by mail, phone, e-mail or internet), dating, sexual contact of any kind and/or business agreements that may result in an employee’s financial or material gain (e.g. gifts, gratuities, employee purchase of item belonging to program participant). Any employee who has a personal relationship with a person referred to Goodwill for services must notify his or her supervisor and request to be removed from involvement in the case. Employees may not exchange or share personal property, gifts, money or gratuities with the participants they serve. They also must not accept property, gifts, money or gratuities from participants. Goodwill staff may witness documents such as program participant and/or guardian/conservator signature on agency documents; however, staff are instructed to consult their supervisor prior to witnessing a legal document such as power of attorney, court issued documents, advance directives, etc. Specific rights are outlined in the Human Services SOPs and the Program Participant Handbook, and are posted.

Staff Members

Staff is expected to be open, honest and fair in all business relationships with customers, program participants, suppliers, donors, the public, other stakeholders and each other. It is expected that all stakeholders of Goodwill regardless of their status within the organization be valued for their contributions to the organization. Professional standards are outlined in both the Human Services SOPs and the Employee Handbook. Staff are prohibited from wasting company resources, engaging in fraud, abuse, and other wrongdoings. As part of our No Solicitation policies, staff may not participate in personal fundraising. Please see handbook for further information.

Board of Directors

Board members are expected to represent Goodwill in a positive and ethical manner, thus having an obligation to avoid conflicts of interest and to refer questions and concerns about potential conflicts to the Board Chairman. All members of the board must sign a conflict of interest statement on an annual basis. Board members will adhere to established laws and regulations regarding fiduciary responsibility to non-profits, as well as those rules established under bylaws and articles of incorporation.

Business/Financial Practices

Goodwill is absolutely committed to operating a fiscally stable organization. All staff members are expected to report information accurately, truthfully and completely. Staff is prohibited from making false or improper entries on any document that affects transactions with Goodwill customers. Financial records must accurately reflect transactions and conform to generally accepted accounting principles. No entries may be made on company records which intentionally hide or disguise the true nature of any transaction. No undisclosed or unrecorded funds or assets may be established.

Contractual Relationships

The Board has authorized the President to enter into contractual relationships as warranted. All contracts including state human services contracts, leases, etc. are carefully reviewed by the appropriate executive staff member prior to presentation to the President for review and execution. The President may consult legal counsel as necessary. Goodwill complies with all of its contractual commitments and responsibilities.

Marketing Activities and Social Media

It is the intent of Goodwill to portray the individuals we serve with dignity and respect. It is the personal choice of the individual to participate in public relations and marketing activities. As professionals, it is our responsibility to disclose the purpose of the media piece, its intended audience and to answer any questions the individual may have regarding its content and use. Participation is documented by the signing of the HIPAA compliant publicity release form. These signed release forms are kept in the individual's main file. Disclosure of the disability or other personal information is strictly voluntary. As a non-profit organization we have the responsibility to accurately and truthfully report our financial situation and the outcome of our services to our funding sources, stakeholders and the public.

Goodwill is currently using Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. It is the expectation of our organization that social media is used to enhance communication with stakeholders. With this comes responsibility to protect privacy and maintain appropriateness of content posted. Social media rules and regulations include:
• Goodwill’s Logo must not be utilized in personal social media accounts.
• Employees should avoid spending time on social networks during work hours.
• All Goodwill employees will respect privacy and protect confidential information of colleagues and participants. People have the right to privacy and you should not take photos or videos without permission. A signed Goodwill consent and release form must be obtained first. If there are any questions about what is considered confidential, employees should check with their immediate Supervisor and/or the Marketing Department.
• Prohibited social media conduct - Although this is not an exclusive list, some specific examples of prohibited social media conduct include posting commentary, content, or images that are defamatory, pornographic, proprietary, harassing, libelous, or that can create a hostile work environment.


Education on ethical codes of conduct is provided for personnel upon hire, and annually for human services staff. Additionally, information regarding Goodwill’s ethical codes of conduct is available on the company website for all stakeholders to refer to.

Advocacy Efforts for Persons Served

Goodwill strives to advocate for its program participants, both on an individual level and, when applicable, through community organizations and legislative processes. Outside advocacy resources are made available for program participants to utilize.

Corporate Citizenship

Goodwill strives to demonstrate strong corporate citizenship in various communities that are served. This is demonstrated though the number of programs that our organization sponsors, including our Career Centers, which serve several of the state’s largest metropolitan areas with the lowest per capita income.

Treatment of Community Members

Goodwill can exist only if the community/public has the utmost confidence in us as an organization. We consider community input vital to our organization and welcome it readily. We respond to all requests for information and any concerns/comments in a timely manner.

Practice of Human Resources

Goodwill Human Resources Management is committed to the principle that all individuals should be treated with dignity and respect. Goodwill follows the following SHRM guidelines:
• Adhere to the highest standards of ethical and professional behavior.
• Measure the effectiveness of HR in contributing to or achieving organizational goals.
• Comply with the law.
• Work consistent with the values of the professional.
• Strive to achieve the highest levels of service; performance and social responsibility.
• Advocate for the appropriate use and appreciation of human beings as employees.
• Advocate openly and within the established forums for debate in order to influence decision- making and results.
• Be ethical, act ethically in every professional interaction.
• Question pending individual and group actions when necessary to ensure that decisions are ethical and are implemented in an ethical manner.
• Seek expert guidance if ever in doubt about ethical propriety of a situation.
• Through teaching and mentoring, champion the development of others as ethical leaders in the profession and in organizations.