Code of Conduct and Ethics:
BEST USA SOMMELIER COMPETITION ASSOCIATION (BUSA)
BUSA is committed to ethical and professional conduct. Our Code of Conduct applies to all members, vendor partners, associates and anyone involved in any BUSA program, including all competitions and activities. BUSA seeks to embody fairness and inclusion with all communities, and to promote tolerance and acceptance throughout the sommelier and wine community regardless of race, color, sex, ethnicity, national origin, sexual identity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, physical or mental disability, size, appearance, age, or veteran status.
BUSA members will advocate for those within the sommelier community who are marginalized or shut out by systems and institutions because of their race, color, sex, ethnicity, national origin, sexual identity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ancestry, physical or mental disability, size, appearance, age, veteran status, or any other classification protected under applicable law.
Code of Conduct
BUSA is committed to providing a safe environment for all its members, candidates and employees free from discrimination and harassment.
Members of BUSA must act in the best interest of the association by acting legally, ethically and with integrity.
Any member shall conduct oneself in a manner that maintains the principles, integrity and dignity of the Association.
Members will support a positive educational environment that fosters the growth of the members regardless of knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Members will create a positive environment without abusive, offensive, or harassing communication; written, verbal, or non-verbal communication, or through social media.
Conflict of interests due to financial, business or personal relationships will be disclosed.
Member interactions with member, colleagues, and industry partners shall be ethical, respectful and truthful.
Members will respect other opinions and ideas.
Members will follow all local, state and federal laws.
As a BUSA member, if a member is involved as a competitor, they will proactively report personal or financial business relationships with any other competitor, judge or adjudicator.
Members are responsible for knowing and following the Code of Conduct of BUSA.
Members will take proactive steps to prevent behaviors that are not reflective of the code of conduct. If members witness or observe any violations of the code of conduct, they are to report these to the Ethics Committee. Silence implies encouragement and acceptance.
Complaints will be taken seriously, investigated, and treated with respect and in confidence.
No member of the organization may restrict or prevent an individual from reporting a violation of the code of conduct, nor shall any member threaten to or retaliate against any individual for reporting violations.
ENFORCEMENT OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT
Any member found to have violated the BUSA Code of Conduct will face disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the association, from employment (if a BUSA employee), from the competition (s) or from future BUSA activity.
FILLING A COMPLAINT
Any member of BUSA may fill out what they perceive as a violation of the code of conduct to the Ethics Committee.
Communications must be in writing and include detailed information of the violation(s).
All information will be kept confidential with only the Ethics committee viewing the document.
Within (7) business days of the Ethics Committee receiving the information, they will acknowledge of receiving the complaint.
One member of the Ethics Committee with be assigned lead investigator and will be the primary contact person for the person who filled the complaint.
If it is found that the lead investigator has a conflict of interest, they will recuse themselves and a new lead investigator will be appointed.
The ethics committee may consult outside agencies or legal representation. The committee may ask for more information regarding the violation.
The Ethics Committee will provide the individual accused of the violation any evidence submitted in the complaint and (7) business days to respond to the complaint.
After the investigation, the Ethics Committee may dismiss a complaint as retaliatory, or untruthful information.
The Ethics Committee will publish the final decision (30) days after the investigation of the alleged violation. The decision will be communicated to all involved in the investigation in writing.
An individual found in violation of the code of conduct may receive censure, suspension or permanent termination from BUSA.
In rendering the final decision, the Ethics Committee with take into consideration the severity of the infraction, and if the member as displayed a pattern of violations of the code of conduct.
Termination or Suspension of Membership may occur for:
The nonpayment of dues, fees or assessments within ninety (90) days after they have become due;
Violating the Code of Ethics and actions unbecoming of a member;
Any conduct materially and seriously prejudicial to the purposes and interests of BUSA.