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Grievance Committee Policy
Last updated July 12, 2007
 
  1. Definitions
    1. Grievance: The Committee’s jurisdiction includes disputes concerning good sportsmanship, fair play and equitable treatment of participants in WWPSA program.
    2. Grievant: The party who files a grievance.
    3. Respondent: The party against whom a grievance is filed.
    4. Meeting or proceeding:
      1. A gathering in which committee members attend in person.
      2. A discussion carried out by electronic or other means of communication.
  2. Incorporation
    The WWPSA has established the Grievance Committee pursuant to its power under the WWPSA Constitution, Article 11, section m, to form committees. The purpose of the Grievance Committee is to advance as far as possible the WWPSA’s purpose, under Article 3 of the Constitution, which includes teaching the spirit of good sportsmanship and fair play while promoting and encouraging the sport of soccer in a safe and fun environment.
  3. Quorum and Voting
    1. Meetings must proceed with a quorum. A quorum shall consist of a majority of Committee members then serving on the committee who are present and participating, but no fewer than two committee members. Exceptions:
      1. Fact-finding done by telephone, electronic, or other means of communication may be carried out by a Committee member acting alone.
      2. Meetings for the purposes of mediation may be carried out by a Committee member acting alone.
    2. Decisions shall be made by a majority of those Committee members present and participating, except in cases involving mediation or involving temporary suspensions made pending the outcome of a proceeding.
    3. Meetings and discussions may take place through electronic or other means of communication.
    4. Members shall be considered present and voting if they attend a committee proceeding or:
      1. Give their proxy or communicate their vote in writing to the chairman or another member serving in his/her stead.
      2. Participate by electronic or other means of communication.
    5. Conflicts of interest and disqualification
      1. Any member with any conflict of interest shall make this conflict known to other members of the Committee.
      2. Conflicts of interest may involve, among other things, close personal friendships with parties to a dispute or personal involvement in the matter under dispute.
      3. Members should consider disqualifying themselves from participation in any matter that raises a conflict of interest. The Committee may force disqualification of any member by majority vote of the members qualified to vote. The member whose conflict of interest is under review is not qualified to vote on the disqualification question.
  4. Initiation of a Grievance
    1. Grievances shall be initiated by a complaint in writing, submitted to the Committee via e-mail to   or mail to P.O. Box 757, West Windsor, NJ 08550. The complaint shall name a respondent or respondents and specify the alleged wrongdoing with supporting evidence.
    2. The Committee shall confirm with the Director of the WWPSA program under whose authority the grievance was filed that the Director is aware of the dispute and that the Director and his / her Executive Committee has exhausted all reasonable means to accommodate the Grievant and that the Grievant wishes to pursue a grievance with the Committee.
    3. The Committee will forward the written grievance to the respondent and other affected parties and invite an answer in writing.
    4. Anonymous grievances: The committee will not consider anonymous grievances unless by unanimous vote it decides to do so to protect the welfare of participants in the program.
  5. Confidentiality
    1. Communications, notes and other work product of the Committee will generally be considered confidential.
    2. Confidentiality will not apply where:
      1. The WWPSA Constitution and/or bylaws require the filing of reports or other communications as in, for example, distribution of the final report to specified parties.
      2. The grievant and respondent waives confidentiality and the Committee agrees that this waiver will not unduly prejudice other parties.
      3. The Committee must reveal relevant information to parties, witnesses and others in the course of the investigation.
      4. The Committee must respond to legal process.
  6. Mediation
    1. Before or during an investigation and hearings, the committee may consider means of alternative dispute resolution, including but not limited to informal meetings between the grievant and respondent and any other parties the Committee regards as relevant.
    2. Mediation meetings may proceed with the attendance of one Committee member.
    3. If mediation results in the settlement of a Grievance, the Committee will report the settlement as specified by the Constitution or Bylaws.
  7. Temporary Suspensions Relating to the Filing of a Grievance
    1. The Committee may, before the investigation or final determination of the Grievance, temporarily suspend from WWPSA activities any person involved in the Grievance.
    2. Such suspensions may be made if, in the judgment of the Committee, the person’s continued participation in WWPSA activities would bring unreasonable risk of harm. Considerations of harm include, but are not limited to, the safety of any participant in the program and the good sportsmanship expected on the field.
    3. The Grievance Committee Chairperson is granted the discretionary authority to suspend any person involved in a grievance from WWPSA activities for up to two weeks, during which time the Grievance Committee shall conduct a review of the allegations, including permitting the respondent an opportunity to address the grievance filed against them. The suspension includes prohibition from attending any WWPSA activity or event. After two weeks, the Grievance Committee must reconsider the suspension, which can be continued upon vote by the Grievance Committee for the purpose of continued investigation.
  8. Investigation
    1. After the filing of a grievance and any answer by the respondent, the Committee shall undertake an investigation of the charges. If the respondent has not answered in writing within 48 hours of having been sent the grievance, the Committee may proceed on its own with hearings.
    2. The Committee shall proceed with an investigation including but not limited to:
      1. Hearings.
      2. Interviews by telephone and electronic or other means of communication.
      3. Written statements by the parties, witnesses and other relevant parties.
  9. Decision
    1. Upon conclusion of the investigation, Committee members shall discuss the findings of their investigation and decide whether a remedy is appropriate.
    2. The Committee is empowered to apply disciplinary measures in cases where a breach of acceptable conduct has occurred. The Committee is responsible for determining the appropriate remedy or discipline actions required including but not limited to removing the person from WWPSA participation by permanent expulsion, restriction of activities, or any other such action as determined appropriate.
    3. The Committee shall write an opinion setting forth as much of the following as its members deem appropriate in any particular proceeding, taking into account interests of confidentiality or policies maintained by the Club:
      1. A summary of the grievance and the respondent’s answer.
      2. Findings of fact, if findings were made.
      3. Conclusions reached, which will include a discussion of the Committee’s reasoning.
      4. Disciplinary measures, if appropriate.
      5. A copy of the grievance and the respondent’s reply, where appropriate.
    4. The Committee shall circulate the completed opinion to the following parties:
      1. Grievant and respondent.
      2. Chairman of the WWPSA Board of Directors.
  10. Continuing Jurisdiction
    1. The Committee retains jurisdiction over filed grievances for a reasonable period of time in order to make sure:
      1. That its decision is carried out.
      2. That there is no retribution directed against any person who participated in the Grievance.