1. What is a grievance?
A: A grievance is a dispute between parties regarding matters governed by USATF. (Article 14-C; Reg. 21-A-1).
2. What form(s) do I need to complete in order to properly file a grievance?
A: You must write a complaint, clearly stating the dispute. (Reg. 21-F-1).
3. What information needs to be included with my grievance complaint?
A: The complaint must allege that a party has violated USATF’s Bylaws or Operating Regulations, the Sports Act, the IAAF eligibility rules, or had engaged in conduct detrimental to the best interests of Athletics or USATF. The complaint must state factual obligations in concise, numbered paragraphs. (Reg. 21-F-1).
4. Does the grievance complaint need to be notarized?
A: Yes. (Reg. 21-F-1).
5. Is there a fee involved for filing a grievance?
A: Yes, there is a filing fee of $250, payable by certified check or money order to USA Track & Field, Inc. (Reg. 21-F-2).
6. What kinds of grievances does the National Athletics Board of Review (NABR) panel hear?
A: The NABR panel hears all proceedings related to disciplinary complaints filed or prosecuted on behalf of USATF; matters involving persons from more than one Association; matters involving national or international Athletics competitions; alleged violations of IAAF rules, other than doping violations; alleged Sports Act violations; allegations of the denial of the right to participate in an Athletics competition; and allegations involving sexual misconduct. (Reg. 21-C).
7. How do I know if I should send my grievance to my Association or the National Office?
A: If the matter arose within the Association’s boundaries, and the relief sought only applies in the Association’s boundaries, you must file the grievance with your Association, unless the grievance falls under one of the categories in the answer to Question 6. (Reg. 21-D).
8. Does the person (or entity) I am filing a grievance against have to be a USATF member?
A: No, but the person or entity must be subject to USATF’s jurisdiction. (Reg. 21-E-2).
9. How long do I have to ultimately file my grievance complaint?
A: You must file within one year of when you knew or should have known about the matter. (Reg. 21-F-4).
10. What happens if my grievance is not filed properly?
A: The complaint will be returned to you, and you will have 30 days to amend the complaint. (Reg. 21-F-3).
11. What happens after my Association/the National Office receives my grievance?
A: If the matter is a USATF matter, and not an Association matter, National Office Management will serve the complaint on all interested parties, and appoint a mediator. (Reg. 21-G). Association matters are heard under the Association’s bylaws. Those bylaws must include provisions for an impartial panel, the opportunity to challenge to panel members for bias, and a timely hearing. (Reg. 7-G-2).
12. What does it mean to go through mediation?
A: An impartial mediator meets with all of the parties, together, and separately, and tries to get the parties to resolve the matter. There is no requirement to settle. (Reg. 21-G).
13. How long will it take until an NABR panel hears my grievance?
A: After mediation, you should expect the hearing to take place within about three months.
14. How will the NABR panelists who will ultimately hear my grievance be chosen?
A: The panel members for each region are appointed in advance by the Law & Legislation Committee and Athletes Advisory Chairs, and approved by the President. (Reg. 21-B-3).
15. What happens if I don’t think one of the panelists appointed to my grievance will be impartial?
A: You may challenge the panel member within 14 days after receiving the list of proposed panelists. The unchallenged panel members will promptly rule on the challenge. (Reg. 21-L).
16. What happens if an NABR panel takes too long to hear my grievance?
A: National Office Management tracks hearing matters to prevent undue delay. (Reg. 21-J). Panel members who unduly delay the hearing process may be removed by majority vote of the Law & Legislation and Athletes Advisory Committee Chairs and the President. (Reg. 21-B-4.)
17. Will I have to travel to attend the grievance hearing?
A: Most often, no. National (NABR) hearings are conducted by conference call unless one of the parties requests an in-person hearing and shows good cause to the President and CEO. The request must be made within five business days of the prehearing conference. In-person hearings take place in the respondent’s Association. The CEO may change the venue. If the CEO does so, USATF pays the reasonable travel expenses for the persons inconvenienced. (Reg. 21-6).
18. Am I allowed to call witnesses at the grievance hearing?
A: Yes. (Article 14-E).
19. May I be represented by an attorney or other representative at the grievance hearing?
A: Yes. (Article 14-E).
20. What happens during the grievance hearing?
A: Each party has the opportunity to testify, call witnesses, present evidence, and cross-examine adverse witnesses. (Article 14-E).
21. How long does it take for the NABR panel to render a decision?
A: The NABR panel issues its decision within 15 days after the hearing concludes, and a written opinion within 30 days after the hearing concludes. (Reg. 21-0-2).
22. What kind of remedies can an NABR panel prescribe?
A: The panel can expel or suspend a party from USATF; restrict participation in USATF activities; order restitution; censure or admonish; or order specific relief according to the circumstances. (Reg. 21-P-1).
23. How are NABR decisions enforced?
A: The decision will be self-explanatory. If a party fails to comply, an aggrieved party or the panel on its own motion may hold a further hearing, and impose monetary penalties and additional disciplinary measures. (Reg. 21-P-3).
24. How long does the entire grievance process typically take?
A: The process is designed to be completed in three to four months, unless it is expedited. (Reg. N).
25. Can I appeal a particular NABR decision?
A: Yes. A party adversely affected by an NABR or Association decision may appeal within 30 days of the final decision. (Reg. 21-R).
26. Are there penalties for filing a frivolous grievance?
A: Yes. An NABR panel may, upon its own motion or the motion of a party, impose fines and costs for frivolous grievances. (Reg. 21-T).