How to File a Complaint with the NAA Committee on
Professional Responsibility and Grievances (CPRG)
The NAA CPRG exists primarily for the purpose of enforcing the Code of Professional Responsibility for Labor-Management Arbitrators. The Committee has jurisdiction only over members of the National Academy of Arbitrators, not over employers, unions, lawyers, or arbitrators who are not members of the NAA. The Committee is not a forum for reviewing the merits of any decisions or for appealing them.
- If you believe that an arbitrator has violated the Code, you can make a complaint to the Chair of the CPRG at ChairCPRG@GMail.com.
- If possible, indicate what provisions of the Code you think were violated. The Code is available on the Academy’s website, www.naarb.org.
- Be specific about the conduct you think violated the Code. If you cite rulings or decisions of the arbitrator, specify which actions you are questioning. If possible, provide the Chair with a copy of any award or decision involved.
- It is also helpful to indicate whether there is something the arbitrator can do to satisfy your concerns.
- The Chair will investigate the complaint. The Chair will speak to the complainant and the arbitrator to gather information and seek explanations for what has occurred.
- The Chair will try to determine whether the parties in the dispute can come to a meeting of the minds that might resolve their dispute. The Chair will also determine whether there is probable cause to believe that a Code violation has occurred.
- Usually, the investigation is completed in about 45 days.
- At the conclusion of the investigation, the Chair consults with two other members of the CPRG and then makes a determination as to whether there is, or is not, probable cause to believe the Code has been violated. A finding of no probable cause is a final determination and there is no appeal.
- If the Chair finds probable cause, he or she appoints a hearing officer from among the members of the CPRG, someone who was not consulted in making the probable cause determination. The hearing officer will determine facts relevant to the matter and consider arguments made by the complainant and the arbitrator.
- In some cases, a formal hearing is required, but that is not usual. If a hearing is required, it may be conducted electronically. The hearing is not open to the public, it is limited to the necessary parties, their representatives, and witnesses. The parties may be represented by lawyers, at their own expense.
- The hearing officer makes a decision as to whether a violation has occurred and issues a decision. If the hearing officer determines that a Code violation has occurred, he or she will decide what penalty is appropriate. The general range of penalties runs from a private reprimand up to suspension or expulsion from the National Academy of Arbitrators. The CPRG cannot change any award or decision or award damages to anyone.
- The hearing officer’s decision is final unless it is appealed by either party within 30 days of its issuance. There is a three member Appeals Tribunal which hears these appeals. Their decision is final.