Submitting a Formal Ethics Complaint
Article V. Section 5 of the Association Bylaws outlines the process for submitting a formal ethics complaint.
Section 5. Disciplinary Action.
- Allegations of violation of the Code of Ethics or Bylaws, or of conduct detrimental to the welfare and best interests of the Association may be brought against a Member as follows: (1) by written report of any three Full, Emeritus, Associate, or Student Members in Good Standing; or (2) by written report from a non-Member. Said report shall be submitted to the President of the Association, or to the President Elect if the complaint is against the President. If the President or President Elect deems the case non-frivolous, it shall be forwarded to the Ethics Committee for resolution.
- Following referral of a matter to the Ethics Committee, the Ethics Committee shall investigate as it deems appropriate, and seek such resolution of the matter as it deems prudent and in the best interest of both the Association and the accused Member, in light of the circumstances.
- In the event that the Ethics Committee is unable to resolve the allegations, the President of the Association shall present the case to the Board for a hearing. The accused party(ies) shall be given a thirty days’ prior written notice of the hearing and shall be permitted to appear in person, in writing, by proxy and with or without an attorney’s presence or assistance. At least one Member of the Ethics Committee shall attend said hearing. The Board holds the right to terminate membership, based on the results of that hearing.
- The Board may immediately terminate the membership of any Member convicted of a felony, or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, breach of trust, or sexual misconduct.
- Regions and Chapters shall immediately terminate the membership of a person whose Association membership has been terminated.
The written report should include the specific clauses of the NATS Code of Ethics that are alleged to be violated along with any corroborating evidence of such violations. If the mediation process has not been followed the President may recommend such action prior to formal referral of the issue to the Ethics Committee.
Members should be aware that the formal ethics complaint process can be lengthy and while some issues are quickly resolved other cases have taken years to reach their conclusion.