AMBASSADOR CONDUCT POLICY
USA Pickleball (USAP) may discipline any Ambassador who, by conduct or neglect, acts in a manner detrimental to the purposes and mission of USAP or violates USAP’s bylaws, rules, or ethical standards. Any action taken by an Ambassador that 1) reflects poorly on USAP, 2) is inconsistent with USAP policies, including the Ambassador Code of Conduct, or 3) is a direct hindrance to the effective performance of USAP’s volunteer or job functions may lead to Conduct action, up to and including immediate termination of the Ambassador’s position. The main objective of the Ambassador Conduct Policy is to communicate to Ambassadors the requirements for continued service as an Ambassador on behalf of USA Pickleball. Corrective actions include but are not limited to oral warnings, written warnings (with or without restrictions), suspensions, or termination.
Conduct Review Procedure
This Conduct Review Procedure is designed to establish the facts quickly and to deal consistently with conduct issues. When USAP receives notice of a complaint about the conduct or neglect of an Ambassador, it will take the following actions under normal circumstances:
1. The matter or complaint will be referred to the USAP Director of Ambassadors for action;
2. The Director of Ambassadors will review the matter or complaint to determine whether the alleged behavior or neglect meets the threshold criteria of reflecting poorly on USAP, violating USAP policies or codes, or hindering others’ duties;
3. The Director of Ambassadors will contact the Regional Director, respective of the Region the accused Ambassador is assigned to, in attempt at having the matter handled at the local or Regional level. The respective Regional Director will communicate their investigative findings to the Director of Ambassadors and act accordingly to solve or remedy the matter. The Regional Director will also inform the Director of Ambassadors what actions were taken with the accused Ambassador in the matter (accusation unfounded, verbal warning, written warning, suspension, etc.). In the event the respective Regional Director (or Regional leadership) is unable to resolve the matter, the Director of Ambassadors will follow up accordingly;
4. The Ambassador who is the subject of the complaint will be advised of the nature of the complaint by the Director of Ambassadors and at the Director’s discretion may be placed on suspension pending an investigation into the merits of the complaint;
5. The Director may activate a conduct review panel of fair and impartial USAP members with expertise in conducting investigations, which will conduct a fact-finding inquiry to examine allegations of or information concerning misconduct or other wrongdoing involving the subject Ambassador. The Director may elect to handle certain complaints without appointing a conduct review panel if circumstances warrant an attempt at a fast resolution of the complaint;
6. Investigations will be kept confidential to the extent possible, subject to the need to investigate and follow up accordingly;
7. The investigation is administrative in nature, as opposed to criminal investigations and other judicial actions. For example, neither the complainant nor the Ambassador who is the subject of the complaint will have the right to confront the other party. This investigative function is part of USAP’s internal justice system, which is based on its internal rules, not on federal or state laws;
8. After the Director or conduct review panel carefully evaluates the evidence, the complaint or selected allegations of the complaint may be dismissed as unfounded during any part of the process if they find: 1) excessive delay in filing the complaint, 2) the complaint is trivial, frivolous, or not made in good faith, 3) the complaint is grossly illogical or improbable, 4) the complaint is not filed by a person with a direct relationship to the incident, 5) the complaint is of a category that has already been reviewed and decided, 6) the complaint alleges behaviour of a person who was acting as a private citizen and not in his or her capacity as an Ambassador, 7) the complainant has a history of filing unfounded complaints, 8) the complainant does not follow necessary complaint steps, 9) the subject person is no longer an Ambassador, 10) the Ambassador’s identity cannot be determined, 11) the complaint is about a policy and not specific actions of an Ambassador, 12) the complaint seeks money damages or an apology rather than alleging misconduct, or 13) complaints alleging conduct that clearly does not violate a law, rule, policy or procedure or where USAP lacks jurisdiction over the Ambassador or the subject matter of the complaint;
9. The Ambassador who is subject of the complaint will be given the opportunity to state his or her defense to the allegations or justification either written or oral;
10. Upon completion of the information gathering and fact finding, the conduct review panel will determine whether the complaint should be substantiated, unsubstantiated or unfounded. The conduct review panel will communicate its findings and decisions to the USAP Director of Ambassadors. Additionally, if the complaint is substantiated, the conduct review panel will determine the recommended discipline or corrective remedy to be established and communicate it to the USAP Director of Ambassadors who, in turn, will communicate the decision to the Ambassador who is the subject of the complaint;
11. The decision of the conduct review panel is final. The complainant may request the conduct review panel within five days after the decision is communicated to the complainant to reconsider its decision based on new relevant and material information that was not previously considered by the conduct review panel. At its discretion, the conduct review panel may then reopen the matter, investigate and consider the new evidence, and then render a new decision or affirm the decision already made and communicated to the complainant. The conduct review panel’s reconsidered decision is final; and
12. The conduct review panel may impose corrective measures on the Ambassador when it has sustained or partially sustained one or more allegations against the Ambassador. Examples are oral warnings, written warnings, suspensions with or without conditions, restrictions on duties, and termination. USAP will maintain a record of the conduct review panel’s decision for at least three years.