Filing a Grievance
PRO members are committed to being professional: ethical, honest and committed to high standards. PRO is governed by its Bylaws which represent an agreement between the organization and its members. In addition, PRO has a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice to which its members subscribe. This grievance procedure was established to assist PRO and its members to uphold the Bylaws, Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. The grievance policy must be reasonably available to the public and members, such as on the PRO website.
Any member of PRO or a consumer who considers filing a complaint against a PRO member must do so in writing and show proof of a violation of PRO’s Code of Ethics.
Step 1. Preparation/Submission of Complaint
The complaint must:
- be clearly, concisely written and typed
- specify the provisions of the Code of Ethics, and/or unlawful practice alleged to be breached; include all pertinent details (date, time, place, individuals involved with complete contact information, supporting documentation)
- disclose the relationship of the complainant to the member
- be signed by the complainant
The complaint should be mailed to:
PRO Mid Atlantic
Attention: Angela Hubbard, Executive Director
PO Box 3462, Merrifield, VA 22116
Or by email to:
Improper or incomplete submissions may be returned and/or delayed. If the complaint does not meet the above requirements, the Executive Director, with assistance from the Ethics Committee, will follow up with the complainant to obtain the necessary Information.
Step 2: Response to Complaint
In order to ensure due process, a copy of the complaint will be forwarded to the member. The member will be required to respond to the complaint in writing within thirty (30) days of the date the complaint was forwarded to the member by PRO. The response must clearly address the allegations in detail and provide appropriate supporting documentation.
The response must be submitted to PRO. Copies of the complaint and the response will be forwarded to the Ethics Committee as soon as they are received.
Step 3: Ethics Committee Review
The Ethics Committee will review the complaint and response. The Ethics Committee may name a lead investigator who shall take all reasonable steps to investigate the complaint, which may include a visit to the project.
The lead investigator, at his or her discretion, may request additional information from the complainant and/or the member. The complainant and/or member will be required to respond to this request within thirty (30) days. Failure to respond in a timely manner will result in a decision based solely on the information presented.
The purpose of the Ethics Committee investigation is to gather information from both parties to determine whether the member company has violated PRO’s Code of Ethics, and, if so, whether the violations warrant action by the Board of Directors. After the committee concludes its investigation, the committee shall make a recommendation on the action to be taken by the PRO Board of Directors including, but not limited to dismissal of the complaint, probation, suspension of membership, or revocation of membership.*
During an Ethics Committee review, there shall be no communications about the complaint between Board members and the member or complainant. Should a Board member contact any representative of the member or complainant about the matter during the investigation, that Board member will not be eligible to vote on any Board decisions regarding the complaint.
Step 4: Board Action
The PRO Board of Directors will consider the complaint at its next regularly scheduled meeting (or special meeting), provided they can give at least ten (10) days notice to the member. If the Board decides that additional information is needed, it shall direct the Ethics Committee to obtain that information and submit it to the Board. Once the Board is satisfied that it has sufficient information, the Board will consider the recommendation of the Ethics Committee. The Board may accept, modify or reject the recommendation of the Ethics Committee. The decision of the Board will be communicated in writing to the complainant and the member.
Step 5: Request for Reconsideration
The complainant and/or member may request that the Board reconsider its decision, and such request will be heard at the Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting. Requests for reconsideration shall be filed with the Executive Director within 10 days of the receipt of the Board’s decision.
If the Board decides to reconsider its decision, the Board may set up a procedure for the reconsideration. The decision of the Board on a request for reconsideration will be communicated in writing to the complainant and the member.
Scope of Grievance Procedure
The Grievance Procedure applies to complaints brought against members by parties other than PRO. Nothing herein shall limit the separate powers of the Board of Directors to take disciplinary action against members for cause.
- Dismissal of Complaint – Complaint dismissed with no further action needed.
- Probation – Defined period of time and conditions stipulated by the Board of Directors.
- Suspension – Membership rights revoked for a defined period of time as determined by the Board of Directors. Rights to be revoked include member directory listing, use of logo, eligibility to enter the awards program, member in good standing status
- Termination – Membership rights revoked for a defined period of time as determined by the Board of Directors. All membership rights to be terminated including member directory listing, use of logo, eligibility to enter the awards program, member in good standing status. The Board can determine when and if the company can apply for reinstatement.