LLLI Conflict Resolution Process
The purpose of the LLLI Conflict Resolution Process is to ensure that complaints raised from within La Leche League or by the public are resolved fairly and promptly with the goal of a respectful, mutually agreeable resolution.
The LLLI Conflict Resolution Process addresses conflicts involving La Leche League International and issues including but not limited to compliance with the LLLI Bylaws and the LLL Code of Conduct and Policies and Standing Rules
Conflicts arising at a local level should be addressed or resolved at that level (Area, Area Network, Direct Connect Entity ( DCE). In exceptional circumstances in which a DCE, Area Network, and Area’s conflict resolution or grievance policies do not exist or do not apply to the affected parties and/or circumstances, or if the entity is unable or refuses to address the complaint, the LLLI Conflict Resolution process may be used.
The LLLI Conflict Resolution Process is not to be used as a route of appeal from a completed grievance process within a DCE.
Conflict Resolution Team (CRT)
LLLI will establish and maintain a Conflict Resolution Team (CRT) consisting of seven to nine members. Nominations of Leaders and former Leaders for the CRT will be accepted from Leaders and non-Leaders. Candidates should have training and experience in conflict resolution as well as extensive LLL experience. Effort will be made to create a diverse CRT representing the composition of LLLI.
Each member shall:
- Be fair and impartial
- Have LLL administrative experience at an Area level or higher in the LLLI administrative structure, or extensive LLL experience
- Have conflict resolution experience
- Undergo training provided by or approved by LLLI, including bias training and training in addressing claims of harassment and discrimination
- Ensure confidentiality in the Conflict Resolution Process
- Recuse themselves from working on any issue in which they have a conflict of interest, a personal or financial interest that may prevent the exercise of impartial judgment, including a relationship with any parties to the conflict, or in instances in which any party to the conflict is from the member’s LLL Group or Area, or if the subject matter of the conflict prevents the member from being fair and impartial.
A Conflict Resolution Team member who has a conflict of interest cannot avoid recusing themself by stating that they feel able to be impartial.
Members of the Conflict Resolution Team (CRT) will be sought and recommended to the Board by the Personnel Committee. They will be appointed by the LLLI Board members at the Annual Midterm Session of the Board. Each DCE may nominate at least one team member every two years.
Conflict Resolution Team (CRT) members will serve staggered 3-year terms starting November 1st. No member may serve more than two consecutive 3-year terms, or a total of 7 consecutive years, unless this requirement is waived by the LLLI Board of Directors.
The Conflict Resolution Team (CRT) will elect a chair within a month after the Annual Midterm Session of the Board. The Chair of the CRT will serve as liaison between the CRT and the LLLI Board Chair(s) and may hold this position for a maximum of three consecutive years.
The Personnel Committee of the Board will seek and recommend candidates to the LLLI Board whenever necessary to replace any Conflict Resolution Team (CRT) member who resigns or is removed before the conclusion of a term. The Board will appoint the chosen candidate(s) who will then serve for the remainder of the original term or for a specified term.
After due consideration, the LLLI Board may remove a member of the Conflict Resolution Team for failure to perform member duties or for non-compliance with the LLL Code of Conduct, LLLI Bylaws, or LLL Policies and Standing Rules.
Initiating the Conflict Resolution Process
A complaint may be initiated by completing a Complaint Form. Please see below for addresses for submission.
Conflict Resolution Process Steps
- The Chair of the Conflict Resolution Team (CRT) will confirm receipt of the Complaint Form to the complainant within one week of receipt of the CRT receiving the Complaint Form.
- The Conflict Resolution Team (CRT) decides whether or not the complaint is addressable by the CRT or best addressed by other means such as conflict resolution processes of DCEs, Area Networks, Areas, or by other action of administrative volunteers or employees of LLL entities. In making their decision the CRT may consult with the LLLI Board of Directors. Complaints not within the purview of the LLLI CRT are forwarded, with the Complainant’s permission, to personnel in the entity deemed appropriate to address the complaint. The CRT’s goal is to respond to the complainant with this information within three weeks.
- For complaints within the purview of the LLLI Conflict Resolution Team (CRT), the CRT assigns a designated reviewer of the complaint from within the members of the CRT to facilitate the conflict resolution process and to document steps taken.
- The Chair of the Conflict Resolution Team (CRT) forwards the completed Complaint Form and a link to the PSR Code of Conduct to all relevant parties.
- As promptly as possible, the Conflict Resolution Team (CRT) interviews the complainant and other affected parties, while respecting the privacy and confidentiality of all.
- After reviewing all documentation and information received, the Conflict Resolution Team (CRT) compiles a written report containing a summary of the complaint, the CRT’s findings of fact, and recommendations. The report is shared with the complainant and other affected parties to the complaint. CRT recommendations may include:
- A specific outcome, solution, and/or course of action for affected party or parties to the complaint
- A recommendation to the LLLI Board or other LLL entity for further action.
If the Conflict Resolution Team (CRT) has not resolved the conflict, if the CRT determines that involvement of the LLLI Board is necessary, and/or if the affected parties do not accept the recommendations of the CRT, the CRT submits its written report and all other information about the complaint to the LLLI Board for review, further resolution efforts, and, if necessary, a final determination.
Before any final decision by the LLLI Board, all affected parties shall receive:
- A copy of the Conflict Resolution Team’s (CRT) report
- An opportunity to submit a request for appeal within three weeks of receiving the report. The appeal may lodge disagreement with the findings of fact and/or recommendations by the CRT,
- Notice that if the LLLI Board is unable to resolve the complaint issue with a respectful solution mutually agreeable to affected parties, the LLLI Board has the authority to issue a decision about the issue in conflict.
The LLLI Board, or, if the Board chooses, a panel of three of its members, shall review the Complaint Form, responses of affected or accused parties, and all information and documents provided to the Conflict Resolution Team.
The LLLI Board or panel of the Board may schedule a face to face meeting or live electronic hearing, inviting the complainant and other affected/accused parties to attend and present their positions.
Any LLLI Board member shall recuse themselves from working on any case in which they have a conflict of interest; a personal or financial interest that may prevent the exercise of impartial judgment, including a relationship with any parties to the conflict; in instances in which any party to the conflict is from the member’s LLL Group, Area, Area Network and/or DCE; or if the subject matter of the conflict prevents the member from being fair and impartial.
The LLLI Board or panel of the Board may recommend an action necessary to resolve the conflict. The Board may also decide to revise policy to resolve the conflict.
In consultation with a Leader’s DCE(s), the LLLI Board or panel of the Board may impose sanctions or revoke accreditation in accordance with the Leader Accreditation Removal Policy .
The LLLI Board or panel will inform all affected parties in writing of its findings and decision.
The decision of the LLLI Board may be reviewed by the Global Leaders Committee (GLC).
Conflict Resolution Resources
The Resource Bank established by the LLL Resource Bank Workgroup is available for use by the LLLI Conflict Resolution Team and by all individuals and entities within LLL, including the LLLI Board, DCEs, Area Networks, Areas, and employees to help in conflict resolution. It is intended that the resources will be shared both to and from the LLLI Conflict Resolution Team and LLL entities. The LLLI Board may designate a Resource Bank Coordinator (RBC) to manage and maintain a resource bank for conflict resolution containing tools, model protocols, and conflict resolution informational materials including but not limited to materials developed by LLL Communications Skills Departments and materials shared by other LLL entities. The RBC is responsible for updating and revising the Resource Bank as needed.
(Nov 12, rev Aug 17, rev Jan 21)