For a pair of entities that recently found long-term labor peace, the NFL and the NFLPA remain at war on a couple of fronts. Most drastically, the NFLPA has declined to proceed with HGH testing, regardless of agreeing to HGH testing in the new CBA.
Also lingering is a dispute between the two parties regarding the which means of an August 4 letter agreement concerning the application of the personal conduct policy during the lockout. The agreement exempts very first-time offenders from discipline for off-field incidents occurring through the lockout. The agreement appears to permit, by its plain terms, the impositions of fines and/or suspensions on eight repeat offenders who discovered trouble, or vice-versa, throughout the function stoppage.
To date, only 1 active player has been suspended pursuant to that agreement: Bengals running back Cedric Benson. (Cornerback Brandon Underwood also has been suspended, but he is not under contract with any team. League rules allowed him to serve the suspension although unemployed.) Benson has fought the suspension in three techniques. Initial, he appealed the initial three-game suspension, and it was decreased to a 1-game suspension with an further fine in the amount of 1 game check. Second, Benson filed an unfair labor practices charge with the National Labor Relations Board, arguing that the NFLPA tied Benson’s hands at a time when the NFLPA wasn’t even a union. Third, Benson filed a formal grievance below the CBA, arguing that the league has no authority to impose discipline for something that occurred throughout the lockout.
As first reported here earlier these days, the grievance was denied.
A hearing on Benson’s grievance was held on Friday. Per a source with knowledge of the scenario, the NFLPA supplied outside counsel David Feher as a witness. Feher testified that the NFLPA believed the letter agreement, sent at the 11th hour as numerous other documents had been getting drafted and finalized in advance of the signing of the CBA, mainly was intended to protect the 1st-time offenders from discipline for incidents occurring during the lockout, and that the status of the eight repeat offenders would be the subject of subsequent discussions and/or proceedings.
Feher also testified that the NFL argued in conjunction with the union’s effort to lift the lockout that the circumstances constituted a “temporary cessation of the employment relationship.” If so, then the NFL has no power to take any action against any player for conduct occurring throughout the lockout.
This distinct testimony from Feher raises questions concerning the union’s refusal to offer you a witness to testify at the appeal of Benson’s suspension. If the NFLPA had interjected that point into the appeal, the league may have been forced to scuttle the whole suspension.
As we realize it, the NFLPA provided no evidence at the appeal hearing since Benson had filed an unfair labor practices charge against the union with the NLRB. If that’s the case, it’s possible that Benson will now be filing yet another 1.
(About:) This article was distributed by X2 news wire and aggregation service, For far more news see: NFLPA attempts to clarify August 4 letter agreement.