NFLPA files grievance against NFL

The NFL Players Association has filed a non-injury expedited grievance against the NFL to challenge the league's new personal conduct policy.

The NFLPA, which filed the grievance Thursday, maintains that the policy is in violation of the collective bargaining agreement and seeks a cease and desist order to enjoin implementation of the policy.

NFL owners unanimously approved the revised personal conduct policy on Dec. 10.

In the grievance, the NFLPA emphasizes that "the NFL adopted the new Policy without the consent, and over the objections, of the NFLPA."

The union referred to Article 2, Section 1 of the CBA that states the CBA "supersedes any conflicting provisions in the Settlement Agreement, the NFL Constitution and Bylaws, the NFL Rules, or any other document affecting terms and conditions of employment of NFL players."

The NFLPA alleges that the new personal conduct policy is an "NFL Rule" and must conform to the terms of the CBA.

The NFL responded to the union's grievance in a statement Friday morning.

"The league's revised conduct policy was the product of a tremendous amount of analysis and work and is based on input from a broad and diverse group of experts within and outside of football, including current players, former players, and the NFL Players Association," the statement read.

"We and the public firmly believe that all NFL personnel should be held accountable to a stronger, more effective conduct policy. Clearly, the union does not share that belief."

Among the key changes of the new policy is the use of independent investigations; the NFL can hire a special counsel for investigations and decide who will oversee initial discipline.

The policy also implements an element of leave with pay during investigations of people charged with violent crimes, and states that the commissioner will maintain a role in the appeals process but also may appoint a panel of independent experts to participate in deciding an appeal.

After the NFL's announcement, the NFLPA had issued a statement in which it expressed its displeasure with not being able to collectively bargain changes to the policy.

"Our union has not been offered the professional courtesy of seeing the NFL's new personal conduct policy before it hit the presses," the union said on Dec. 10. "Their unilateral decision and conduct today is the only thing that has been consistent over the past few months."