The Corporate Bylaws provide that, “A member may be suspended or expelled from membership by action of the Board of Directors for non-payment of dues or fees, for the violation of any provision of these Bylaws, or for committing offenses against statutory law relating to the production, distribution or sale of alcoholic beverages.”
This policy provides standards for the enforcement of this authority.
Purpose of Suspension and Expulsion for Unlawful Activity
The Alabama Brewers Guild is not a law enforcement authority and is not compelled to police the industry. The purpose of allowing for the suspension or expulsion of a member for legal violations is to protect the integrity and public perception of the organization. The Board may decline to pursue suspension and expulsion after contemplating the pros and cons of such an action.
Suspension: A suspended member shall not be entitled to voting rights or other membership privileges. A suspended member’s rights and privileges may be reinstated once the member corrects the offending violation. If a member of the Board is suspended, the member is not automatically removed from the Board, but the member shall not be entitled to a vote on the Board until reinstated.
Expulsion: A successful expulsion vote terminates membership in the Corporation. An expelled member my apply for membership once the offending violation giving rise to the expulsion has been corrected.
Suspension and Expulsion for Non-Payment
Suspension. A member shall be given a 30 and 60 day late notice for failure to pay dues. A member shall automatically be suspended after dues are 60 days past due.
Expulsion. After dues are 90 days past due, the Board shall vote to expel the member. Upon a showing of good cause, the Board may extend the period of suspension in lieu of expulsion.
Suspension and Expulsion After Conviction
The Board may, at its discretion, suspend or expel any member that has been convicted of or found liable for any violation of law pertaining to the production, distribution, or sale of alcoholic beverages.
Suspension and Expulsion for Other Reasons
Finding of Facts. The Board, upon its own initiative, may conduct an investigation into whether a member is committing a violation of the Corporation’s bylaws or statutory law pertaining to the production, distribution, or sale of alcoholic beverages.
Notice to Member. If the Board deems, after a finding of facts, that a member may have committed a relevant violation, the Board shall issue to the member a written notice of the Board’s findings. The notice shall include a finding of facts and suggest corrective action that the member may take to prevent suspension.
Suspension. If the Board determines that appropriate corrective action has not been taken after 30 days of the notice, the Board shall vote to suspend the member.
Expulsion. If the Board determines that appropriate corrective action has not been taken after 60 days of the initial notice, the Board shall hold a meeting to vote whether to expel the member. The member shall be provided an opportunity to be heard before any expulsion vote. A vote of expulsion must be held in-person by the Board, and a successful expulsion vote shall require a two-thirds majority of the Board members entitled to attend and vote on the expulsion.
Disclosure. The Board may disclose its findings to an appropriate government authority as deemed necessary by the Board upon the advice of counsel.
Recusal. A Board member shall not be entitled to vote for the finding of fact, suspension, or expulsion of his or her own membership.