Policy Review Board Hearings

When to Request A Hearing

This is the appeals stage of a credit determination. Within 24 hours of notification of the Arbitration Committee’s decision, any participating writer may request a Policy Review Board (PRB). A writer should submit a written statement setting forth the grounds for their PRB request as outlined in the Credits Manuals. Writers may request a PRB within the 24-hour period, and follow their request quickly with a statement of reasons for the appeal. The PRB can consider only whether there has been any serious deviation from Guild policy or procedure in the way the arbitration was conducted. If a writer simply disagrees with the Arbitration Committee’s conclusion, this is not an issue the PRB has authority to address. The PRB cannot reverse the decision of the Arbitration Committee in matters of judgment in analyzing the literary materials.

The Process

The PRB panel consists of three members of the Guild who serve on the TV or Screen Credits Committee. Prior to the hearing, the PRB reviews information and papers relevant to the hearing, including the arbiters’ written decisions and the writers’ statements submitted to the arbiters. THE PRB DOES NOT READ AND ANALYZE THE LITERARY MATERIAL SUBMITTED TO THE ARBITRATION COMMITTEE.

Generally, the writer requesting the hearing meets with the PRB panel first and provides information relevant to the issues raised in the appeal. Other participating writers are then given the opportunity to meet individually with the PRB and respond to the information presented and give any additional input. Like Pre-Arbitration Hearings, the tenor of a PRB hearing is generally informal. Although some writers choose to bring a representative, such as an attorney or agent, to these hearings, it is not considered to be necessary or required. The entire credit determination procedure should be viewed as a writer-to-writer process.

Decision of the Policy Review Board

Once the PRB panel has all available information relevant to the appeal, it considers each issue carefully and makes a decision. The PRB usually deliberates and makes its decision immediately after the hearing. Each participant is notified of the decision by phone, followed by a letter confirming the decision and summarizing the reasoning of the PRB. If the PRB concludes that there has been no violation of Guild policy or procedure, the PRB result is to let the Arbitration Committee decision become final. In other cases, the PRB has two options: (1) to send the materials back to the original Arbitration Committee for reconsideration, usually with a clarification of a specific rule or procedure; or (2) to direct the Guild staff to form a new Arbitration Committee to re-determine the writing credits. In the relatively rare case when a second Arbitration Committee determines the credits, the participating writers have another opportunity to appeal to a PRB after the second arbitration decision is known.