Real Estate

NAR Leaders Must Undergo Sexual Harassment, Diversity Training

The trade group’s board of directors also passed policies on nepotism and on a process for removing National Association of Realtors officers.

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The board of directors of the National Association of Realtors passed four policy changes that apply to the trade group’s leaders on Monday, including a process for removing a NAR officer, requirements that officers complete sexual harassment and diversity training and a policy on nepotism.

NAR’s board of directors, which has 1,030 members, met on the last day of NAR’s annual conference, NAR NXT, at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida. As it does every year, the 1.6 million-member trade group installed a new leadership team at the end of the meeting.

NAR’s Credentials and Campaign Rules Committee proposed four amendments to the trade group’s Campaign and Election Rules Manual, which outlines the process, procedures and rules for Realtors seeking elected office within NAR. The board approved the four committee recommendations that came before it overwhelmingly and without discussion.

Removing a NAR officer

The first amendment establishes a process for considering the removal of a NAR officer. Currently, NAR follows Robert’s Rules of Order, a common parliamentary procedure manual, to do this. The new process aims to “provide for a fair and modern approach that fits within NAR’s unique governance structure,” the committee stated in its rationale for the amendment.

The amendment reads:

“Any request for removal of an NAR Elected Officer must be submitted to the CCRC in writing and signed by a current NAR Director. If the CCRC finds that reasonable cause exists for removal of the NAR Officer, the CCRC will forward the removal request to the Board of Directors for its consideration and deliberation at its next meeting, and the Elected Officer at issue will be given an opportunity to respond to the removal request prior to a vote at said meeting. An Elected Officer will be removed by a majority vote of the Board of Directors, provided that a quorum is present at such meeting and notice of the request for removal was submitted to the Directors at least 30 days in advance of the meeting.”  

‘Reasonable cause’ for removal

The second amendment further specifies that a NAR director must submit their written request for an officer’s removal to the chair of the CCRC and that the CCRC’s Candidate Audit Workgroup will determine whether there is “reasonable cause” for removal. If so, the workgroup would refer the matter to the CCRC for review and approval to send to the NAR board for consideration.

“The process would require the complaint to state with specificity the basis for the removal, including the alleged misconduct, failure to meet a fiduciary duty or existing performance expectation,” the amendment reads.

“Misconduct would include being charged with or convicted of a crime involving fraud, real estate-related activities or moral turpitude, or anything that may cause embarrassment to or shed negative light on NAR.”

Sexual harassment and DEI training

The third amendment requires that all elected and appointed NAR officers complete sexual harassment and diversity, equity and inclusion training provided by NAR annually before each officer’s term of service.

“These trainings are an important part of furthering NAR’s DEI goals and commitment to providing a productive and welcoming environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation,” the committee’s rationale for the amendment reads.

NAR’s 2023 leadership team and regional vice presidents must satisfy the requirement within 30 days after NAR staff identify a training program to complete.

Nepotism

The fourth amendment adds a nepotism policy to the election manual which prohibits a member of the CCRC “who is related to a Potential Candidate within four degrees, whether by blood, marriage, legal action, or domestic partnership, to serve” on the CCRC.

The policy “ensures that the committee remains an objective and trusted body to oversee the NAR campaign and election process and avoids even the appearance of a conflict of interest that may arise due to a close relationship between a committee member and a candidate,” the committee’s rationale for the amendment reads.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.

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