Forum Fines and Penalties

Forum Fines and Penalties

The NYC subways are notoriously inconsistent. I should have taken this into consideration when I boarded the train, knowing I only had exactly 12 minutes to get across town Manhattan for the start of my Forum meeting. To my surprise, the train actually ran on time, but I still had only a couple minutes to get out of the subway station, halfway across 43rd street, up an elevator, and into the conference room where the Forum meeting. Off I sprinted!

The meeting started at 4:00pm. I made it to the room at 4:01pm. Even though I was completely out of breath from sprinting, I accepted the reality that I was late. I pulled out $50 and placed it on the table.

The money wasn’t the main reason for my determination, but it was in the back of my mind. The main reason I made the final sprint was out of respect for everyone else in the group. Everyone in my group is busy doing 1000 things each day. They all run successful businesses, have families, and personal life. Their time is just as valuable as mine. If they can make it on time out of respect for my time, then I should make it on time out of respect for their time.

While it would be nice to think that this honorable sentiment is enough to get people to show up on time and follow other Forum rules laid out in the Code of Conduct, it’s unfortunately not, and that’s why I recommend the following fines and penalties to be included into your Code of Conduct.


  • The penalty for showing up late, or leaving a meeting early, is [½] a miss. This includes dinner.
  • Showing up late for a meeting also includes a [$50] fine to the treasury.
  • Leaving early does not also include a fine because the intent is that the person made an effort to attend.
  • Late for a meeting is defined as anything over 1 minute from the start time as defined by the Moderator’s clock or Moderator Elect if Moderator is absent or late.
  • Showing up later than [30 mins] to the start of a meeting is treated as a full miss instead of a ½ miss and is treated as such with no fine.
  • Cell phone or computer ring/buzz/beep interruptions during the meeting are a [$20] fine to the treasury.
  • Each member is allowed to miss [2.5] meetings per year. On the [3rd] miss, the member is automatically removed from the group and isn’t allowed to re-submit for membership for a minimum of [60 days or 2 meetings], whichever is longer.
  • No member is allowed to miss a full retreat or mini-retreat (in extreme cases, force majeure can be invoked with a 2/3rd vote from the members not in question). If a member misses a retreat, that member will be removed from the group as outlined above.
  • If a member shows up late (or leaves early) for a mini-retreat or full retreat, it is counted as a [½ miss and is fined $50].
  • All late fines must be paid before the following Forum meeting.
  • All fines are to be paid to the Treasurer.

All of the numbers and times in these fines/penalties can be adjusted to what works best for your group. The goal isn’t to financially hurt someone but to have something in place so people make the extra effort to follow the Code of Conduct. Feel free to use this list and adjust it to work best for your group to keep each other more accountable.