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Sexual Misconduct Disciplinary Procedures

Last Modified: January 31, 2018

Please note the contents on this page are sensitive in nature.

 

Preamble

Compliance with the Yoga Alliance Sexual Misconduct Policy is a condition of registration with Yoga Alliance. All Registered Yoga Teachers, Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Providers® (YACEPs®), and owners or representatives of Registered Yoga Schools, and individuals applying to register with Yoga Alliance must agree to comply with the Sexual Misconduct Policy. Breaches of the Sexual Misconduct Policy may be cause for disciplinary review. Disciplinary actions may include formal censures, suspension, registration revocation, revocation of registration eligibility, and/or other actions deemed appropriate by Yoga Alliance, in accordance with Yoga Alliance’s Disciplinary Policy and Procedures. In addition, Yoga Alliance may suspend a registrant’s registration while disciplinary proceedings are pending, based on credible allegations of Egregious Physical Sexual Misconduct, as defined in this Policy and consistent with the Disciplinary Policy and Procedures.

Yoga Alliance reserves the right to report disciplinary actions to the registrant’s employer, any complainant, and other interested parties, including individuals seeking information about the registrant’s credentials, as solely determined by Yoga Alliance.

Yoga Alliance reserves the right to amend the Sexual Misconduct Policy, Disciplinary Policy and Procedures, and/or Review Policies and Procedures at any time, by posting the revised version on its website and notifying registrants via electronic mail to the address provided by the registrant.

Sexual Misconduct Disciplinary Procedures

I. DISCIPLINARY POLICY

Registrants, those applying to register with Yoga Alliance as an RYT, RYS, or for YACEP status, and YACEPs may be subject to disciplinary action for violation of Yoga Alliance’s Code of Conduct or Sexual Misconduct Policy, violation of Yoga Alliance’s Standards, or violation of Yoga Alliance’s other policies, as described below. Yoga Alliance retains the right to impose discipline under this policy even if the individual’s registration or YACEP designation has expired, provided that the violation triggering the disciplinary proceeding occurred when the individual was registered with Yoga Alliance or with Yoga Alliance Registry, held the YACEP designation, or was applying to Yoga Alliance for registration or the YACEP designation.

A. Violation of Yoga Alliance’s Code of Conduct, Sexual Misconduct Policy, Standards, or Other Policies

Yoga Alliance may, at its discretion, deny, suspend, or revoke an individual’s or teacher training program’s registration, eligibility for registration, teacher designation, school designation, YACEP designation, and/or right to use Yoga Alliance’s marks permanently or for such time as may be determined by Yoga Alliance; issue a public letter of censure, and/or take such other actions as may be deemed appropriate, including taking legal action if Yoga Alliance determines that the individual or teacher training program is the subject of any of the following:

  • Violation of the Yoga Alliance Sexual Misconduct Policy.
  • Violation of the Yoga Alliance Code of Conduct.
  • Violation of Yoga Alliance’s Standards that is not cured within 21 days of written notice by Yoga Alliance.
  • Violation of Yoga Alliance’s other policies.

C. Suspension Pending Adjudication or Investigation

Yoga Alliance may, at its discretion, suspend an individual’s or teacher training program’s registration, eligibility for registration, teacher designation, school designation, YACEP designation, and/or right to use Yoga Alliance’s marks pending investigation or the outcome of a third-party adjudication, if it determines that the individual or teacher training program fails to respond or provide requested information to Yoga Alliance in response to a notice of disciplinary proceeding, or if Yoga Alliance determines that the individual or teaching training program is subject to credible allegations of Egregious Physical Sexual Misconduct in violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

For purposes of this Disciplinary Policy, an allegation of Egregious Physical Sexual Misconduct will be deemed sufficiently credible to support suspension pending adjudication or investigation if:

  1. The subject of investigation admits to conduct constituting Egregious Physical Sexual Misconduct;
  2. An indictment has been issued or charges have been filed by a relevant law enforcement authority against the subject of investigation, on the basis of alleged conduct that, if true, would constitute Egregious Physical Sexual Misconduct;
  3. A complainant provides a copy of a police report or civil complaint that was filed in court containing factual allegations if conduct that, if true, would constitute Egregious Physical Sexual Misconduct;
  4. Yoga Alliance has received a statement from one or more individuals who have made their identities known to Yoga Alliance containing factual allegations that, if true, would establish Egregious Physical Sexual Misconduct; or
  5. A reputable news organization publishes a report of an allegation of alleged conduct that, if true, would constitute Egregious Physical Sexual Misconduct

II. DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES

A. Notification of Disciplinary Proceeding

  1. Yoga Alliance shall issue a Notice of Disciplinary Proceeding to the individual or teacher training program describing the allegations or information that triggered the disciplinary proceeding and informing the individual or teacher training program that disciplinary actions may be taken by Yoga Alliance.
  2. The Notice of Disciplinary Proceeding also shall provide the individual or teacher training program 21 calendar days to submit a written response to the allegations.
  3. Yoga Alliance shall make a reasonable effort to determine the facts of the matter. Based on the available facts, including any submitted statements from the individual or teacher training program and/or other witnesses, Yoga Alliance shall determine what, if any, disciplinary action is warranted.
  4. When Yoga Alliance issues a Notice of Disciplinary Proceeding to a registrant based on alleged violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, Yoga Alliance reserves the right to post a notice of the pending disciplinary proceeding on the registrant’s directory page. The notice may, in Yoga Alliance’s discretion, specify the nature of the alleged violation; any such notice will state that no determination has yet been made by Yoga Alliance. Although registrants may opt to hide their full profiles, no registrant may hide their basic directory listing, nor may a registrant hide notices of pending or completed disciplinary actions.

B. Possible Actions and Notification of Decision

  1. Possible Actions - Yoga Alliance may take a combination of any of the actions listed in the Disciplinary Policy or such other action that may be deemed appropriate in the particular circumstance if Yoga Alliance determines that allegations against the individual or teacher training program are true and violate Yoga Alliance’s Code of Conduct or Sexual Misconduct Policy or otherwise trigger disciplinary action or suspension under Yoga Alliance’s Disciplinary Policy.
  2. Notification of Decision -If Yoga Alliance determines that no action should be taken, Yoga Alliance shall issue a written Notice of Decision to the individual or teacher training program advising the individual or teacher training program that no action shall be taken and the matter shall be closed.

If Yoga Alliance determines that a disciplinary action should be taken, Yoga Alliance shall issue a written Notice of Adverse Decision to the individual or teacher training program.

a. The Notice of Adverse Decision shall describe (a) the basis for disciplinary action (b) the applicable section(s) of Yoga Alliance’s Policy and Procedures for Disciplinary Matters and, if applicable, the Code of Conduct or Sexual Misconduct Policy, and (c) the disciplinary action taken in the matter.

b. The Notice of Adverse Decision shall also inform the individual or teacher training program that they may accept the disciplinary action or submit a timely Request for Review in accordance with Yoga Alliance’s Review Policies and Procedures. If the individual or teacher training program does not submit a written Request for Review in accordance with Yoga Alliance’s Review Policies and Procedures, Yoga Alliance’s decision shall be the final decision on the matter and shall not be subject to any subsequent review absent extraordinary circumstances, as determined solely by Yoga Alliance.

c. The Notice of Adverse Decision shall also inform the individual or teacher training program that after a final adverse disciplinary decision has been reached, Yoga Alliance may, as deemed appropriate, publicly disclose the disciplinary action and the underlying facts thereof, including reporting the outcome of the disciplinary action to interested parties and on Yoga Alliance’s website. Such reporting may include providing a copy of the final Decision Letter to the individual’s employer, the complainant(s), and other interested parties, including to individuals seeking information about the individual or teacher training program registration status, as solely determined by Yoga Alliance.

C. Review of Adverse Decisions

Adverse decisions are subject to review pursuant to Yoga Alliance’s Review Policies and Procedures. An individual or teacher training program requesting review of an adverse decision must submit a written Request for Review within 21 calendar days of the date of the Notice of Adverse Decision. If no timely Request for Review is submitted, the adverse decision will be considered final 21 days after issuance of the Notice of Adverse Decision.

D. Application for Reestablishment of Eligibility Following Disciplinary Action

  1. Applications to reestablish eligibility for registration, for a teacher or school designation, or for YACEP designation shall be considered and acted upon at the discretion of Yoga Alliance, except in such cases where the revocation is permanent or the period of revocation is expressly limited to a specific period of time.
  2. An individual or teacher training program whose eligibility for registration, for a teacher or school designation, or for YACEP designation has been denied or revoked by Yoga Alliance for a specified time period may apply to reestablish eligibility with Yoga Alliance following expiration of such time period.
  3. To re-establish eligibility, the individual or teacher training program must submit a full statement that includes relevant details that pertain to the individual or program’s circumstances. If Yoga Alliance’s decision is related to an individual’s criminal or military justice conviction, the individual may not apply to reestablish eligibility until all sentences have been served and until all judgments have been satisfied unless the Review Committee grants an exception. If Yoga Alliance’s decision was based on loss or denial of licensure, though it is not necessary for the license itself to be restored, the individual may not apply to reestablish eligibility until the situation underlying the loss or denial of licensure has been addressed or remedied to the satisfaction of the Yoga Alliance. The individual or teacher training program’s statement should include:
    • An acknowledgment of the individual or teacher training program’s actions and a statement of why Yoga Alliance should consider the request for re-establishment.
    • An attestation indicating that no new Code of Conduct or Sexual Misconduct Policy violations have occurred since revocation.
    • A description of how individual or teacher training program has met any Yoga Alliance stipulations. The individual or teacher training program must also submit relevant supporting documentation that will be verified by Yoga Alliance. Examples of supporting documentation to be provided include, depending on the underlying issue:
    • Written notice that any criminal sentences or probationary periods have been served, or other legal requirements have been met.
    • Documents (e.g. CE certificates, proof of attendance of an ethics/professional boundaries course) meeting requirements stipulated by Yoga Alliance.
  4. As deemed appropriate by Yoga Alliance, other conditions on re-establishment of eligibility for registration or on maintaining reestablished eligibility and registration may be imposed.

D. Responsibility for Notification of Address Changes

Registrants, those applying to register with Yoga Alliance or for YACEP status, and YACEPs are solely responsible for ensuring that their Yoga Alliance account includes their current mailing and email address. If an individual or teacher training program does not receive notice(s) from Yoga Alliance related to disciplinary review or action due to failure to notify Yoga Alliance in a timely manner of a change of address, that lack of notification shall not be considered as the basis for an appeal or reconsideration of any decision in the matter absent extraordinary circumstances.

REVIEW POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

I. Composition of the Yoga Alliance Review Committee

A. The members of the Review Committee shall consist of no fewer than three individuals selected by Yoga Alliance.

B. Yoga Alliance Review Committee members may not participate in discussions of, or vote on, any review in which the member has or has had a substantial personal or professional relationship with the individual or teacher training program seeking review.

II. Review Committee Notices

A. After receipt of a timely Request for Review, Yoga Alliance shall notify the individual or teacher training program in writing of the date by which the Review Committee will review the case.

B. The individual or teacher training program must submit to Yoga Alliance at least 21 days prior to the Review Committee meeting a detailed written statement of the basis for the appeal of the adverse decision and any relevant supporting documentation that the individual or teacher training program wishes the Review Committee to consider.

III. The Review Committee Record

A. The Review Committee shall consider the following, which shall constitute the Review Record, as applicable:

  1. The Notice of Adverse Decision received by the individual or teacher training program.
  2. Any materials considered by Yoga Alliance in reaching the Notice of Adverse Decision.
  3. Publicly available records relevant to the matter.
  4. The Request for Review and any supporting documentation submitted by the individual or teacher training program or prepared by Yoga Alliance staff.
  5. Any other relevant material, including correspondence with the individual or teacher training program, submissions by complainants, or materials from the Yoga Alliance record of the individual or teacher training program.
  6. A Review Summary, prepared by Yoga Alliance staff, which shall also be sent to the individual or teacher training program seeking review, at least 20 days prior to the Review Committee.
  7. If the individual or teacher training program makes supplemental written submissions in advance of the Review Committee meeting, those will be shared with the Review Committee and will be made part of the Review Record.

IV. Review Committee Meetings

The Review Committee may meet in-person or by telephone or live video conferencing. Yoga Alliance staff may attend and participate in the meeting but may not vote. The individual or teacher training program seeking review may not attend the meeting but must submit in writing any information or arguments that he or she or it wishes to be considered in advance of the Review Committee meeting.

After discussion, the Review Committee will reach a determination based on the Review Record before it, by majority vote of those members present, which, if any, action is appropriate under the circumstances. The Review Committee may affirm, modify, or reverse the Adverse Disciplinary Decision, in accordance with Yoga Alliance’s Disciplinary Policy and Procedures. The Review Committee may impose conditions on the individual or teacher training program such as the completion of continuing education, or refunding fees or tuition paid by students, in which case the Review Committee will also specify an alternative decision that shall become effective if the individual or teacher training program declines to accept the conditions within the specified timeframe.

V. Review Committee Notifications

The individual or teacher training program will be notified in writing of the Review Committee’s decision within 21 calendar days of the decision. If recommended by the Review Committee, the notification may also include an agreement to be signed by the individual or teacher training program and returned to Yoga Alliance as a condition of the decision. If the Review Committee determines that no adverse action should be taken, Yoga Alliance shall issue a written Notice of Review Committee Decision advising the individual or teacher training program that no adverse action shall be taken and the matter will be closed. If the Review Committee determines that a disciplinary action should be taken, such as a Letter of Censure or a revocation of eligibility or registration, Yoga Alliance shall issue a written Notice of Review Committee Decision to the individual or teacher training program. The written Notice of Review Committee Decision will describe (a) the basis for disciplinary action (b) the applicable section(s) of Yoga Alliance’s Code of Conduct, Sexual Misconduct Policy and/or Disciplinary Policy and Procedures, and (c) the disciplinary action taken in the matter.

The Notice of Review Committee Decision shall also inform the individual or teacher training program that after a final adverse disciplinary decision has been reached, Yoga Alliance may, as deemed appropriate, publicly disclose the disciplinary action and the underlying facts thereof, including reporting the outcome of the disciplinary action to interested parties and on Yoga Alliance’s website. Such reporting may include providing a copy of the final Decision Letter to the individual’s employer, the complainant(s), and other interested parties, including to individuals seeking information about the individual or teacher training program registration status, as solely determined by Yoga Alliance. The decision by the Review Committee shall become effective as of the date of the final Decision Letter.

VI. Submissions to Yoga Alliance

Whenever there is a requirement for a statement, request or other writing to be submitted to Yoga Alliance, such writing should be submitted by mail and/or email to the following address(es):

Yoga Alliance
1560 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 700
Arlington, VA
22209
grievance@yogaalliance.org

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