EPS Complaint Procedure for Sikh Dharma International Ministers or Sikh Dharma International Entities (SDI, Sikhnet, SDEI)
- Any complaints received by the staff or Board Members of the Office of the Secretary of Religion, SDI, Sikhnet, SDEI, regarding an ordained SDI Minister or any of our Legacy entities will be directed to the Office of Ethics & Professional Standards & Conscious Conflict Resolution (EPS) within 5 business days. If EPS receives a Complaint directly, EPS will notify the Chancellor, CEO of SDI, and the Secretary of Religion, that a Complaint has been received within 5 business days. All communications are with the understanding that the Complaint is confidential. SSSC Board to be notified as needed/required.
- The CEO of SDI will inform the SDI Board only if there is a possible threat of legal action against SDI.) EPS will also update CEO SDI at any time this is recommended by the legal team. The Secretary of Religion will be in kept informed and offer her advice throughout the Complaint Procedure. (????? Does this need to be part of the process? Or should it be part of both processes?)
- EPS shall require the complaint to be written and signed. (Form will be provided by EPS.) If the complainant has not received confirmation of receipt of Complaint Form within 72 hours, please contact EPS.
- Within 5 business days, of receipt of a signed Complaint, EPS will send the Complaint to the SDI Minister in question (?????or the Sikh Dharma Entity) by email. (EPS will attempt to contact the SDI Minister first by telephone so he or she can prepare to receive the Complaint.) The SDI Minister will confirm receipt of the Complaint within 72 hours. The SDI Minister must send a written, signed Response with 10 business days from the date of receipt of the Complaint. This Response will be made available to the complainant. (Please use the Response Form posted here and add any extra sheets you may need.)
- SDI Ministers shall not have contact with the complainant. Such contact will result in discipline.
- If the SDI Minister does not reply in writing within 10 business days, EPS will send a Letter of Warning giving them an additional 10 business days to respond. If the SDI Minister does not respond within the additional 10 business days, EPS will send a Notice to Take Action. If the SDI Minister still does not reply within 5 business days, he or she will immediately be put on Involuntary Inactive Status. Involuntary Inactive Status means the Minister cannot act in the capacity of a Sikh Dharma International Minister. The Minister would not be able to perform weddings, attend Khalsa Council, provide ministerial counseling, give recommendations or any other ministerial duties. This would remain in effect until the SDI Minister is willing to participate in the Complaint Procedure and the Complaint Procedure is complete.
- EPS will send the written Response from the SDI Minister to the Complainant within 5 business days of receipt. However, if EPS determines the Response is inflammatory or would harm the Complainant, then EPS may discuss the Response, but not send it. If the Complainant then responds with additional information, that would be sent to the Minister for an additional Response. EPS would ask the Complainant what course of action he or she would recommend be taken. EPS would clearly let the Complainant know that this recommendation would be brought to the EPS Committee/Panj to be included in the review, but the Committee/Panj would be making a Decision independent of this recommendation.
- After receiving the Response from the SDI Minister in question, EPS (and/or possibly members of the EPS Committee or EPS Assistant) would interview persons with information directly related to the Complaint, possibly including the SDI Minister and the Complainant. The EPS Committee may request a face to face interview with the SDI Minister.
- All information gathered would be brought to the EPS Committee/Panj to review and make a Decision, as to what actions, if any, will be taken to remedy the situation. The final Decision lies with EPS. This would usually take place within 60 days depending on the scope of the investigation. If there is an exceptional situation, all parties will be informed.
- EPS will communicate the Decision in writing to the SDI Minister, the Complainant and the Secretary of Religion and the CEO of SDI or their representatives. (And SSSC as needed/required.)
- The SDI Minister or Complainant may appeal the Decision solely on the basis that the discipline imposed was not fair or in alignment with SDI core values and such appeal would be sent in writing to EPS within 30 days of receiving the Decision. EPS will submit the Appeal to the Appeals Panel.
- In the case of criminal charges or other serious circumstances that would constitute a violation in the Code of Ethics& Professional Standards of a Sikh Dharma International Minister in conduct involving a person who is being ministered to, EPS may automatically put the Minister on Involuntary Inactive Status pending the conclusion of criminal proceedings.
- In the case of a SDI Minister resigning before the completion of a Complaint Procedure , the SDI Minister is terminated and they cannot reapply.
In order to maintain the integrity of the Complaint Procedure, EPS does not entertain Counter Complaints against the Complainant, EPS, or any of the Yogi Bhajan Legacy Organizations.
To File a Complaint, please click HERE.
If you have any questions about the Complaint Procedure or Appeals Process, kindly contact Guruka Kaur at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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