File A Complaint
How to Make a Complaint
Formal complaints are filed using the ethics complaint form. The IYNAUS Ethics Committee will acknowledge receipt of each complaint by an email from the IYNAUS Ethics Committee.
Whenever possible, the IYNAUS Ethics Committee will first seek an informal resolution by talking with the parties. This can facilitate a greater understanding of the dispute and allow the complainant to give the Ethics Committee a better sense of their concerns.
Anonymous Complaints Versus Signed Complaints
In an anonymous complaint, the Anonymous box is marked on the online ethics complaint form.
In a signed complaint, the Anonymous box is not marked.
Note: The Ethics Chair will share all complaints of a serious nature, whether signed or anonymous, with the IYNAUS President.
IYNAUS permits complaints to be filed anonymously: that is, without revealing the complainant's name to anyone other than the IYNAUS Ethics Chair and the IYNAUS President. Anonymous complaints will be permitted to proceed—and will be investigated and decided—if the accused CIYT does not need to know the identity of the complainant for their own defense.
The procedure for filing and investigating anonymous complaints is as follows:
- A complainant who desires anonymity, must check the Anonymous box on the ethics complaint form.
- After reviewing the complaint, the Ethics Committee will decide whether the accused may defend themselves against the complaint without knowing the name of the complainant, and therefore whether the complaint will be permitted to proceed anonymously:
- In a YES decision, the complaint will proceed anonymously.
- In a NO decision, the complainant will be advised that the complaint may not proceed anonymously. The complainant will have the option of withdrawing the complaint, with no disclosure of their identity, or having the complaint proceed as a signed complaint.
There may be situations in which members of the Ethics Committee other than the Chair need to know the identity of the complainant. In these cases, the complainant will be advised of this and given the option of withdrawing the complaint, with no disclosure of their identity.
In signed complaints, the identity of the complainant will be disclosed to the accused CIYT and all Ethics Committee members. Signed complaints are also disclosed to the IYNAUS President when filed, and information about the complaints may be shared with other members of the IYNAUS Executive Council on a need-to-know basis.
Ethics Committee members and any Executive Council members are required to maintain the confidentiality of information relating to signed complaints.
Mandatory Reporting for CIYTs
As stated in the Ethical Guidelines, a CIYT must notify the IYNAUS Ethics Chair within 14 days if:
- They have been told by a student that another CIYT has intentionally touched that student’s genitals, anus, or breast tissue in class, even if the student requested that the information be held in confidence, or otherwise not disclosed to the IYNAUS Ethics Chair.
- The CIYT witnessed such a sexual assault.
These reporting requirements are modeled on similar rules that apply to university faculty and staff under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Prohibition on Retaliation
Our ethical rules prohibit any CIYT from retaliating against any individual for filing a complaint against that CIYT or any other CIYT.
We define retaliation as doing or saying anything that adversely affects the reputation of the complainant, the employment of the complainant, or the privileges and relationships of the complainant. If the complainant demonstrates that they suffered any of these harms, it will be presumed that retaliation occurred, and the CIYT will be required to prove that it did not.
Investigations and Complaint Decisions
When there is no dispute about events and the complaint raises a question of policy, no factual investigation will be necessary, and the IYNAUS Executive Council may take steps to resolve the policy issue. However, in instances where facts are disputed, presentations of evidence or interviews of the parties involved may be necessary.
If a complaint cannot be resolved informally, a written decision may be prepared. Either party may appeal an Ethics Committee decision to the Executive Council.