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Bikram Choudhury Sued For ‘Wrongful Termination’ After Alleged Shady Business

in Business of Yoga, YD News
image credit: AP/Reed Saxon

image credit: AP/Reed Saxon

Another former employee sues Bikram Choudhury. This is becoming a broken record and one that needs changing.

The latest lawsuit against Choudhury and Bikram Yoga alleges a former teacher-training recruiter was fired for being pregnant, and perhaps more glaringly, for not playing along with what was an allegedly super shady way of doing business.

Sharon Clerkin filed the lawsuit last Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Starting out as a Bikram Yoga teacher, Clerkin moved on to become an employee of the Bikram industrial complex as a teacher-training recruiter and coordinator from 2010 until she was fired in August, the suit says. As part of her job, Clerkin would scout for trainees and help register them. According to the suit, she seemed pretty good at it, having increased registrants from 300 to 400 until…the onslaught of rape suits against Choudhury caused numbers to drop.

The suit states that Clerkin was asked to mislead registrants for the fall 2014 Atlantic City training when it was suddenly canceled, then not, then changed venues, then didn’t.

Clerkin managed the registration for teacher training sessions originally scheduled to take place in the fall of 2014 at an Atlantic City hotel, the suit states. The training was sold at the rates of $12,500 for a shared room and $16,600 for a single room, according to the complaint.

But six weeks before the training was set to start, Choudhury’s assistant, Monica Shigenaga, told Clerkin that it was being cancelled even though 36 people had paid their fees, the suit states.

The next day, Choudhury changed his mind and decided to move the training to an unspecified location in California, the suit states.

“Shigenaga further instructed plaintiff to keep the change in venue secret and to continue collecting money from prospective students for the Atlantic City location,” according to the lawsuit.

Clerkin asked Shigenaga whether the registrants should be compensated for their flight tickets to Atlantic City, but Shigenaga told her to “mind your own business,” the suit alleges.

Clerkin continued processing prospective registrations for the training, but refused to take payments until a decision was made about the location of the session, the suit states.

Fast forward to this past summer, Clerkin learned she was pregnant and took days off per her doctor’s orders, the suit states. When she returned to work she found she had been replaced.

Choudhury allegedly told her: “You’re a failure. I should have fired you two years ago. You’re not selling the teacher training,” it says in the suit.

She was fired along with her husband who was also employed by Bikram Yoga. According to the complaint, Choudhury told Shigenaga to call the police to have the two escorted off the premises.

The record can only spin so long before it breaks.

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