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OCR Blog Offers Additional Insight on New Title IX Rule Requirements

As you are all well aware by now, the U.S. Department of Education recently issued its final Title IX regulations. While we continue to wade through the over 2,000-page document issued by the ED (consisting of the new regulations and the preamble commentary), OCR provided some additional guidance on its blog regarding the requirement to post Title IX information on school websites under the new regulations. Specifically, the new regulations require schools to post the following on their websites…

U.S. Department of Education Issues Long-Awaited Final Title IX Regulations On Sexual Harassment

The U.S. Department of Education has issued its long-awaited final Title IX regulations (“Final Rule”), providing guidance to schools, colleges and universities. In particular, the Final Rule clarifies Title IX protections for both students and employees by, among other things, increasing posting requirements, making Title IX Coordinators more accessible, defining sexual harassment, implementing a “deliberately indifferent” standard for purposes of enforcement, requiring that postsecondary institutions have “actual knowledge” of sexual harassment, and modifying due process requirements. These protections conceivably bolster the rights of those accused of sexual harassment, as opposed to victims.

9 for IX: Nine Essential Questions Answered About the New Title IX

As we discussed in our blog post on May 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education issued on that day its long-awaited Title IX regulations, raising panic and concern amongst stakeholders on every part of the Title IX spectrum. Our Title IX Insights blog team provided some initial thoughts on the new regulations during a webinar on May 11; you can watch the recording here.

Department of Education Releases Long-Awaited Final Rule Amending Title IX Regulations

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has released its long-awaited, final amendments to Title IX regulations on how colleges and universities must handle allegations of sexual misconduct. The new regulatory requirements go into effect on August 14, 2020.

They’re Finally Here: U.S. Department of Education Issues Title IX Regulations

After almost one-and-a-half years since issuing its original proposed rule, the U.S. Department of Education has issued final Title IX regulations effective August 14, 2020. Although analyzing the changes will take some time, what follows is a brief initial summary of some of the main changes in the final rule. Please join us for a complimentary webinar breaking down the new rule on Monday, May 11, 2020, at 11:30 a.m. We will be working on providing you more insights, as well, in the coming days.

Lemons into Lemonade: 4 Coronavirus Shutdown Tasks to Prepare for Title IX Rules

Originally posted on our Title IX Insights Blog Despite efforts by schools and advocacy organizations, state attorneys general, and members of Congress and the Senate, the Department of Education’s proposed Title IX rules reportedly have cleared Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review and sources say that the final rules are coming—soon. […]

Attorneys General, Lawmakers, Higher Education Groups Urge Delaying Proposed Title IX Regulations

State attorneys general, lawmakers, and higher education industry groups have been urging the Department of Education to delay issuing the final regulations on how colleges and universities must handle allegations of sexual misconduct under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 (Title IX) in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

University’s Handling of Students’ Pre-Assault Complaints of Sexual Misconduct Open to Title IX Claim

Three female former students who allegedly were sexually assaulted while undergraduates may sue their school for a policy of indifference to reports of sexual misconduct under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal appeals court in San Francisco has ruled. Karasek v. Regents of the Univ. of California, No. 18-15841 (9th Cir. Jan. 30, 2020).

Jail Time for Responsible Employees Under Title IX? In Texas, Maybe

We all know how important it is for responsible employees in educational institutions to report up the chain when they learn of sexual misconduct against a student. But the stakes for noncompliance just grew in Texas, where lawmakers recently passed legislation allowing jail time in addition to institutional penalties for responsible employees who fail to report as required by law. It seems like a good reason for a refresher on the rules for responsible employees and some tips for how to foster compliance at your institution, don’t you think?

House Seeks to Block Proposed Amendments to Title IX Regulations

Four congresspersons have introduced legislation in the House of Representatives aiming to block the Department of Education’s proposed amendments to the Title IX regulations on how colleges and universities must handle allegations of sexual misconduct from taking effect.

Title IX Alert Fall 2019

To assist collegiate sports administrators in assessing emerging Title IX issues, we are pleased to provide the fall 2019 issue of the Title IX Alert. This publication highlights topical issues such as proposed regulations, coaching obligations, and prominent court cases, among others.

Circuit Split on Student’s Due Process Right to Cross-Examination in Title IX Matters

Constitutional due process does not mean a student accused of assault has the right to directly cross-examine his accuser in adjudications under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 at state institutions of higher education, the federal appeals court in Boston has held. Haidak v. University of Massachusetts-Amherst, No. 18-1248 (1st Cir. Aug. 6, 2019).

State Legislators React to Proposed Federal Title IX Regulations with State Law Proposals

While college, universities and educational professionals await the Department of Education’s (DOE) proposed new Title IX regulations, which will dictate a revised process by which allegations of sexual misconduct must be handled, the state legislatures in Missouri and Arizona are currently considering legislation that would adopt many of Secretary DeVos’s anticipated regulatory modifications.

Remembering Dr. Bernice Sandler, Champion of Title IX

Dr. Bernice Sandler, a prominent activist for gender equality, passed away on January 5, 2019, at the age of 90. Dr. Sandler is well known for her efforts to increase gender equality in education. She was also a vital figure in the development and implementation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

U.S. Department of Education Issues Proposed Rules on Title IX

On November 16, 2018, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) published proposed rules, which “clarify and modify Title IX regulatory requirements” for colleges and universities that receive federal funding. This alert, written by HRW's Higher Education Team, describes the key terms and requirements of the proposed rules.

Department of Education Unveils Proposed Title IX Regulations

On Friday, November 16, 2018, the Department of Education (DOE) released proposed Title IX regulations dictating the process by which colleges and universities must handle allegations of sexual misconduct.

Department of Education has Drafted Long-Awaited Title IX Regulations on Sexual Misconduct

The Department of Education (DOE) reportedly has drafted proposed Title IX regulations on sexual misconduct on college and university campuses. Although the Department has yet to officially publish the proposed regulations, on August 29, 2018, The New York Times reported on the unofficial draft. The draft, which subsequently began to circulate on the internet, provides a preview of what the official proposed regulations may include.

Sixth Circuit Provides Expansive Due Process Rights in Title IX Cases

In a recent ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that in conducting Title IX investigations, colleges and universities are required to provide parties an opportunity to cross-examine witnesses in the presence of a neutral fact-finder in cases hinging on the credibility of such witnesses. Doe v. Baum, et al., Case No. 17-2213 (6th Cir. Sept. 7, 2018). By affirming that these rights apply in Title IX cases, the Doe decision calls into question the single-investigator model used by many educational institutions and suggests that institutions subject to Title IX in the Sixth Circuit may need to reconsider their Title IX policies and procedures in light of this ruling.

Sixth Circuit Clarifies Discrimination Pleading Burden and Liability Related to Title IX Sexual Misconduct Investigations

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit's recent decision in Doe v. Miami University, No. 17-3396, 2018 WL 797451 (6th Cir. Feb. 9, 2018), provides both comfort and caution for universities facing claims of discrimination or bias in the conduct of their disciplinary proceedings relating to sexual misconduct.

DOE Rescinds Prior Guidance on Title IX and Sexual Violence, Issues Interim Advice on Campus Sexual Misconduct

On September 22, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) rescinded its April 4, 2011 Dear Colleague Letter regarding sexual assault and its April 29, 2014 Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence.1 This is the fourth time the DOE has rescinded guidance regarding Title IX in 2017.2

The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights Withdraws 2011 “Dear Colleague” Letter and 2014 Q&A on Title IX and Sexual Violence.

On Friday, U.S. Department of Education’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Candice Jackson, withdrew the “Dear Colleague Letter on Sexual Violence,” dated April 4, 2011, and the “Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence,” dated April 29, 2014.

U.S. Department of Education Issues New Interim Guidance on Title IX, With New Regulations for Handling Sexual Misconduct Expected to Follow

On September 22, 2017, the United States Department of Education issued new interim guidance applicable to colleges, universities, and school districts pertaining to Title IX and the process for handling allegations of sexual misconduct. This follows United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ earlier indication that the Department of Education would be rescinding the Obama-era Title IX guidance in favor of developing new regulations on the subject after accepting comments from the public. The new interim document, in the form of a “Q&A on Campus Sexual Misconduct,” takes effect immediately, but does not affect any existing resolution agreements between schools and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

The Department of Education Withdraws Obama-Era Title IX Guidance, Issues Interim Q&A

On Friday, September 22, 2017, when the Trump administration announced that it was rescinding Obama-era Title IX sexual assault guidance and issuing a new question and answer document while undertaking a formal review, most assumed it meant the previous Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence issued by the U.S. Department of Education on April 29, 2014, had been rescinded. However, many hoped the April 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter (DCL), which set forth requirements that schools investigate and address sexual assault and sexual misconduct, would at least survive in part. However, except for provisions enshrined in the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act), as amended, the press release issued by the Department of Education made it clear that both the April 2014 guidance and the April 2011 DCL had been withdrawn. The press release stated that the department will instead rely on its 2001 Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance, as well as the DCL on Sexual Harassment issued on January 25, 2006.

Plans to ‘Reframe’ Title IX Enforcement Announced

The Trump Administration believes that Obama-era guidance regarding sexual assault on college campuses created a “failed system” that was a “disservice to everyone involved,” Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said on September 7, 2017. According to DeVos, “There must be a better way forward.”

Title IX Update - May 2017

Candice Jackson has been named Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office for Civil Rights. Jackson will also serve as Acting Assistant Secretary until that position is filled.

Title IX Update - April 2017

In late February, the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) entered into a Resolution Agreement with the University of Alaska System related to a compliance review initiated by OCR to investigate the System’s handling of sexual harassment complaints. The OCR determined that the System, which includes its three largest hubs – University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and University of Alaska Southeast and their satellite campuses, was in violation of Title IX with regard to its responses to sexual harassment complaints. Of particular note, the terms of the Resolution Agreement include a requirement for the System to designate a senior Title IX administrator, in addition to the Title IX coordinators at each university, to oversee System-wide compliance with the requirements of Title IX.

Third Circuit Permits Teaching Hospital Resident to Bring Retaliation Suit under Title IX

For the first time, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals found that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681, et seq., applies to medical residency programs.1

School District Faces Government Sanctions under Title IX for Denying Transgender Female Student Access to Locker Rooms

An Illinois school district has violated anti-discrimination laws by not allowing a transgender student who identifies as female and is on her high school’s girls’ sports team to change and shower in the girls’ locker room, the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) has held.

Coach Wins Stunning Verdict In Title IX Retaliation Case.

A former women's volleyball coach at Fresno State University was awarded what is believed to be the largest ever jury award in a Title IX retaliation case, receiving over $5.8 million dollars – almost $2 million more than her lawyers had even asked for. This case is a startling reminder to all educational institutions of the importance of compliance with Title IX, and more importantly, highlights some pitfalls that can lead to such a large verdict. Vivas v. Fresno State University.

Title IX: Beyond Athletics.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is best known in the realm of college athletics – it requires that women be provided an equal opportunity with men to play sports; that female athletes receive athletic scholarship dollars proportional to their participation in athletics; and, that there be equitable quality of men's and women's athletic programs.
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