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Final Title IX Regulations Adopt Sweeping Changes for Handling Sexual Harassment Claims at Institutions of Higher Education

On May 6, 2020, the Department of Education (DOE) issued its Final Rule adopting amended regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX).1 The Final Rule enacts sweeping changes to Title IX regulations, much of which was previewed in the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) the DOE issued in November 2018. The adoption of the Final Rule marks the completion of the current administration’s decision, announced in September 2017, to rely on formal rule-making rather than the Title IX guidance the DOE issued during prior administrations, including the withdrawn 2011 Dear Colleague Letter and the withdrawn 2014 Q&A.2 The changes reflected in the Final Rule will require recipients of federal funds covered by Title IX, including institutions of higher education (IHEs), to reexamine their Title IX programs to ensure compliance with the new regulations.

Third Circuit Finds Title IX Provides a Remedy for Sex Discrimination in Fully Funded Educational Institutions

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has again created a circuit split by disagreeing with decisions from the Fifth and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, which have held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides the exclusive remedy for employees alleging discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded educational institutions. In Doe v. Mercy Catholic Medical Center, No. 16-1247 (March 7, 2017), the Third Circuit held that Title IX provides an alternative remedy to address such claims of discrimination.
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