Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
Title IX protects students and others involved in education around the country from sex and gender discrimination. Like most laws, Title IX’s rules would be nearly ineffective without proper administration and enforcement. Title IX enforcement happens at a few levels, starting with the institution’s role in enforcing Title IX compliance among staff and employees and ending with the government’s role in enforcing Title IX at educational institutions through the Department of Education and the courts. Title IX discrimination lawyer Andrew Shubin discusses how these Title IX laws are enforced across the country.
Title IX Enforcement in Schools
Every educational institution that receives federal funding is beholden to the rules of Title IX. It is up to these institutions to follow the rules and prevent discrimination “on the basis of sex.” To accomplish this, schools do a few things, including appointing a Title IX coordinator and creating their own procedures for reporting and investigating Title IX complaints.
Under Title IX, every educational institution that has to follow Title IX must appoint an employee as a “Title IX coordinator.” In smaller institutions, the Title IX coordinator might be a title applied to another employee, such as a guidance counselor or a senior teacher. In larger institutions like colleges and universities, the Title IX coordinator is often a specific position, usually filled by someone with a background in law or compliance. This coordinator is responsible for ensuring that policies at the school follow Title IX to prevent discrimination and future issues at the school.
The school must also create policies for how to report a Title IX issue and set up rules for what will happen next. This can be as simple as putting information in a student handbook or on the school’s website about whom to go to with a Title IX complaint, and these rules usually involve some steps or procedures that will be followed to investigate the claim and deal with the issue if the complaint is deemed credible.
Whenever you seek to file a Title IX complaint with your school or university, it is important to talk to a lawyer about your case. Your attorney can help you understand what other steps you must take beyond complaining to the school, and your lawyer can help you determine if there are financial damages or other relief you can seek by filing your complaint with the Department of Education or the courts.
Title IX Enforcement by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights
The government has its own procedures for enforcing Title IX as well. If the Department of Education left schools to police themselves, there would be no oversight or guarantees that the schools were properly enforcing Title IX, so the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) handles complaints from outside the school.
The OCR is responsible for investigating and vetting Title IX complaints and for ordering changes to the school’s policies to comply with Title IX. The OCR can also punish schools by fining them or requesting other relief and changes to stop discrimination and end future sex discrimination in high schools and colleges.
Filing a complaint with the Department of Education’s OCR is best done with the help of an experienced attorney. Many times, these complaints will do little to help the victim, though they may be an important part of filing your Title IX discrimination claim. In many cases, you may be better off filing your case in court where you can claim financial compensation, as discussed below. While the OCR may be able to help, having an attorney who specifically represents you and advocates for your best interests will help ensure that the system works for you instead of having your case caught up in government bureaucracy.
Title IX Enforcement in the Courts
Victims of Title IX sex and gender discrimination may also be able to sue in court to have their complaints addressed. These victims can often seek justice in the courts by getting financial compensation for harms they faced and having the court order injunctions or specific performance to make changes to prevent future discrimination.
Victims of institutional sexual assault and sexual harassment in school can often best seek justice through a lawsuit because it will allow them to seek monetary damages for the harm they suffered. If the school was responsible for allowing sexual assault or sexual harassment, it would have violated Title IX and might be liable to the victim for financial compensation. Other types of compensation might also be available for harassment or discrimination, such as expenses the student incurred because of the discrimination or wages an employee faced because of employment discrimination in education.
These lawsuits are best handled with the help of an experienced civil rights attorney. The Law Office of Andrew Shubin’s attorneys can help victims of sex-based discrimination file their cases in court to seek damages and other aid from the courts. Courts have broad powers to enforce the law with court orders and help get victims financial compensation, but you must prove your case before the court can do anything to help you. This means meeting certain evidentiary burdens to get preliminary injunctions or temporary restraining orders and even higher burdens to get damages or permanent changes.
Call Our Title IX Discrimination Lawyer for a Free Case Consultation
If you or a loved one faced Title IX sex discrimination in college, in high school, or at any other educational institution, contact our Title IX complaint and lawsuit attorney today. The Law Office of Andrew Shubin represents students and teachers in Title IX complaints and lawsuits, and we fight to get you justice for civil rights violations. For a free legal consultation, contact us today at (814) 826-3586.