Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
Title IX is the common name of a federal antidiscrimination law that prevents discrimination in education “on the basis of sex.” This law has wide-reaching application and can help many Pennsylvania students and others seek justice and compensation for discrimination.
Title IX commonly applies in girls’ and women’s sports, but it also applies to your ability to access scholarships, admission, coursework, and funding. Title IX also applies to many sexual assault cases. If you faced discrimination, filing a claim on your own can be difficult, and you should always work with a lawyer.
The Title IX lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin offer free case review, so contact us immediately at (814) 826-3586.
What Kinds of Discrimination Does Title IX Cover in Pennsylvania?
Title IX is part of a federal law, meaning that it applies across the country – including in Pennsylvania. While people generally think of Title IX as applying to discrimination in sports, it applies very broadly to any sort of discrimination “on the basis of sex” in nearly any educational institution that receives federal funding. The following are a few general categories of violation that our Title IX lawyers can help you file claims for:
If a school – whether at the college level or lower – discriminates during the admissions process, women and girls could be entitled to file a discrimination claim. Helping women and girls get into school was one of the primary purposes for which Title IX was created and cuts to the core purpose of the law.
Funding and Scholarship Discrimination
Denying a scholarship is often the same as denying admission in that both block the student’s ability to attend the school. If scholarships are distributed in a way that discriminates on the basis of sex, it could harm applicants in a very real way. Similarly, if programs and courses of study are not given equal access for women and girls to participate, that is also a clear violation of Title IX. The Department of Education’s website specifically mentions discrimination in STEM as a common violation.
Gender and Sexual Orientation Discrimination
Although the law has not been settled in this area, there are strong grounds to claim that Title IX also protects against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender. According to Biden administration rules, and referencing the logic used in other Supreme Court cases, discrimination based on gender, trans status, or sexual orientation is inherently discrimination “on the basis of sex” and should be considered a Title IX violation.
Sexual Assault, Harassment, and Abuse
Sexually harassing, assaulting, or abusing a student is inherently discrimination on the basis of sex. If an institution fails to protect students from these kinds of despicable behaviors, then the school could potentially be held responsible for a Title IX violation. This can include abuse by staff as well as sexual assault by students and faculty if the school’s policies and preventative measures were lacking.
Title IX helped create women’s and girls’ sports by ensuring that schools – both high schools and colleges – had comparable programs for girls’ and women’s athletics compared to their male counterparts. It also requires commensurate funding and promotion for college-level programs. All in all, this means that girls’ teams generally cannot be defunded and that women and girls should be allowed to play, especially considering the impact that high school athletics in Pennsylvania often have on future college prospects and scholarships.
Discrimination against pregnant students is also inherently discrimination based on sex. This kind of protection against discrimination should also extend to discrimination based on former pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or status as a parent as well as discrimination based on marital status. For example, the fact that a pregnant student is unmarried or sought an abortion should not be used against them with regard to admissions, school rules, or scholarship funding.
How Title IX is Enforced in Pennsylvania
Title IX enforcement comes in a few different forms. First, schools and other educational institutions (e.g., libraries and museums) are required to have a Title IX coordinator on staff that is responsible for compliance and for taking complaints about Title IX violations. The laws and the role of the coordinator should help ensure that institutions follow the rules from the outset, and many larger colleges and institutions have begun empowering these coordinators to affect strong enforcement.
If a school or other institution fails in its enforcement, you can seek redress in two ways. First, complaints can be filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s OCR (Office for Civil Rights). Second, victims of discrimination can be entitled to file a lawsuit against the institution – but they usually need to go through the channels in place through the OCR before a lawsuit can be authorized. Our attorneys can help guide you through the complicated process and get your cases filed in the appropriate places to help you seek compensation and enforcement.
Once a violation is reported, educational institutions are required to investigate and make changes to prevent further discrimination, as necessary. In many cases, monetary damages can also be won. However, institutions are not generally willing to make these changes and pay these damages on their own, and they often have strong public relations and legal teams in place to shut down claims – especially at large colleges. As such, you need an experienced attorney on your side who can fight for you and vindicate your rights.
Title IX in Private Schools in Pennsylvania
Many are under the assumption that if a school is a private school that it does not need to follow Title IX. On the contrary, any school that receives federal funding must follow Title IX , though there might be some exceptions for religious schools. Your attorney can help you determine whether your school is required to follow Title IX and whether what happened to you constitutes a violation.
Call Our Title IX Lawyers in Pennsylvania Today
If you faced sex discrimination in school, call (814) 826-3586 to speak with the Title IX attorneys today at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin and receive a free case evaluation.