Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
Students and educators across the country are protected from sex-based discrimination in education by a piece of legislation called Title IX. This law guarantees that schools and other educational institutions that receive federal funding cannot discriminate “on the basis of sex” regarding funding, opportunities, or equal treatment. If an institution does violate your rights, you typically have the right to report their behavior to the government, but you also have a right to a private cause of action. These Title IX lawsuits are often complex. Title IX violation lawyer Andrew Shubin explains what you can sue for under Title IX.
Who is Protected Under Title IX?
Title IX was created to protect against sex discrimination in education. This law applies to any institution that receives federal education funding. That means Title IX covers sex discrimination in high schools and colleges, both public and private, as well as museums, libraries, and other educational institutions. Nearly all private schools and colleges receive federal funds of some kind, so they are usually covered by Title IX even if they are private or parochial institutions.
Sex and gender discrimination against students is most heavily felt by girls and women, but the protections in Title IX apply to all students and many educators as well. This law was introduced to help girls and women get equal opportunities that they were traditionally denied in education, such as equal access to educational programs, opportunities, sports teams, and funding. However, discrimination “on the basis of sex” can happen to anyone; many male students may also take advantage of Title IX’s protections if they are being unfairly discriminated against or sexually mistreated at school. Moreover, these protections often work to help trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming students from sex-based discrimination at school.
School employees are also protected under Title IX. Many issues dealing with sex discrimination in the workplace can typically be filed as Title VII complaints and lawsuits under legislation aimed generally at workplace sex discrimination. However, Title IX often helps teachers, principals, school staff, and other educators, fight sex discrimination at work.
Common Reasons for Title IX Lawsuits
Title IX is broad-reaching, and it applies to any issues of sex discrimination related to education or committed by a school or educational institution. This would squarely apply to outright discrimination against male or female students that prevents them from having equal access to education at their schools. However, most issues of sex discrimination in education are far more subtle and come in a few general areas of complaints and lawsuits.
Title IX Issues in School Sports
Student-athletes are one of the main groups that Title IX works to protect. Athletes are expected to have opportunities to play sports for their school regardless of gender. If a school provides a boy’s or men’s team for sports commonly played by both genders, such as basketball, soccer, or track, they must also provide a girl’s or women’s team as well (or vice versa if the school only provides a girl’s or women’s team). If this is not feasible, schools are generally required to provide similar, alternate sports teams for the other gender, such as similar teams for men’s baseball and women’s softball. When providing sports for both men and women, schools must also promote and fund each gender’s team similarly or else risk violating Title IX. If alternate sports are not available, schools may be required to allow mixed-sex teams (such as allowing a female student to play kicker on a boy’s football team). Talk to a lawyer for more details on how these rules might protect you or your child from sex discrimination in student athletics.
Equal Access to Gendered Education Programs
Some schools might take steps to create separate classes for boys and girls or men and women, often for classes or subjects dealing with health issues, men’s and women’s issues, spirituality and religious roles, or other issues where sex or gender might be related to the class. In most cases, schools are required to supply co-ed options for these kinds of programs or provide substantially similar opportunities for the excluded sex. These rules typically do not apply to single-sex schools, although organizations that run single-sex schools for both genders might also be required to provide similar funding, programs, and opportunities at both schools. This is common for churches or organizations that operate both an all-boys and an all-girls school.
Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Prevention
Harassment and bullying based on sex or gender can violate Title IX. Especially if the institution or its employees permit, condone, or participate in the harassment, the school may be liable for the harm the harassment causes. Many issues of institutional sexual assault committed by employees or condoned by negligent or discriminatory policies can also lead to Title IX violations. These kinds of issues are common on college campuses, where policies and programs may fail to prevent sexual assaults.
Discriminatory Policies and Enforcement
Any school policies that unfairly discriminate based on sex or gender could potentially lead to Title IX lawsuits from students affected by these rules. This could apply to policies denying trans students the right to use the bathroom of their gender, discriminatory dress codes, discriminatory housing policies on campus, or other types of sex discrimination. If the policy itself is not facially discriminatory, it may still be enforced in a sexist or discriminatory manner, such as if a gender-neutral policy is only used to punish female students in practice.
Call Our Title IX Lawyer for Help with Your Discrimination Lawsuit
If you are a student or the parent of a student who faced discrimination because of their sex, gender, or gender presentation, talk to an attorney today. The Law Offices of Andrew Shubin’s civil rights lawyer represents victims of sex discrimination and fights to file complaints on their behalf and get them compensation for the harms they faced. For help with your case, contact our law office today at (814) 826-3586.