Who Can File a Title IX Complaint or Lawsuit?

Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts

Victims of sex discrimination in education often face an uphill battle to seek justice for the harm they endured.  Sex discrimination can include not only funding differences or denied opportunities, but also many instances of sexual assault, sexual harassment, employment discrimination in education, and retaliation.  These Title IX rights allow victims to file complaints and lawsuits to seek justice and compensation for the discrimination they faced.  Title IX discrimination attorney Andrew Shubin discusses who can file a discrimination complaint or lawsuit under Title IX.

Does Title IX Cover College and High School Students?

Title IX is national legislation meant to protect everyone in education from sex discrimination.  This law is part of the Education Amendments of 1972.  This means that it applies nationally, covering any students or educators in qualifying programs and institutions.  It also covers both students who face sex discrimination in high school and students who face sex discrimination at colleges or universities.

For a program or institution to qualify for protection of its students under Title IX, it must receive federal funding.  Nearly every high school and college in the country receives federal funding of some kind.  Even most private schools and college receive some Department of Education funds; very few are funded by tuition and private donations alone.

Both students and school employees are covered by Title IX’s anti-discrimination rules.  This means that students can file claims based on discrimination they face in admissions, sports, policies, enforcement, institutional sexual assault, and other issues.  Employees at schools can also file claims for sex discrimination in their workplace, including claims for sexual harassment.

While Title IX is often associated with school sports, it does expand to any sex-based discrimination.  This means that any student, not just student-athletes, can file claims for Title IX violations.

Can Transgender Students File Title IX Complaints?

One of the biggest areas that Title IX has been used in the past several years is in protection and advocacy for trans students.  LGBTQ students have filed Title IX complaints against schools discriminating in gendered sports, bathroom access, changing room access, and harassment and bullying.

The specific protection guaranteed by Title IX is freedom from discrimination “on the basis of sex.”  This technically means that discrimination based on gender or gender presentation are not explicitly covered, but these types of discrimination are based on expectations and stereotypes about sex, so they do often relate back to discrimination “on the basis of sex” and can be claimed under Title IX.

Can Parents Make Title IX Complaints?

In most cases, Title IX covers the student.  This means that parents may not be able to make their own claims based on discrimination against them.  However, if they are working as an educator or volunteer, discrimination against a parent on the basis of sex should also be covered by Title IX.  This could help parents who were discriminated against as classroom volunteers, coaches, or other participants in educational or extracurricular programs.

Parents also have the power to file a claim on behalf of their children.  Students under 18 are primarily found in high school and primary school – although some students do start college as minors.  People under 18 might not be aware of their rights nor understand the violations that they’ve been subjected to, especially for very young children.  Because of this, parents can file claims on behalf of their minor children to advocate for them.  Our lawyers can help you and your child progress their claim and seek justice for the wrongs they suffered.

Some parents may see a violation in what their child experienced, but their child might disagree with their parent’s assessment.  In some cases, you may be able to file a claim for a Title IX violation on behalf of your child even if they disagree with you.  However, these cases are difficult to pursue because your child’s testimony would likely disagree with your claim, and the case might not progress very far.  Talk to a lawyer about whether filing a claim is possible or appropriate in these kinds of situations.

Can You File a Title IX Claim for Retaliation?

One way you can file a Title IX claim or lawsuit is if you were retaliated against for bringing a Title IX violation to light.  If you made a previous Title IX claim, whether you worked with an attorney or filed the claim on your own, the school or institution might not be happy about that.  The board members or directors of the institution could have taken that complaint personally, and they may seek to retaliate against you or your child for the complaint.

This is strictly prohibited, and you can file a claim for retaliation as well as an initial violation.  Many Title IX claims are filed by whistleblowers, whose right to stand up for themselves and point out discrimination is protected under Title IX and other legislation.  Whether the initial complaint was one of sex discrimination, gender discrimination, or employment discrimination at an educational institution, you can file a claim for any official retaliation you faced from the school, college, or institution.

Call Our Title IX Sex Discrimination Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation

If you or your child faced sex or gender discrimination in high school, college, or another educational institution, or while working at a school or educational institution, you may be entitled to file a Title IX lawsuit.  Students and employees at educational institutions deserve to be free of sex and gender discrimination, and The Law Office of Andrew Shubin seeks to help enforce that right.  Call our civil rights attorney for a free consultation on your potential case.  Our number is (814) 826-3586.


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