A 2017 report from the U.S. Department of Education revealed that there were more than 200 allegations against colleges and universities for inadequately handling complaints relating to sexual assault. Schools are required to respond to complaints that involve sexually assault, harassment, and discrimination under Title IX guidelines that were established at the federal level.
Understanding Title IX
Originally implemented in 1972, Title IX laws prohibit many forms of sexually-based harassment and discrimination. Schools all designate members of the administration that maintain compliance and written guidelines. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is a primary agency that guides, monitors, and enforces these provisions. Schools that are not compliant risk losing eligibility for key federal funding.
Title IX addresses the conduct of students, faculty, staff, and volunteers at a college or university. It generally applies to university-related programming and events on and off of the campus. It includes those who are visiting the campus including vendors, independent contractors, and more. The individual that reports a potential violation is typically referred to as the Complainant and the accused party is deemed as the Respondent.
The Role of an Advisor
Parties involved in a Title IX matter are entitled to choose an advisor that will provide critical support and assistance. The advisor is typically limited to a passive role in hearings. They are not able to directly address the participants in hearings or speak on behalf of a party. Due to the potential ramifications, it is strongly advised that an attorney serves in this critical role.
Rights and Expectations
- That you will be treated with respect
- Receive a written summary of the allegations
- The ability to access the college or university's Title IX policies
- Confidentiality to the extent specified in written policies
- Prompt investigation and a hearing to answer the allegations
Colleges and universities have designated administrators or “boards” that hear allegations, issue rulings, and impose sanctions. The disciplinary authority may be different when the respondent is a staff or faculty member rather than a student. For example, at George Washington University in D.C., the authority in student matters in the Dean of Student Experience. For staff member respondents, the authority is the Vice President of Human Resources.
Potential Sanctions for Faculty Respondents
The sanctions that may be imposed will be specified in the college or university guidelines. Some of the common options include a written warning or reprimand, suspension, dismissal, and others. Those who have an adverse outcome can appeal the ruling within a designated period.
Benefits of Experienced Legal Counsel
A seasoned Title IX attorney can assist a professor, regardless of whether they have tenure. This assistance may be critical to avoid significant damage to your career. Your attorney will ensure that those investigating and hearing the complaint follow procedure and that your rights are protected. Depending on the circumstances, your attorney may consider negotiating an alternative resolution.
Attorney Defends Against Allegations of Violating Title IX in Washington, D.C.
Joseph D. Lento is a lawyer that has the experience needed to aggressively defend against accusations related to Title IX in Washington, D.C. He will independently review the evidence and circumstances to create a comprehensive defense strategy. You are encouraged to contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.
Washington, D.C., colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as a college professor's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- American University
- Catholic University of America
- Corcoran College of Art and Design
- Gallaudet University
- George Washington University
- Georgetown University
- Howard University
- Potomac College Washington
- Trinity Washington University
- University of the District of Columbia
- University of Phoenix - Washington DC Campus
Title IX violations and Title IX charges can upend a college professor's career and life if not defended against properly and as early as possible during the disciplinary process, and Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience passionately fighting for the future of his clients at universities and colleges throughout the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead, prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor to college professors facing disciplinary cases in Washington, D.C., and throughout the nation. Make certain your interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.