Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits gender discrimination in the context of education. Part of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX was passed on the momentum of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and guarantees college students and employees equal protections, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. While, in theory at least, Title IX only applies to higher education establishments that receive federal funding, in reality, this means its protections are ubiquitous, because nearly all universities in the country receive at least some money from the federal government.
Title IX and Intercollegiate Sports
Most people are only aware of Title IX from its application to intercollegiate sports. Under Title IX, all college athletes need to have the same access to funding, scholarships, and athletic programs. This means colleges need to provide female athletes similar opportunities as male athletes, or risk being in violation of Title IX.
Title IX and Sexual Misconduct
However, Title IX is not just confined to the world of college sports. It also applies to cases of sexual misconduct, violence, and harassment, as well as employment discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation.
Importantly, Title IX considers sexual misconduct a type of gender discrimination. Therefore, Title IX requires colleges and universities in the U.S. to handle allegations of sexual crimes from harassment to rape in a very serious manner. In some cases, schools can be legally required to investigate, punish, and even help the state to prosecute the wrongdoer. If they fail to uphold their responsibilities under the law, colleges could be found to be in violation of Title IX, and be stripped of some or all of their federal funding.
This puts schools facing an instance of sexual misconduct on their campus into a tricky position. On the one hand, they can lose a significant portion of their federal funding by not following the requirements of Title IX. On the other hand, turning on their student and acknowledging that a case of sexual misconduct happened on its campus is a publicity nightmare for them. Some schools have tried taking matters into their own hands, manipulating evidence and performing sham investigations to make sure they comply with Title IX and avoid losing funding, while still protecting their reputation.
Pittsburgh Title IX Attorney at the Lento Law Firm
Joseph D. Lento is a Title IX attorney who represents clients to uphold their rights under Title IX. This includes fighting for:
- Student defendants who have been accused of sexual misconduct or another crime that also violates their school's code of conduct, and
- School employees who have received a notification that their conduct violated Title IX.
These Title IX charges are tricky because powerful players who are involved have their own interests at heart, and you could find yourself paying the price. Having a skilled Title IX attorney who has represented clients in similar battles can make a huge difference if you want to protect your rights. Contact the Lento Law Firm online for the legal help you need.
The following links provide information regarding how individual Pittsburgh-area colleges and universities handle allegations of sexual assault and Title IX sexual misconduct against accused students (Pittsburgh Title IX campus disciplinary cases generally follow a similar process for both accused students and accused employees depending on the college or university involved):