Title IX Advisor for College Employees in Oklahoma

Title IX accusations carry some of the most serious consequences of any campus misconduct allegation. Oklahoma college employees who've been notified of an investigation pending against them need to act fast, and begin mounting their defense immediately. Even if you think the accusations are false, or are the result of miscommunication, you still need to take the investigation seriously.

Title IX investigations concern cases involving sexual assault or sexual discrimination. While sexual misconduct is a serious issue that needs to be addressed, today's political climate can result in unfair biases against the accused. Title IX defense attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento believes you deserve to defend yourself against Title IX allegations in Oklahoma.

What is Title IX?

Title IX is a federal law that makes up part of the Education Amendments of 1972. Though the law has been around for half a century, its application often changes when new political administrations take over in the Whitehouse. It's important to understand how new Title IX rules might affect you at any given time.

Despite rule changes, the primary purpose of Title IX has always been to curtail discrimination on the basis of sex in schools that receive federal funding. Pursuant to Section 86.31 of Title IX:

  • “No person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other education program or activity operated by a recipient which receives Federal financial assistance.”

Specific prohibitions also set out in the law include:

  • Treating someone differently on the basis of sex.
  • Making a financial aid decision on the basis of sex.
  • Applying different rules or punishments on the basis of sex.
  • Aiding or perpetuating “discrimination against any person by providing significant assistance to any agency, organization, or person which discriminates on the basis of sex in providing any aid, benefit or service to students or employees.”
  • Limiting any persons “enjoyment of any right, privilege, advantage, or opportunity” on the basis of sex.

To summarize, the prohibitions essentially bar any employee from discriminating on the basis of sex, including committing acts that constitute sexual assault, harassment, or violence. The law also goes a step further and imposes a reporting mandate on college employees.

How Title IX Impacts Oklahoma College Employees

All public colleges in Oklahoma must comply with Title IX. For example, the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University are both subject to Title IX laws and must have dedicated Title IX Offices. Employees at Oklahoma colleges must avoid discriminating on the basis of sex, and they should also adhere to strict reporting mandates. Violation of either requirement can trigger a Title IX investigation.

OU provides the following in regard to reporting requirements:

  • “When a University employee, with the exception of those designated confidential*, becomes aware of an alleged act of sexual assault, stalking, dating or domestic violence, sexual harassment, or gender discrimination, the employee must promptly share the information with the Institutional Equity Office…”

Importantly, certain employees are classified as “designated confidential,” and they have different reporting obligations. The university classifies the following employees as designated confidential:

  • OU Advocates
  • Counselors
  • Clergy
  • Attorneys
  • Physicians

OSU sets out its Title IX policy and describes the following as examples of behavior that constitute sexual harassment:

  • “Inappropriate touching, patting, or pinching.”
  • “Physical assault or coerced sexual activity.”
  • “Demands or subtle pressure for sexual favors.”
  • “Obscene phone calls, texts, email, or gestures.”

Does Title IX Apply to Employees at Private Colleges in Oklahoma?

Many private schools receive federal funding to some degree, making them subject to Title IX. The University of Tulsa, for example, is a private school that imposes Title IX rules.

If a private school doesn't receive federal funding, it doesn't have to adhere to Title IX, but it's likely to have policies in place that mirror the federal statute.

What to Expect During a Title IX Investigation

At Oklahoma schools that adhere to Title IX, or those schools that have policies mirroring Title IX, the complaint and investigation process will be similar. Every person's experience is unique, but in large part, you can expect the following process:

  • Complaint— A formal complaint will be made against the accused, which will trigger the Title IX investigation process.
  • Notice—The accused will receive formal notice of the complaint made against them, which will name their accuser and provide instructions for their timeline to respond.
  • Investigation—If the complaint has legs, a formal investigation will be initiated. This can take several weeks. The investigatory office will examine evidence, like communications or corroborating witness reports.
  • Hearing—When the investigation ends, you may be required to attend a formal hearing. At the hearing, you'll have an opportunity to present your side of the story, and you can also present your own witness testimony or evidence of communications that absolve you of the accusations.
  • Sanctions—If the allegations against you are proven true in the eyes of the hearing committee, then sanctions will be levied against you. Due to the very serious nature of Title IX cases, sanctions will most often be termination of employment.
  • Appeal—Those who are facing sanctions after a Title IX investigation and hearing can appeal the hearing's decision or the sanctions against them. The time to file an appeal is short, and strategic preparation is required.

How An Experienced Title IX Attorney-Advisor Can Help You Defend Your Title IX Case in Oklahoma

Those accused of Title IX violations might lose their jobs and face difficulty securing employment in the future. They're reputations are also at stake. The long term impacts of Title IX investigations are severe and if you've been accused of violating Title IX, you should call the Lento Law Firm right away. Mr. Lento and his experienced team will tirelessly advocate for you while guiding you through the difficult investigation process. To learn more, call 888.535.3686 today or contact us online.

Contact Us Today!

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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