Utah colleges and universities are taking sexual misconduct very seriously. Under Title IX, these schools need to meet specific requirements as they respond to any sexual misconduct allegations.
For college employees who face false accusations of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other inappropriate behavior, this can result in a complex and stressful series of disciplinary events. Ultimately, your school could terminate your position (or, if you're a student employee, your degree could be in jeopardy).
Working with an experienced Title IX advisor can make navigating your school's due process a lot easier and, likely, more successful.
Reach out to Utah Title IX advisor Joseph D. Lento today to protect your reputation and your career.
What Is Title IX in Utah?
Title IX is a federal civil rights law — one of the Education Amendments of 1972 — that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in American universities that accept funding from the government.
Over time, Title IX's oversight has grown to encompass actions other than strict sex-based discrimination. Title IX prohibits:
- Dating or domestic violence
- Sexual assault
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual discrimination
Title IX applies to all employees and students at eligible United States institutions. This includes student employees (such as Resident or Teaching assistants) as well as coaches, administrative staff, and professors.
Notably, this applies to both public schools and private schools. Even if your Utah school does not actively receive any federal funding, it will likely want to remain eligible for this support.
Although there are federal regulations governing the way that schools respond to Title IX allegations, the specific processes every school follows may differ slightly. More than that, Title IX itself tends to receive updates or new interpretations on a regular basis. Figuring out how to handle Title IX processes, particularly as the subject of an investigation, can be very complex.
Partnering with a Title IX defense advisor will be the best way to leverage detailed, up-to-date information about Title IX regulations and the way your Utah school will handle them.
What Is a Typical Title IX Timeline in Utah?
Every Utah school will have its own procedures, but there are some events you can expect in any set of Title IX or sexual misconduct proceedings. We'll use the University of Utah's documentation as a model to discuss what happens after Title IX allegations.
Your school's processes will begin after someone makes an allegation against you. Your school's Title IX coordinator will receive this information and, if appropriate, initiate proceedings. Events that occur after this may include:
- Receipt of a notification from your school. The Title IX coordinator at your school will give you information about your alleged actions, your school's disciplinary procedures, and the sanctions you could face. (If you have not already reached out to a Title IX advisor, this is an excellent time to do so.)
- Your school's investigation. After the Title IX coordinator decides to move forward with your case, your school will take some time to learn what happened. This may entail meeting with an investigator. Your school will also review all evidence related to the alleged event.
- A Title IX hearing. Your school's disciplinary process will culminate in a Title IX hearing, at which a panel of representatives from your school will review your case and come to a decision regarding your responsibility. At the end of this hearing, your school will also issue a recommendation for sanctions.
Can I Appeal a Title IX Disciplinary Recommendation as a Utah College or University Employee?
In most cases, you will have two primary avenues for relief as the employee at the center of a Title IX investigation.
First, you may be able to appeal. Within a brief window after your school's hearing determination, you can file a persuasive argument with your school's administration. Generally, this is an option if you have a clear rationale for an appeal. For example, your school may reconsider your sanction if you can demonstrate that new evidence has come to light or if you (and your Title IX advisor) can show that your school made a mistake during your hearing.
Your other option is to have your Title IX defense advisor speak directly to your school's office of general counsel on your behalf. This lawyer-to-lawyer conversation often results in workable compromises when a school's more formal processes have finished without the result you seek.
In either case, working with an expert Title IX advisor will be essential for your success.
Facing a Title IX Investigation in Utah? Contact an Experienced Title IX Advisor
Title IX investigations tend to be tough on a university employee's career — which is putting it lightly.
After association with a Title IX allegation, your Utah university could decide to terminate you. Leaving your university would hardly solve your problem: Your Title IX allegations will likely follow you from job application to job application for years, making it much more difficult than necessary to pursue employment in your field.
And, if you're a student-employee facing Title IX allegations, the stakes could be even higher. You could be both fired and suspended, which would harm your academic, professional, and even personal reputation.
It's critical that you work as early as possible to make sure that you can avoid the steep consequences often associated with a Title IX investigation.
Fortunately, with a skilled Title IX attorney by your side, you should be able to pursue a strong defense and a favorable outcome.
Joseph D. Lento is that skilled Title IX attorney. For years, he and the team at the Lento Law Firm have supported Utah college and university employees as they tackle Title IX processes.
Call Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm today to learn more about the ways we can help you. You can reach us at (888) 535-3686 or simply connect with our team online to learn more.