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Expanded Protections Under Title IX May Be Coming Soon

On June 23, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) issued its proposed rule to amend Title IX’s regulations to ensure full protection under Title IX for students, teachers, and employees from all forms of sex discrimination, including sex-based harassment and sexual violence, in federally funded elementary schools, secondary schools, and postsecondary institutions.

Title IX

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance, such as school districts, colleges and universities (collectively referred to as “schools” or “recipients”).

Title IX Proposed Amendments

Among other things, the proposed amendments would:

  • Expand the scope of sex-based discrimination to include sexual harassment, as well as discrimination based on sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
  • Expand the scope of Title IX to apply to conduct that occurs off-campus or during a study abroad program.
  • Require covered entities to take steps to address discrimination allegations based on constructive, not just actual, notice.
  • Broaden reporting requirements, while requiring greater confidentiality in responding to Title IX prohibited conduct.
  • Create two grievance processes: one covering all sex discrimination complaints under Title IX, and another that provides additional grievance process requirements for sex-based harassment involving postsecondary students.
  • No longer require live hearings as part of the Title IX grievance procedure, although a recipient may choose to conduct a live hearing.

Next Steps for Employers

Employers may review the DOE’s fact sheet and chart summarizing the proposed regulations for more information.

The comment period on the proposed rule runs through September 12, 2022. After public comment, the Department will issue a Final Rule, and then will likely set a date when covered institutions must comply with the regulations.

In the interim, covered institutions should continue to comply with the current DOE regulations, as well as applicable state law regarding Title IX compliance.

HR Works will continue to monitor this topic and provide updated information as it becomes available.

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.