December 3, 2021

Volume XI, Number 337

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Department of Education: Moving to Amend 2020 Title IX Regulations on Sexual Harassment

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has announced it will conduct a comprehensive review of its regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, starting with a public hearing on the issues of sexual harassment in school environments, including sexual violence, and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It also anticipates publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the Title IX regulations.

OCR says in the April 6, 2021, announcement that these steps are part of the comprehensive review required by President Joe Biden’s March 8 Executive Order on “Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.”

A letter from OCR’s Acting Assistant Secretary Suzanne Goldberg reiterates the purpose behind the executive order: to prohibit sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities under Title IX, including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The letter details that OCR will undertake a comprehensive review of DOE’s Title IX regulations, orders, guidance, policies, and any other similar agency actions, including the Title IX regulations that took effect on August 14, 2020.

At this time and during the comprehensive review, the Title IX regulations that took effect on August 14, 2020, remain in effect. In the letter, OCR states it will continue to hold schools accountable to ensure schools have grievance procedures that provide for the fair, prompt, and equitable resolution of sexual harassment and other sex discrimination reports.

According to OCR, the public hearing will allow students, educators, and others with interest and expertise in Title IX to participate by offering oral comments or written submissions. OCR states that dates and times for the public hearing will be released and additional information will be published on its website and in a Federal Register notice.

To further assist schools and students, Goldberg also announced plans for OCR to issue a Question & Answer document. The document will clarify how OCR interprets schools’ existing obligations under Title IX regulations.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 97
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About this Author

Susan D. Friedfel Employment law attorney for educational instituions in White Plains, NY of Jackson Lewis law firm
Principal

Susan D. Friedfel is a Principal in the White Plains and New York, New York, offices of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Ms. Friedfel collaborates with clients to find practical solutions for a variety of issues that arise in the workplace. She counsels clients in various industries, including law firms, financial institutions, educational institutions, and not-for-profit organizations, on a wide array of issues.

Susan D. Friedfel  provides advice and counsel on matters such as:

  • employee recruiting and hiring practices
  • family and medical leave
  • reasonable...
914-872-8027
Carol R. Ashley Labor & Employment Attorney Jackson Lewis Washington, D.C.
Of Counsel

Carol R. Ashley is of counsel in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counseling.

703-483-8300
Laura Ahrens Labor & Employment Litigation Attorney Jackson Lewis Law Firm South Carolina
Associate

Laura Ahrens is an associate in the Greenville, South Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Laura represents employers in workplace law matters, and enjoys collaborating with her clients to find practical solutions to the variety of issues that arise in the workplace.

Laura is a member of the firm’s General Employment Litigation practice group. She represents employers in various employment and labor matters, including claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation brought under Title VII and the ADA. She also...

864-672-8045
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