June 28, 2022

Volume XII, Number 179

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June 27, 2022

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Key Court Decisions Address Issues Concerning the Application of Title IX

Professor’s Classroom Speech Deemed Protected

In a case involving questions regarding the application of Title IX to classroom instruction, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reasoned that a university’s gender-identity policy may infringe upon free speech rights of teaching faculty. In the case, a professor claimed that policy requirements, which mandated the use of students’ preferred gender pronouns in class, conflicted with his own religious convictions. Conversely, the university claimed that failure to fully adhere to the policy amounted to discrimination in violation of Title IX. The Court was unconvinced by the university’s arguments, reasoning that implied restrictions on speech under the policy could lead to compelled “ideological conformity.”

Beyond its central noteworthy holding, the Court offered useful direction regarding the circumstances under which the neutrality of a Title IX investigation may be compromised. In questioning the investigatory process employed by the university, the Court cited the limited number of witnesses engaged and the potential lack of breadth in their perspectives. 

Hospital Employees Assert Title IX Claim

A recent federal Court decision involving the Yale New Haven Hospital affirms that employees may claim a private right of action under Title IX for harassment. The opinion also reasons that a teaching hospital may be subject to Title IX requirements, even though it is not fully integrated within a university. This decision points toward a potentially more expansive reach of Title IX.
 

In considering the question of whether a private right of action is conveyed under Title IX, the Court acknowledged disagreement among the Circuit Courts and the lack of a controlling decision in the Second Circuit; however, the Court reasoned that such a right is consistent with the intended scope of the law. 

© Steptoe & Johnson PLLC. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 90
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Mark Hanshaw Education Attorney Steptoe Johnson Louisville
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Clients appreciate when their attorney is inspired and energetic about their area of practice and Mark Hanshaw embodies that. Mark, a seasoned educator, lawyer, and academic administrator, has been entrenched in the vibrant higher education environment for many years and feels privileged to work in an industry that is his calling. Transitioning from the classroom and boardroom into the role of trusted legal advisor, Mark advises higher education administrators and in-house counsel on regulatory compliance,  policy and procedure development, and growth strategies. Mark is...

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Vince Holzhall spends his time solving problems for his clients. Clients appreciate Vince’s ability to provide solutions, usually involving unique areas of the law. Vince is often sought by clients wishing to avoid costly and lengthy lawsuits, but he is no stranger to contentious litigation. Vince has used his litigation management and organizational skills to assist a multidistrict litigation (“MDL”) client with more than 1,000 matters across the country and a primary focus on transferring over 100 Ohio matters into the MDL.  Vince’s calming nature is a benefit to clients as he guides...

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