Civil Rights Education Civil Procedure

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More Lawsuits This Holiday Season?

Employers are acutely aware of the legal pitfalls that come with the holiday season. Office parties and alcohol are a potent recipe for bad judgment, and that bad judgment leads to harassment charges and lawsuits. Another...more

Making Bad Choices: Title IX, Title VII and Ludlow V. Northwestern University

A prior post considered the case of Ha v. Northwestern University, in which the plaintiff claimed that Northwestern had violated Title IX by insufficiently disciplining one of its professors, Peter Ludlow, despite concluding...more

What Should Employers Expect During The New Supreme Court Term?

The first Monday in October is the traditional first day of a new U.S. Supreme Court term.  As always, the 2015-16 term will have several cases that are of particular interest to the nation’s employers.  Here is a review of...more

Special Education Student Succeeds In Bid For Fees Under Individuals With Disabilities Education Act

In T.B. v. San Diego United School District, 2015 DJDAR 8756, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided a fee case arising under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA)....more

Alert: DOJ Puts Pressure on Schools and Ed Techs to Provide Accessible Educational Technology

In our last alert on the growing interaction between ed tech and disability law, we noted that the Department of Justice ("DOJ") appears to be moving to extend the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") to...more

Seventh Circuit Again Limits Application Of The Wal-Mart Ruling And Certifies Chicago Teachers’ Discrimination Claims

In Chicago Teachers Union, Local No. 1, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO v. Bd. of Educ. of the City of Chicago, Case No. 14-2843 (7th Cir. Aug. 7, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed a...more

Taking The “Due” Out of Due Process – OSERS and Compliance Complaints

During a brief altercation in Dashiell Hammett’s classic novel, The Maltese Falcon, the protagonist, Sam Spade, warns one of his antagonists that “when you’re slapped, you’ll take it and like it.” That is much the same...more

Deliberate Indifference to Bullying Can Amount to Massive Liability – Lessons from the Pine Bush Settlement

$4.48 million. That’s how much the Pine Bush School District in central-New York just agreed to pay to settle a lawsuit brought by a group of current and former students who alleged that school administrators were...more

Two Recent Decisions Provide Guidance on How School Districts Should Respond to Allegations of Sexual Assault

Two recent decisions from our neighbors in Indiana and Michigan provide guidance on what courts may expect from school districts responding to allegations of sexual assault. Pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of...more

Laid-Off Chicago Teachers Clear Class Certification Hurdles

In 2011, the Board of Education of the City of Chicago laid off over 1,400 teachers and paraprofessionals, all of whom belonged to the same union. The Board chose which schools would be subject to layoffs and it was then up...more

Alert: Websites as Places of Public Accommodation: DOJ Settlement May Extend Accessibility Requirements to Virtual Space

Recent headlines around a high-profile settlement between the US Department of Justice and edX, Inc., one of the largest and earliest distributors of MOOCs, have once again highlighted the importance of understanding the...more

Federal Government Files ‘Statement of Interest’ In Gender-Identity Case

In recent years, there have been increasing concerns involving discrimination faced by the transgender community. Not surprisingly, these concerns have centered on the challenges faced by gender non-conforming students and...more

Parents Can Litigate IDEA Claims When Adult Students Have Delegated Education Rights

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, recently held that even where a disabled student has reached the age of majority under state law, his parents may litigate...more

Vassar College Prevails in Respondent’s Title IX Lawsuit

A judge in the Southern District of New York recently granted summary judgment to Vassar College in a case brought by a former student accused of sexual assault. The plaintiff alleged that Vassar violated Title IX and various...more

Federal Court Dismisses Accused Student’s Title IX Lawsuit Against Vassar College

Last week, a federal judge in New York (Abrams, J.) dismissed an accused student’s lawsuit against Vassar College alleging that the institution discriminated against him by failing to conduct an equitable investigation into a...more

Federal Judge Finds Michigan School District Liable for Failure to Train Staff on Title IX

Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney held that the Forest Hills School District, located near Grand Rapids, Michigan, can and will be held liable for its failure to provide Title IX training to staff on proper...more

Recent Case Reminds Schools of First Amendment and Title VII Responsibilities in Employment Context

Recently, the Northern District of Illinois issued its opinion in Wong v. Board of Education of Community Consolidated School District 15. Although the court’s decision does not address novel arguments or depart from prior...more

Court Denies Summary Judgment to Employer on Professor’s Allegations He Was Denied Tenure After Reporting Inappropriate Facebook...

A federal court in Oklahoma recently denied summary judgment to Northeastern State University, finding that a professor’s discrimination and retaliation claims, among others, could proceed to trial. The professor, Dr. Leslie...more

South Carolina Legislative Update

The South Carolina House of Representatives last week adopted the South Carolina Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, several ethics reform measures, and revisions to the South Carolina Whistleblower and Public Employee...more

Reasonable Accommodation of a Disability Does Not Require Elimination of an Essential Job Function

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination in employment against a qualified individual on the basis of disability, and discrimination includes failing to make a reasonable accommodation. The...more

Ninth Circuit to Consider Civil Rights Issue in Review of California SIP

On February 12, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in El Comite Para El Bienestar De Earlimart v. EPA, a case challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval of provisions in a...more

Justice Department Settlement Casts Doubt on Mandatory Medical Leave - Universities Should Be Well Trained in ADA Compliance and...

On Jan. 12, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement with Quinnipiac University, a private institution located in Connecticut, to resolve allegations that the university violated the Americans with...more

Connecticut’s U.S. Attorney to Focus on Discrimination in Schools

Educational institutions – including public and private schools, colleges, and universities – may have to defend various types of discrimination claims brought by students, and in various arenas. In addition to federal court...more

Two California Appellate Decisions Expand the Scope of Tameny Claims Based on Whistleblower Laws

Two significant decisions on whistleblower protections were recently issued by two districts of the California Court of Appeal. Both courts reversed trial court dismissals of claims for wrongful termination in violation of...more

Eighth Circuit: Custodian Failed to Establish Constructive Discharge Following Wife's Public Comments

A school custodian’s hours and work assignments were changed six days after his wife spoke about eliminating the superintendent’s position at a school board meeting about budgetary issues. The custodian’s reassignment...more

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