Education Civil Rights

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$800K Settlement Illustrates Unique Issues Raised In Title IX Litigation

Student-on-student sex-assault cases have recently taken center stage in the higher education arena. The last two months have seen legal developments in this area which aptly illustrate the seemingly Sisyphean task facing...more

When Is A School District “Deliberately Indifferent” To Student Discrimination Claims?

When a student alleges discrimination within the school environment, the school district may be held liable if it was “deliberately indifferent” to the discrimination. Three recent cases involving allegations of sexual...more

Justice Department Sues Public School For Refusing to Manage Student’s Service Dog

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced today that it filed a lawsuit against the Gates-Chili Central School District in New York because it refused to have its teachers help a kindergarten student with epilepsy and other...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

Seventh Circuit Finds School District Not Liable in Bullying Case

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over Illinois, recently rejected an Indiana student’s claims against two school districts for allegedly improperly responding to...more

Other Employment-Related Bills Awaiting Action by California Governor

In addition to AB 465, California employers should watch for Governor Jerry Brown’s actions as to the following employment-related bills: SB 358: The California Fair Pay Act is directed at closing the pay differential...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

What employers need to know about transgender discrimination

Recent developments in the area of transgender rights should put employers on notice that government agencies are serious about eliminating this type of discrimination. DOJ steps in to sue university in Oklahoma...more

Is Your Institution Ready for the October 1 Clery Report Deadline?

By October 1, all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs must publish and distribute to all current and prospective students and employees an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. As in...more

The NLRB Goes Back to Church (Schools), Gets Entangled

In our June 2015 blog post, “NLRB Moves to Assert Jurisdiction Over Religious Educational Institutions,” we reported that Regional Directors of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were beginning to exercise jurisdiction...more

Illinois Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act Takes Effect

On August 21, 2015 Governor Rauner signed into law the new Illinois Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act, Public Act 099-0426 (the Act). The new law imposes a number of requirements on higher education...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

NLRB Decision on Student-Athlete Unionization a Win for Colleges, But Title IX Still in Play

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a unanimous decision on Aug. 17, 2015, dismissing a petition filed by Northwestern University scholarship football players seeking to unionize under the National Labor...more

Alert: New Clery Act Requirements Warrant Close Review Before October 1 Deadline

New regulations under the federal Violence Against Women Act ("VAWA") that took effect in July have a direct impact on all institutions' Annual Security Reports as well as other aspects of institutions' compliance with the...more

Caitlyn on the track: Athletics, Title IX, and the transgender community

In our previous post, we discussed emerging federal policy regarding the application of federal anti-discrimination laws to the transgender community. We focused, in particular, on the “Statement of Interest” filed earlier...more

U.S. Supreme Court Set to Rehear University of Texas Affirmative Action Case

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would revisit Fisher v. Texas, the affirmative action case it initially heard in 2013.  The first time it heard the case, the Court remanded the case to the lower court 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

Does Your Institution Have a Disability Accommodation Policy? It Should.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (“ADA”) prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The ADA also requires an employer to make reasonable accommodations for the known disabilities of an...more

Federal Court Dismisses Transgender Student’s Title IX Claims in Restroom Lawsuit

Last week, U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar ruled that a school board’s decision to prohibit a transgender student from using the male restroom does not constitute unlawful discrimination under Title IX of the Education...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

EEOC Scores Six Figure Settlement Against University Of Michigan; For Limited Reassignment To The Most Well-Qualified Candidate...

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice (DOJ), which enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) alongside the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sued the University of Michigan regarding the school’s...more

Accused Student’s Title IX Claim Gets Rejected

A recent Title IX lawsuit by a University of South Florida (“USF”) student was dismissed by a federal judge. The student, John Doe, accused USF of violating his rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20...more

Caitlyn on campus: Title IX and the transgender community

On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that no state could limit or prohibit same-sex marriages in an opinion that began: “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain...more

Right to Marry But Not to Work? Pennsylvania Catholic School Terminates Gay Married Teacher

Last month, Waldron Mercy Academy, a K-8 Catholic school located in Merion, Pennsylvania, fired Margie Winters from her position as Director of Religious Education, a job she had held for 8 years. According to Ms. Winters,...more

DOJ provides guidance on service animal accommodation for housing and beyond

According to a recent Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement, some pets are allowed in the house. HUD filed and settled a civil rights lawsuit against RiverBay Corporation, a New York City-based affordable housing cooperative...more

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