Education Civil Rights

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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

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

Plaintiff Seeks to Use Anti-Discrimination Law to Stop Fracking

On July 14, a complaint was filed in Sacramento County Superior Court against Governor Brown and the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) Supervisor Steve Bohlen.  The lawsuit claims Governor Brown and...more

DOJ Issues FAQs on Service Animals

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued new guidance yesterday regarding the applicability of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to service animals. The new guidance underscores the DOJ’s 2010 revisions to the ADA...more

Amendments Clarify Employers’ Background Check Obligations Under Pennsylvania Law

On July 1, 2015, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law Act 15 (House Bill 1276), which amends Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) to clarify the requirements of employers and volunteer-based organizations to...more

SDE Weighs in on Parents’ Right to Independent Educational Evaluations

The Connecticut State Department of Education (“SDE”) recently issued a guidance memorandum providing its interpretation of when a parent is entitled to a publicly funded independent educational evaluation (“IEE”) under the...more

“Enough is Enough” – Governor Cuomo Signs Campus Sexual Assault Legislation

On July 7, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law legislation to combat sexual assault on both public and private college campuses throughout New York. With a few exceptions, the provisions in the law will take...more

“Enough is Enough” Legislation Becomes Law: New York Education Law Article 129-B Establishes New Requirements for New York State...

On July 7, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law legislation that will, once again, change the way public and private colleges and universities in New York (“higher education institutions”) must respond to...more

IHSA and Attorney General Reach Agreement on Participation of Student Athletes with Disabilities

In late June, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) reached an agreement, settling two pending federal court cases, aimed at ensuring that student athletes with disabilities...more

VAWA Regulations Take Effect July 1

The U.S. Department of Education’s rule implementing changes to the Clery Act under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2014 (VAWA) takes effect today. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on...more

Pennsylvania Approves Major Changes to Laws Protecting Minors

The Pennsylvania Legislature has passed – and Gov. Tom Wolf has signed – House Bill 1276 to amend the state’s Child Protective Services Law. The amended law contains a number of clarifying revisions to the mandated reporting...more

Does the Supreme Court's Marriage Decision Protect Religious Entities?

COMMENTARY: For faithful Christians, Jews and Muslims, the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges leaves more questions than answers. In the days running up to today’s Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage ...more

Penn State Accused of Ignoring Fraternity Sexual Assault Claims

Earlier this week, a former Penn State student, James Vivenzio, filed a lawsuit accusing the institution of ignoring his complaints about sexual assault, hazing and drug use in violation of Title IX of the Education...more

Accused Student Sues Columbia University Over Mattress Case

It looks like the “mattress case” will not be going to bed anytime soon. On Thursday, April 23, 2015, Paul Nungesser, the accused student at the center of the internationally renowned “mattress case” (“Nungesser”)...more

NLRB Moves to Assert Jurisdiction Over Religious Educational Institutions

Before December of 2014, religious colleges and universities could generally assume that under the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “substantial religious character” test, the NLRB would decline to assert jurisdiction...more

DOJ Shifts Position on Web Access: Stating In Court Filings That Public Accommodations Have a “Pre-Existing” Obligation to Make...

What a difference five years makes. In September 2010, the Justice Department (DOJ) announced in an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that it would issue new regulations under Title III of the ADA to address the...more

NLRB Says Employer Cannot Rescind Contract for Employee Who Wrote Complaining Email to Co-Workers

As previously reported in EmployNews, recent National Labor Relations Board decisions have disrupted established guidelines with regard to employers’ obligations to tolerate uncivil and insulting behavior and comments from...more

New York State Passes Campus Sexual Assault Law

On June 17, 2015, the New York State Legislature passed legislation governing how colleges and universities address sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. The governor is expected to sign it...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

Prepare for the July 1 SaVE Act Deadline

By July 1, 2015, all higher education institutions must be in full compliance with the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act amendments to the Clery Act, per the final regulations issued last October. See 34 C.F.R....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

July 1 Deadline Approaching On New VAWA Regulations

Regulations interpreting the Violence against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) become effective for higher education institutions on July 1, 2015. Generally speaking, these regulations contain new reporting, policy,...more

Must Schools Protect Teachers from Bullying by Students Online?

A lawsuit filed by a California teacher against the school district where she works puts a new spin on an old problem. As the National School Boards Association reported, the suit, filed last week by Amy Sulkis in the Los...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

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