Education Civil Rights

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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

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

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