Educational Institutions

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Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Holds Enforceable School District’s Oral Promise to Pay Subcontractor for Returning to Job after...

Zacherl, Inc. v. Flaherty Mechanical Contractors, LLC, 131 A.3d 1030, 2016 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 22 (Jan. 6, 2016) - The West Allegheny School Board (the “School Board”) voted to approve the School District’s (the...more

Education malpractice and student litigation: New lessons learned

As those in higher education are keenly aware, postsecondary institutions must regularly (and increasingly) contend with civil suits filed by current and former students. Since the 2007 economic downturn, one type of suit...more

Fourth Circuit Holds that Title IX Protects Transgender Student’s Right to Use Men’s Restroom Consistent With the Student's Gender...

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit holds that Title IX protects a transgender student’s right to use the restroom that aligns with the student’s gender identity. The Fourth Circuit has become the first...more

Anti-SLAPP Statute Raised in Planned Parenthood Protest Lawsuit

The DC anti-SLAPP statute has been invoked in a Superior Court lawsuit in which plaintiffs arguing that students need to be free from disruptions in the school environment are facing off against anti-abortion protestors....more

United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Adopts OCR's Title IX Gender Identity Interpretation for Transgender Students'...

A majority panel of three judges in GG v Gloucester County School Board, U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Cir. Case No. 15-2056 (April 19, 2016), reversed a federal trial court's decision, endorsed the Office of Civil Rights'...more

Federal Court of Appeals Defers to OCR and Concludes Title IX Permits Transgender Students to Use Restrooms Based on Gender...

In a closely watched case, the federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed a lower court decision and, in a 2-1 split opinion, held that, based on guidance from the federal Office for Civil Rights (OCR) within...more

First Federal Appeals Court Rules that Title IX Applies in Transgender Bathroom Case

Yesterday, in a landmark ruling, a federal appellate court decided that under Title IX a transgender student can challenge a school board policy that limits bathroom and locker room access based on biological sex. The United...more

Sixth Circuit Rules that the "Deliberate Indifference" Standard Still Matters in Title IX Harassment Litigation

In Stiles v. Granger County Board of Education, the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of a Title IX lawsuit against a public school district because the alleged victim of harassment and bullying...more

Tough Exams for Investments in the Education Sector

The growth of private spending on education presents an opportunity for private equity. While public spending on education in the OECD as a proportion of gross domestic product decreased slightly between 2003 and 2012, the...more

Illinois Appellate Court Upholds $2 Million Punitive Award Against Chicago State University

The due process review of a punitive damages award for excessiveness has a number of interconnected parts. A series of relatively small errors can quickly add up and dramatically skew the outcome of a review process that is...more

Bard College settles False Claims Act allegations; Justice, Education Departments get tough on compliance - 7 steps to support...

“Throughout this Administration, the Department of Education has aggressively enforced accountability and compliance laws for institutions of higher education to protect students, families, and taxpayers,” US Education Under...more

Tidewater Community College hit with phishing scam exposing data of 3,193 employees

Tidewater Community College (Tidewater) has announced that the personal information, including names and Social Security numbers of 3,193 current and former faculty and staff members was compromised in a phishing scheme and...more

The Rise of “Reverse Title-IX” Lawsuits – Do Colleges and Universities Have Anything to Fear?

Recently, Judge Gregory Woods of the Southern District of New York dismissed a Title IX lawsuit against Columbia University, asserting “reverse Title-IX” lawsuits do not constitute sex-based discrimination....more

Recent Cases Suggest Colleges and Universities Should Review Their Employee-On-Employee Sexual Harassment Policies

Just this past month, another Title IX lawsuit was filed against Columbia University (“Columbia”). This time, however, it involved the sexual harassment of an untenured professor by her mentor, a tenured professor....more

Higher Education Highlights - Spring 2016

Upcoming changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act salary-basis test may convert many of your smartphone-toting exempt employees into non-exempt employees, requiring you to track the evening and weekend time these employees...more

Response to data breach at UCLA creates controversy

Universities are an attractive target for hackers because they contain many access points in their networks, and the networks contain financial and personal data as well as intellectual property. Last summer, hackers breached...more

Congressional Hearing Examines Free Speech and Tax Constraints on Campus Political Activity

Campuses across the country are wrestling with how free speech, tolerance, diversity and politics mix in a higher education environment. Recently, the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee examined the...more

New 24-month F-1 STEM OPT Rule Effective May 10, 2016

On March 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted to the Federal Register an advance copy of its final rule regarding certain F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) extensions. The new rule replaces the...more

U.S. Department of Education to Publish List of Institutions Requesting Title IX Waivers

The U.S. Department of Education (the “Department of Education”) announced last week that it will publish a searchable database that lists the names of higher education institutions that have applied for and/or have received...more

Teachers’ union fighting for right to refuse work due where students violent

A student’s violent acts in a classroom have led to a dispute about the circumstances in which teachers may engage in a work refusal for safety reasons. The student was described as having a “history of violent behavior”.  He...more

Court Rules That Student-Athletes Are Not Employees Under the FLSA - The U.S. District Court Decision Is Another Win for the NCAA...

In another blow to legal arguments that student-athletes should be paid as employees, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana recently concluded that student-athletes at the University of Pennsylvania...more

Supreme Court Refuses to Provide Clarity on Discipline for Off-Campus, Online Student Speech

The Supreme Court has a lot to worry about these days, like a year plus of finding out first hand what can happen (or not happen) to your ability to make precedent when you have a 4-4 deadlock on the Court. So its recent...more

Student Health Plans and ACA Compliance: New Relief for Educational Institutions

Educational institutions face unique issues when complying with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). One such issue relates to the administration of student health insurance plans. On February 5, 2016, three...more

[Webinar] Gainful Employment – Managing (and Challenging) the New GE Disclosures - March 10th, 1pm Central Time

In our final webinar, we’ll revisit the GE disclosure requirements presently in effect, then segue into a discussion of the new information that institutions will be required to disclose beginning January 2017 (e.g., pCDR...more

Students Sue University of Central Florida for Data Breach

Recently, students and employees of the University of Central Florida (the “University”) filed a proposed class action lawsuit in Florida federal court against the University alleging that the University failed to adequately...more

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