Educational amendments of 1972 protect people from discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities which are recipients of federal financial assistance. In the event of discrimination, taking legal action can be made under Title IX in order to empower oneself or other students. We have compiled the following resource to assist in as to how one is able to take legal action with the guidance of legal experts and you may wish to contact this firm if you feel that you are a recipient, or know of someone that may have endured discrimination.
Who is eligible to file?
Anyone who believes that they have been subject to acts of discrimination on the basis of sex against any person or group in a program that receives financial assistance may file a complaint with the OCR under Title IX. The bar to overcome is that of a general “hostile sexual environment.” All complaints should be sent to the OCR enforcement office that serves the state in which the alleged conduct occurred.
When to file?
Complaints must be filed within 180 days of alleged discrimination unless there is an extension granted “for good cause” by the Enforcement Office Director. Prior to filing, other options that may be available include using the school’s institutional grievance processes to have the issue addressed and resolved. By law, a complaint does not have to use the institutional process prior to filing with the OCR. A timeline does change should a person use the institutional process for grievance, with an allowance of an additional 60 days of the last act of the institutional grievance process.
What to include?
All information that is relevant to the incident should be included. This would be all details that surround the event including who and by what and when. How the harm was caused is also relevant. Contact information should also be listed. The act of itself and how it harmed and was biased. Information is always held in confidentiality and to the extent that is required under the under the Freedom of Information Act or the Privacy Act (or otherwise required by law). Writing should be formal, nonnarrative, presented within a timeline and list each discriminatory act. It should include the following for it to be beneficial in resolving the dispute:
- Contact information of the complainant
- Contact info for the institution being complained of
- All prior methods of attempts of resolution made and how
- Content including how rights were violated
- The timeliness of complaint and whether within the deadline of 180 days and why
- What required outcome should be in the circumstances
The form provided need not be utilized, though looking at its style is recommended so as to understand as to what the requirements are.
How to file?
Such complaints may be filed online or electronically by a pre-prepared OCR complaint form or by email at: OCR@ ed.gov. The form may also be mailed by regular mail. All forms need to be verified by signature and if not enough information is provided, more information may be requested. Upon their request, the response must be made within a 20 day time period.
Upon initiation of a complaint, an investigation begins. The OCR then seeks to obtain compliance and negotiate remedies. Compliance must be voluntary and enforced when this is the case. Enforcement can be via referral to the Department of Justice for court action or before an administrative law judge or to terminate Federal funding to the recipient’s program or activity.
Super Lawyers named Chicago and Oak Brook business trial attorneys Peter Lubin, Patrick Austermuehle and Andrew Murphy 2017 Super Lawyers or Rising Stars in the Categories of Class Action, Business Litigation, and Consumer Rights Litigation. Lubin Austermuehle’s Oak Brook and Chicago business trial lawyers have over a quarter of a century of experience in litigating complex class action, consumer rights, and business and commercial litigation disputes. Our Title IX attorneys have represented students and College Administrators wrongfully accused of misconduct in internal school proceedings and in court. We also handle emergency business lawsuits involving injunctions, and TROS, covenant not to compete, franchise, distributor and dealer wrongful termination and trade secret lawsuits and many different kinds of business disputes involving shareholders, partnerships, closely held businesses and employee breaches of fiduciary duty. We also assist businesses and business owners who are victims of fraud.
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If you’re facing a student misconduct action or business or class-action lawsuit, or the possibility of one, and you’d like to discuss how the experienced Illinois business dispute attorneys at Lubin Austermuehle can help, we would like to hear from you. To set up a consultation with one of our Chicago class action attorneys and Chicago business trial lawyers, please call us toll-free at (833) 306-4933 or contact us through the Internet.