Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Education released its much-anticipated Final Rule under Title IX. The document is 2033 pages long, so I haven't gotten anywhere near through it, but they have released several summaries: here, here, and here.
Important points on my first read through:
Investigative reports/communication with parties: parties get at least ten days to review and respond to investigative reports (many schools are currently only allowing a five day or less review period)
Appeals: both parties must have an opportunity to appeal (also big as this was not previously required - it was just if there was an appeal allowed, both parties had to have the opportunity to appeal)
Informal resolution: not allowed in cases where an employee engaged in sexual harassment against a student
Confidentiality: parties' written consent is required before their medical or psychological records can be released or used at a hearing
Standard of proof: either "preponderance of the evidence" or "clear and convincing evidence" can be used at the school's discretion
That's a brief overview of some of the major changes I see in my initial review. Stay tuned as there will likely be a lot more discussion and news on this topic as people have a chance to review the full document.
***This blog contains information only - no legal advice is being provided and you are not a client of the firm unless we have signed a representation agreement with you***
Liz Abdnour is an experienced, dedicated, and client-centered attorney and advocate who has committed her career to working towards justice and equality for all people.