Title IX Pregnancy Accommodations Video

Title IX Pregnancy Accommodations Video Transcript

Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 prohibits discrimination in federally funded institutions such as High Schools, Colleges and Universities, programs or activities.

This prohibition against gender discrimination includes discrimination on the bases of pregnancy and pregnancy related conditions.

Title IX’s implementing regulations clearly define that pregnancy or a pregnancy related condition is part of the definition of ‘sex’. However, Title IX’s implementing regulations do not mention and are silent as to whether a reasonable accommodation is available for the pregnant student.

Title IX implementing regulations do state that a pregnant student or employee should be treated the same as any other student or employee with a temporary disability or physical condition and treated in accordance with the universities or schools policy regarding the same.

Acts in such policies or ‘leave programs’ the pregnant student is only entitled to leave as long as it is medically necessary.

The pregnant employee is only entitled to leave so long as it’s reasonable. However, the term ‘reasonable leave’ remains undefined.

It is clear that the pregnant or parenting student can bring a lawsuit under Title IX.

For example, under CHIPMAN v. GRANT COUNTY SCHOOL some pregnant students were allowed to seek a preliminary injunction against the school because they were not permitted to participate in the national honor society because of fact that they are pregnant and having children out of wedlock.

What is less clear is whether an employee can bring a claim of discrimination under Title IX.

In the context of sex based employment law claims some courts have held that to the extent that a plaintiff is seeking a resolution for the discriminatory loss of an employment benefit such as the loss of a job or the loss of pay the claim must rest exclusively with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in Anti-Discrimination Employment Law and not Title IX. However, these courts have made a distinction between those suits seeking monetary damages or money and those seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, the later remaining an open question. Never the less, other district courts have allowed plaintiffs to proceed with pregnancy discrimination claims in employment under Title IX.

For example, in IVAN v. KENT STATE UNIVERSITY a graduate student who had a pregnancy discrimination claim for loss of employment was allowed to proceed under that claim under Title IX.

 

If you think that you have been discriminated against because of your pregnancy or pregnancy related condition. You should consult with a qualified attorney in your area to discuss your potential claims.