If you are accused of sexual harassment while working at or attending college, you need a lawyer that knows your rights under Title IX. Title IX is a federal civil rights law that has been interpreted to require schools to respond to reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence against students in certain ways. Our firm has defended and advised students and faculty at Kentucky universities that were under threat of expulsion and termination through the Title IX process. If you or a loved on are involved in the Title IX process in Kentucky, we can help.
What is Title IX?
Title IX is a law that applies to all educational programs and aspects of a school’s educational system. The U.S. Supreme Court has issued decisions interpreting Title IX to require schools to have certain mechanisms in place to respond to sexual harassment and violence claims. Under Title IX, schools must establish a process for adjudicating and disciplining students and faculty that engage in sexual misconduct.
In 2011, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued its “Dear Colleague Letter”. This letter established greater responsibility for universities to “take immediate and effective steps to end sexual harassment and sexual violence”. It established many new Title IX requirements that could subject universities to fine and denials of federal funding if not implemented. As a result of this controversial letter, many colleges created new adjudication systems for dealing with sexual harassment on campus. These systems have been criticized for requiring proof of affirmative consent for sexual contact, as well as a much lower burden of proof than required in a court of law.
The Trump administration has issued potential regulations that would roll back some of the more controversial provisions of the Obama administration’s “Dear Colleague Letter”, but those provisions are, as of publication, still pending adoption.
What Are my Rights If I’m Accused of a Title IX Violation?
Every college will have different administrative regulations covering the Title IX process. One example of such a policy is Administrative Regulation 6:2 at the University of Kentucky. Under AR 6:2 the accused has limited rights. Some of those rights include:
- To have an attorney present during any investigation and represent them at any subsequent hearing;
- To have up to two (2) support persons, including attorneys, present during meetings and hearings;
- To receive amnesty for certain student misconduct, such as alcohol or drug violations, that occurred ancillary to the incident;
- To be informed in writing of the outcome/resolution of the complaint, any sanctions where permissible, and the rationale for the outcome where permissible;
- The right to a hearing, but not full cross-examination rights.
- The right to an appeal to the Sexual Misconduct Appeals Board.
What Should I Do If I’m Accused of a Title IX Violation
If you receive notice of a Title IX complaint, or believe one may be lodged against you, it is vital that you contact a qualified lawyer as soon as possible. These cases can be resolved informally and the sooner a lawyer is involved, the more likely that a favorable disposition may be obtained. Our attorneys have defended Sexual Misconduct in all arenas, including Title IX hearings. Contact our Lexington Title IX Attorneys today at (859) 259-0727 for a free consultation.