The Department of Education Releases New Title IX Regulations

On May 6, 2020, the Department of Education (DOE) published its unofficial version of the new Title IX regulations with the goal of “strengthening Title IX protections for survivors of sexual misconduct and to restore due process in campus proceedings to ensure all students can pursue an education free from sex discrimination” (DOE Press Release).

These new regulations must be in effect by August 14, 2020 or institutions may lose federal funding.

With that in mind, our Vector Solutions Content Team and Expert Author Team are diligently reviewing these new regulations to better understand the impact they will have on our Title-IX related employee and student training. After our review, we will begin updating our courses as quickly as we can to reflect the change in these regulations.

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Here are the key provisions to the Title IX regulations provided by the DOE :

  • Defines sexual harassment to include sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, as unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex.
  • Provides a consistent, legally sound framework on which survivors, the accused, and schools can rely.
  • Requires schools to offer clear, accessible options for any person to report sexual harassment.
  • Empowers survivors to make decisions about how a school responds to incidents of sexual harassment.
  • Requires the school to offer survivors supportive measures, such as class or dorm reassignments or no-contact orders.
  • Holds colleges responsible for off-campus sexual harassment at houses owned or under the control of school-sanctioned fraternities and sororities.
  • Restores fairness on college and university campuses by upholding all students' right to written notice of allegations, the right to an advisor, and the right to submit, cross-examine, and challenge evidence at a live hearing.
  • Shields survivors from having to come face-to-face with the accused during a hearing and from answering questions posed personally by the accused.
  • Requires schools to select one of two standards of evidence, the preponderance of the evidence standard or the clear and convincing evidence standard – and to apply the selected standard evenly to proceedings for all students and employees, including faculty.
  • Provides "rape shield" protections and ensures survivors are not required to divulge any medical, psychological, or similar privileged records.
  • Requires schools to offer an equal right of appeal for both parties to a Title IX proceeding.
  • Gives schools flexibility to use technology to conduct Title IX investigations and hearings remotely.
  • Protects students and faculty by prohibiting schools from using Title IX in a manner that deprives students and faculty of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

 

The DOE also published a “Summary of Major Provisions of the Department of Education’s Title IX Final Rule.” Please make sure to review the unofficial version of the new Title IX Regulations.

We will be providing additional updates after we thoroughly review this new legislation, so remember to check back for additional resources regarding the new Title IX Regulations. 

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