Attorneys Representing Title IX Complainants
Standing up for the Rights of Sexual Misconduct Victims on College Campuses
Under the federal law known as Title IX, every student or employee at an educational institution that receives public funding has the right to be free from sex discrimination within the school and related activities. Sex discrimination can occur in many ways, from unequal treatment in athletics to adverse employment decisions to sexual misconduct, including harassment or assault. Any form of sex discrimination violates the rights of a student or staff member.
But what do you do if you believe a violation of your rights occurred? Title IX is a complex law, and it can be difficult to know what steps to take to protect your rights and find legal relief from sex discrimination. One step you can always take is to discuss what happened with a knowledgeable Title IX attorney who can evaluate your options in your specific situation. Please don’t wait to consult with Duffy Law today.
Filing a Title IX Complaint
After a violation of your rights, you can report the conduct to the Title IX office or representatives at your school. The law requires schools to seriously investigate formal complaints of Title IX violations, or the school violates Title IX itself. Unfortunately, many colleges and universities mishandle Title IX complaints or even dismiss them altogether, and this is the time you should absolutely consult with a lawyer who can protect your rights.
The Department of Education has recently changed its Title IX guidance from heavily focusing on the well-being of victims of sexual misconduct to ensuring due process for accused individuals. However, this does not mean that victims of misconduct don’t deserve full relief under the law. The changes aim to make the process fair for all students. Victims of sexual harassment, assault, or other types of discrimination shouldn’t be afraid to come forward and report any violations. With the right attorney on your side, you can take the steps needed to protect your rights and feel safe at your college or university.
Even if your school does move forward with an investigation and disciplinary hearing, you should still have the counsel and guidance of our legal team. Investigations and hearings can be difficult, and in the meantime, you should have proper accommodations so you feel safe and have the opportunity to continue your education. Having a lawyer by your side throughout the disciplinary process can help to ease your mind and stress as much as possible.
When Schools Don’t Respond Appropriately to Title IX Complaints
When you file a complaint regarding sexual misconduct or other Title IX violations through the proper channels at your school, you should expect that your school will take the complaint seriously and respond by properly investigating the matter. Unfortunately, some students get the courage to come forward only to have school officials disregard their complaints. This can be heartbreaking or even frightening in cases of sexual assault, and victims may believe the matter is hopeless.
Know that there are additional avenues to seek relief, even if your own school refuses to help. Under proposed standards for 2018, schools have the duty to investigate formal complaints of which the officials have actual knowledge. If the school fails to meet this duty, you can take your Title IX complaint to the next level. Our attorneys can assist you in preparing and filing a complaint against your school with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the division of the Department of Education that oversees Title IX compliance. There are many requirements to meet when filing an OCR complaint, including:
- The deadline for filing the complaint is 180 days from when the discrimination happened, such as your school failing to investigate a complaint
- The complaint must contain full and accurate information, including the date and location of the incident, your contact information, and a description of the discriminatory act including as much information as you can
It is important to file a thorough and persuasive complaint from the start, and our experienced Title IX lawyers can help you do so. If the OCR determines your school violated your Title IX rights, the school will need to rectify the situation by properly addressing the complaint. Federal funding may be at risk, and the school may even be legally liable for any harm caused.
Duffy Law Can Help
Many students and employees of colleges and universities are not completely aware of their Title IX rights or how to exercise them. If you believe someone violated your Title IX protections, our lawyers at Duffy Law can evaluate what happened and advise you of the next possible steps. We handle Title IX cases involving the following issues, among others:
- Sexual assault or harassment by another student, professor, coach, or school employee
- Inequity in athletics or clubs for men and women
- Sex discrimination in employment for school employees
- Retaliation for making a Title IX complaint
Attorney Felice Duffy participated in a Title IX claim herself as a student at the University of Connecticut, striving for equal opportunities for female soccer players. Our legal team passionately believes in Title IX protections, and we understand how to apply this complicated law to a variety of situations. We even published a guide online regarding Title IX and the college disciplinary process. Our goal is to achieve fairness throughout the Title IX process, ensuring each of our clients feels safe and has equal opportunities during their education or employment at an educational institution.
Consult With Our Dedicated Title IX Lawyers as Soon as Possible
It can be challenging to know what to do after experiencing sex discrimination or sexual misconduct at your college or university. Know that the law protects you from such behavior, and Duffy Law is ready to protect the rights of students under the law. If you’re unsure whether a Title IX violation occurred or you do not know what to do next, please call us at 203-946-2000 or contact us online to schedule your case evaluation today.