Countdown to August 14
At this point in the summer, you are most likely aware the U.S. Department of Education’s final Title IX regulations require compliance by August 14. While the over 2,000 page document detailing the new regulations issued by the Department of Education may be daunting, the following is a list of important take-aways to ensure your educational institution is prepared for the changes:
· Identify the Institution’s Title IX Team:
o The Title IX regulations require a number of team members who must be identified and trained under the rules, including:
§ Title IX coordinators,
§ Title IX investigators,
§ Informal resolution facilitators.
· Seek Training:
o The Final Rule requires training of Title IX personnel to include the definition of sexual harassment, how to conduct an investigation, how to conduct the grievance process—including hearings, appeals, and informal resolution processes, and how to serve impartially.
· Determine Standard of Evidence:
o The new regulations require the school to state whether the standard of evidence to determine responsibility is the preponderance of the evidence standard or the clear and convincing standard:
§ Preponderance of the Evidence Standard: “More likely than not” that the respondent violated Title IX
§ Clear and Convincing Standard: Highly and substantially more probable to be true than not that the respondent violated Title IX
· Prepare for Live Hearings:
o The Final Rule provides that postsecondary institutions must provide for a live hearing. Note that at the live hearing, the decision-maker(s) must permit each party’s advisor (which may be an attorney) to ask the other party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those that challenge credibility.
o At the request of either party, the institution must provide for the entire live hearing (including cross-examination) to occur with the parties located in separate rooms with technology enabling the parties to see and hear each other.
o Institutions must create an audio or audiovisual recording, or transcript, of any live hearing.
· Update the School Website to Include:
Title IX Coordinator(s) Contact Information: The contact information must include the name(s) of the Title IX Coordinator(s), an office address, a phone number, and
an email address.
o Non-Discrimination Policy: The non-discrimination policy must include that Title IX requires the school to refrain from discriminating based on sex and that the school does not discriminate.
Training Materials: Materials used to the train the school’s Title IX personnel must be available to the public. Summaries of training topics will not be acceptable; instead, the materials themselves must be made publicly available on the institution’s website. Be careful to secure copyright authority from the copyright holder to publish training materials. The inability to obtain such authority requires the institution to create or obtain alternative materials.
While the above list is not exhaustive, the information is important when preparing for August 14—the date the new Title IX rule officially becomes effective. It is important to consider these requirements now as you update your school’s policies to ensure compliance.
For more information about Title IX, the updated regulations, or how our office may be of
assistance, please contact a member Our Team.
By: Betsy Huffman