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EOI & TITLE IX GUIDANCE

University of North Florida Office of Equal Opportunity & Inclusion Newsletter

 

VOL. 1, ISSUE 3

MAY 2021 

Top Stories in this Issue

  • Title IX Applies to the Pregnant and Parenting Students & Employees
  • What Title IX Requires for Pregnant and Parenting Students & Employees
  • Questions/ Answers
Title IX in red

Title IX Applies to Pregnant and Parenting Students & Employees

Title IX prohibits a school from discriminating against a student based on the student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions. Title IX also prohibits a school from applying any rule related to a student’s parental, family, or marital status that treats students differently based on their sex.

 

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What Title IX Requires for Pregnant and Parenting Students & Employees

The law against sex discrimination covers all aspects of an educational program. This includes school-sponsored extracurricular activities and internships, athletics, financial aid and scholarships, career counseling, and lab and clinical work.

 

Title IX makes it illegal to discriminate because of sex, which includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, or related conditions, including recovery. Title IX also ensures the right to take medically necessary leave and to be free of harassment, intimidation, or other discrimination because of pregnancy-related conditions.  

 

Further, any rules concerning parental, family, or marital status may not apply differently based on sex. For example, universities cannot provide women with time to bond with or care for their children and not provide the same to men.

 

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Questions & Answers

Can UNF require faculty members to excuse a student's absence due to pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, abortion, or related conditions?

Yes.   Title IX requires that, at minimum, faculty excuse medically-necessary absences related to these conditions. This is a requirement of federal law and applies regardless of a professor's attendance policy. So that they may return in the status they held prior to their absence, students returning from leave must be permitted to make up any credits missed, including exams, projects, and in-class participation assignments. Any make-up work assigned should be comparable with the amount of work given to other students, not extra. UNF is responsible for ensuring these rules are followed by its faculty.

 

Does Title IX impact research?

Yes. Title IX covers all aspects of the educational program, including the lab and clinical settings. Researchers are covered by Title IX's protections for students, employees, or both. For those who need help managing research demands while a student or employee is on leave, assistance is often available from the granting agency to pay for a temporary replacement. Granting agencies also often "stop the clock" for researchers impacted by family/medical leave.

 

Do students and employees have a right to pump milk at school/work?

UNF should accommodate necessary absences for pumping breastmilk, just as it must accommodate other medically-necessary absences resulting from pregnancy and related conditions.

 

The Women's Center has a Nursing Nest for mothers to use to breastfeed or express milk. The Nursing Nest is a private, secure space that includes power outlets for personal pumps and a plush recliner for comfort and relaxation. The Nursing Nest is located in the Women's Center in Building 2, Room 2103.

 

Can harassing a student because of pregnancy violate Title IX?

Yes. Title IX prohibits harassment of students based on sex, including harassment because of pregnancy or related conditions. Harassing conduct can take many forms, including verbal acts and name-calling, graphic and written statements, and other conduct that may be humiliating or physically threatening or harmful. Particular actions that could constitute prohibited harassment include making sexual comments or jokes about a student's pregnancy, calling a pregnant student sexually charged names, spreading rumors about the student's sexual activity, and making sexual propositions or gestures.

 

Universities must take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end pregnancy-related harassment, prevent its recurrence, and eliminate any hostile environment created by the harassment. The university violates Title IX if sexual harassment or other pregnancy-related harassment by employees, students, or third parties is sufficiently serious that it interferes with a student's ability to benefit from or participate in UNF's programs or activities, and the harassment is encouraged, tolerated, not adequately addressed, or ignored by employees.

 

Does Title IX require schools to provide pregnant students with services and accommodations equal to those provided to non-pregnant students.?

Schools are required to provide pregnant students, and students with related conditions such as childbirth, or false pregnancy, with at least the same special services as it provides to students with other temporary medical conditions. Pregnant students and those with related medical conditions may also be eligible for disability protections and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), depending upon their condition. Contact the ADA Compliance Office at 904-620-2870 for more information.

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INVESTIGATIONS

Current EOI Investigations

Total 29
Open 22
Closed this month 7
Referred to OSAR 2

Note: Case must be closed by EOI before it can be referred to OSAR

Total EOI Investigations

2019-2020 125
2020-2021 (7/1/20 - 5/20/21) 96
20-21 Title IX/ Sexual Misconduct 38
20-21 Title VII - Race/ Color 24
20-21 Title VII - Religion 2
20-21 Title VII - Disability 10
20-21 Retaliation 6
20-21 Other Discrimination/ Harassment 16
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EOI Office Staff Directory

Director and Title IX Coordinator

Marlynn Jones, Esquire

Marlynn.jones@unf.edu

 

Title IX & Civil Rights Investigator

Christina Chatman

Christina.chatman@unf.edu

 

EOI Coordinator

Katie Haft

K.haft@unf.edu

 

EOI Coordinator

Fantei Norman

Fantei.norman@unf.edu


Office of Equal Opportunity & Inclusion

1 UNF Drive, Building 1, Suite 1200, Jacksonville, FL 32224

904-620-2507

Email - Title IX Website - EOI Website

Edited by: Marlynn R. Jones, Esquire