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Title IX Investigations

Our investigators, all licensed employment law attorneys, provide prompt, impartial, and thorough investigations not only for employers, but also for colleges, universities, and other institutions subject to Title IX.

As with any investigation, a well-trained, impartial, and thorough investigator who understands the importance of confidentiality, the investigative process, documentation, and the unique needs of organizations subject to Title IX is critical. Our consultants, who are all licensed attorneys, have performed thousands of investigations and are skilled in the complicated and often litigation-bound issues institutions face when an investigation is required.

Our consultants also have the background and skills to serve as effective fact witnesses and have faced every type of complaint - from all forms of harassment and discrimination, to retaliation and many other kinds of misconduct.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 states that:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”1

Title IX protects all persons from discrimination, including parents and guardians, students, and employees, making it a broader statute than Title VII.

Title IX applies to institutions that receive federal financial assistance, including state and local educational agencies. While public colleges and universities are subject to Title IX, most private universities fall under the Title IX umbrella as well because they participate in federal student aid programs. These entities include approximately 16,500 local school districts, 7,000 postsecondary institutions, as well as charter schools, for-profit schools, libraries and museums. Also included are vocational rehabilitation agencies and education agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and territories of the United States.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces Title IX. The OCR evaluates, investigates, and resolves sex discrimination complaints. The OCR also conducts “compliance reviews” to examine potential systemic violations based on sources of information other than complaints.

Where the OCR identifies concerns or violations, universities often agree to adopt effective anti-harassment policies and procedures, train staff and students, address the incidents in question, and take other steps to restore a nondiscriminatory environment.

Institutions subject to Title IX must be prepared to show how the organization is following these general guidelines in Title IX investigations:

  • The investigation should be thorough, reliable, and impartial. Equity is key. Each party’s rights, privileges, and opportunities must be balanced.

  • The process should be prompt, effective, and equitable.

  • Remedies, if discrimination occurred, should end the discrimination, prevent its recurrence, and remedy the effects upon the victim and community.

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