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If you have questions regarding Title IX, contact one of our attorneys at (203) 221-3100.

Amended Title IX Regulations

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Education (the “Department”) issued its final revised regulations for Title IX implementation. This client alert outlines the significantly enhanced training obligations that educational institutions must adopt when these amended regulations become effective on August 1, 2024. We will offer ongoing guidance as the deadline approaches, understanding that institutions may require ample preparation to design and implement training programs that meet the new regulatory requirements.

As per the regulations in effect since 2020 under Title IX, only individuals designated as “Title IX personnel” are mandated to undergo training on related issues. However, the amended regulations of 2024 introduce extensive revisions to the training requirements imposed on educational institutions. Under these amendments, all employees must receive Title IX training upon hire, whenever their roles or responsibilities change in a manner affecting their Title IX obligations, and annually thereafter. These changes establish four distinct employee categories, each necessitating varying levels of training.

First

All employees must undergo training on the following:

  1. The institution’s responsibility to address sex-based discrimination as outlined in 34 C.F.R. § 106.44;
  2. The range of behaviors that constitute sex-based discrimination, including the definition of sex-based harassment; and
  3. The institution’s updated reporting and notification obligations for employees under the 2024 amended regulations. This includes providing any student, or authorized representative of a student, who discloses pregnancy or a related condition with the contact information of the Title IX Coordinator. Employees must also inform the individual that the Title IX Coordinator can facilitate specific measures to prevent sex discrimination and ensure the student’s equitable access to the institution’s educational programs or activities.

Second

In addition to the mandatory training for all employees, any employee involved in the institution’s grievance procedures — such as investigators, decision-makers, informal resolution facilitators, and others who (1) implement the institution’s grievance procedures, or (2) have authority to modify or terminate supportive measures — must undergo training in the following areas:

  1. Understanding the obligations outlined in 34 C.F.R. § 106.44, which detail the actions required of an institution’s Title IX Coordinator upon learning of conduct potentially constituting sex discrimination. This includes training on offering and coordinating supportive measures for both the complainant and respondent, initiating a complaint, and taking prompt and effective action to stop sex discrimination and prevent its recurrence. Training must also cover the availability of informal resolution processes and the confidentiality requirements regarding personally identifiable information.
  2. Familiarity with the requirements governing an institution’s grievance procedures as set forth in 34 C.F.R. § 106.45, as well as the additional requirements specific to postsecondary institutions under 34 C.F.R. § 106.46.
  3. Ensuring impartiality in the grievance process, which includes avoiding preconceptions about the facts in question, conflicts of interest, and bias.
  4. Understanding the criteria for determining the relevance of questions and evidence under the grievance procedures (§§ 106.45, 106.46 if applicable), and recognizing types of evidence that are impermissible even if deemed relevant.

These training requirements are essential to ensure that all personnel involved in grievance procedures possess the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct fair and effective investigations and decision-making processes.

Third

Any employee who is directly engaged in the institution’s informal resolution procedures must undergo further training in the following areas:

  1. Comprehensive training covering all categories mentioned earlier.
  2. Familiarization with the rules and procedures governing the institution’s informal resolution process, and guidance on maintaining impartiality, avoiding conflicts of interest, and preventing bias.

Lastly

The Title IX Coordinator(s) at the institution must undergo training on the following:

  1. Comprehensive training covering all categories listed above; and
  2. Their specific responsibilities as outlined in:
    • 34 C.F.R. § 106.8(a), which pertain to the designation of a Title IX Coordinator and the notification of their identity.
    • 34 C.F.R. § 106.40(b)(3), which cover the specific measures required to prevent discrimination and ensure equal access for individuals who are pregnant or have related conditions, including those related to childbirth, termination of pregnancy, lactation, and related medical conditions and recovery.
    • 34 C.F.R. § 106.44(f) and (g), which address the obligations related to providing supportive measures.
    • Understanding the school’s record-keeping system and compliance requirements under 34 C.F.R. § 106.8(f).
    • Any additional training necessary to effectively coordinate the institution’s adherence to Title IX regulations.

Updated Training Requirements

The Department acknowledged that the updated training requirements may necessitate considerable time and financial resources. This includes the expansion of training programs, updating training materials and policy manuals. However, it determined that these additional requirements are justified to ensure institutions can consistently identify and address instances of sex discrimination. The Department concluded that the benefits of enhanced training for all employees would significantly reduce inconsistencies in how Title IX complaints are handled.

The Department highlighted that institutions have flexibility in structuring and staffing training, as long as they meet the requirements specified in section 106.8(d) of the regulations.

Given the broadened scope of mandatory training recipients, institutions should promptly evaluate these requirements and plan for compliance. The revised regulations offer additional guidance on several key regulatory aspects, such as training on impartiality in grievance procedures, requirements for training certain non-employees, and notifications related to pregnancy or related conditions. Institutions will need to incorporate the Department’s guidance on these topics into their training programs.

Sources

https://www.wiggin.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/WD24-Advisory-2024-Title-IX-Regulations_v1.pdf

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/t9-unofficial-final-rule-2024.pdf

https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/Title-IX-2024-Rule-Key-Provisions.pdf

https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/Title-IX-2024-Rule-Key-Provisions.pdf

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/t9-final-rule-summary.pdf

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/t9-unofficial-final-rule-2024.pdf

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/t9-unofficial-final-rule-2024.pdf

Maya Murphy P.C. has proudly been included in the 2024 Edition of Best Law Firms®, ranked among the top firms in the nation. In addition, Managing Partner Joseph C. Maya has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for his work in Employment Law and Education Law in Connecticut. Recognition in Best Lawyers® is awarded to firms and attorneys who demonstrate excellence in the industry and is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor.

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If you have any questions or would like to speak to an attorney about a legal matter, please contact Joseph C. Maya and the other experienced attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or JMaya@Mayalaw.com to schedule a free initial consultation today.