Though it may not sound as serious as criminal allegations, facing Title IX violation charges is no laughing matter. Especially in today’s times, any accusation of discrimination or harassment can be not only tough to deal with, but also extremely challenging to overcome. In many cases, it can damage a person’s, organization’s or school’s reputation long into the future if not for life. If you or your organization have been accused of a Title IX offense, it is imperative that you seek out experienced legal counsel as soon as possible.
Our offices are ready to help you deal with Title IX violations, so give us a call at your nearest convenience. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about Title IX complaints and the legal proceedings that surround them:
What is the Title IX Law?
At its core, Title IX is a civil rights law. Though it was passed back in 1972 as a portion of the Education Amendments Act, it has only been in more recent years that Title IX complaints have become more visible.
The law states: “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.”
More specifically, the Title IX law prohibits any school or organization that receives Federal funding from discriminating against anyone based on their gender. It’s also very important to note that this law goes further, prohibiting those who are accused from retaliating or taking any kind of responsive action against someone who may have filed the complaint. In other words, should an employee accuse you of gender discrimination, you may not terminate their employment as a result or take any other kind of negative action against them.
Sexual assault accusations may also be included under Title IX, specifically when it concerns students. This means that administrators and school staff can be accused of assault, as can students.
How Does Defense Against Title IX Complaints Work?
While the Title IX law is overall a good thing that has done a lot in the way of reducing discrimination and promoting gender equality, there is still a long way to go in order to ensure those who are accused have the means to defend themselves. The unfortunate truth is that many people and organizations are falsely accused, and their reputations start to take a dive almost immediately. Even if the accusations are eventually proven to be unfounded (which itself can be tough), there is often long-lasting damage.
Now, Title IX cases vary greatly in severity. While they are settled in court in a lot of situations, they may also be settled “in house” in a school setting. In these cases, proceedings will (that is, should) start as soon as the school receives word of a complaint. In the case of lawsuits, the case may also be able to stay out of court if an agreement is reached.
However, it depends on the severity of the allegations. While opting for an out-of-court setting may be desirable in many cases, it is important to realize that the accused may not receive the due process found in the court setting.
Again, this is why it is so important to get experienced legal counsel on your side, even if your case is not (yet) set to go to court. Your attorney can review all the facts of the case and do what they can to get any criminal charges dropped.
Potential Case Outcomes
Because the details of each case will vary greatly, it is important to realize that potential outcomes are also numerous. In the event of criminal allegations, the main goal will be getting the criminal charges dropped or reduced, as well as avoiding a prison sentence. In other cases, the goal will be focused on saving the accused’s reputation and character by gathering as many facts as possible (including potential witnesses).
If you or a loved one is facing a Title IX complaint, don’t wait to seek out help. The sooner you get legal assistance, the more likely you are to get the best possible outcome.