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Title IX Rights and Resources for UW Students

October 21, 2022

Message to UW Students About Title IX Rights and Resources

Dear UW Students,

We’re contacting you with information about Title IX, a federal gender equity law that prohibits discrimination based on sex or gender.

As a UW student, there are a number of reasons why Title IX may matter to you:

We also want to share a copy of the inaugural Title IX annual report. Students advocated for the development of this report and provided input on what content to include. You can find the report on the Title IX annual report webpage.

Lastly, you may be aware that the U.S. Department of Education has proposed new Title IX regulations that will impact how institutions respond to sex- and gender-based violence, harassment and discrimination. The UW’s detailed response to the proposed rules is posted on the Title IX website. We do not know when the final regulations will be issued, but we will alert the UW community when that occurs.

If you have questions or would like additional information, please reach out to the Office of the Title IX Coordinator at titleix@uw.edu. Thank you for working with us and with each other to build an inclusive community that treats every member with dignity, fairness and respect.

Sincerely,

 

Valery Richardson
Title IX Coordinator – University of Washington

Mentha Hynes-Wilson
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs – Tacoma Campus

Denzil Suite
Vice President for Student Life – Seattle Campus

Tim Wilson
Dean of Student Affairs – Bothell Campus

Fact Resource about Pregnancy and Related Conditions

October 12, 2022

During a time when access to the full range of reproductive health care options is changing in the national landscape, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released the Discrimination Based on Pregnancy and Related Conditions fact resource. This resource emphasizes and clarifies universities’ existing Title IX obligations to protect students and employees who are pregnant, give birth, or experience the loss or termination of a pregnancy.

Title IX’s goal is to ensure persons who are pregnant or experiencing pregnancy-related conditions are not denied or limited in their access to an educational program or activity. Thus, Title IX aims to help pregnant students remain in school, help pregnant employees remain at work, and/or ensure someone who recently gave birth–or who experienced the loss or termination of a pregnancy– can return to school or work.

The fact resource includes information pertinent to students, employees, and employment applicants, and discusses:

  • The prohibition of discrimination and/or exclusion based on pregnancy or related conditions
  • The obligation to treat pregnancy and related conditions the same as any other temporary disability
  • The requirement to provide leaves of absence for students and employees
  • The option to file a complaint through a school’s grievance procedures or the Office for Civil Rights

If you are a student seeking support or accommodations for pregnancy or related conditions, you are encouraged to work directly with your instructors and/or the Disability Resources for Students (DRS) office for your campus (Bothell DRS, Seattle DRS, Tacoma DRS). If you are an instructor, you have the responsibility and authority to make a variety of reasonable adjustments or modifications without requiring a student to work with Disability Resources for Students. If you are an employee seeking support or accommodations, you are encouraged to review the UW HR Pregnancy accommodation website and contact the Disability Services Office with questions.

To learn more about support, protections, and/or accommodations under Title IX and other federal and state laws visit the Pregnancy & related conditions page on the UW Office of the Title IX Coordinators website.

UW submits response to 2022 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

September 12, 2022

The U.S. Department of Education posted proposed Title IX regulations in the Federal Register on July 12, 2022. The University of Washington submitted a detailed response, which includes a letter from President Cauce and specific feedback based on the Office of the Title IX Coordinator’s analysis and input received from partners across the UW.

Additional updates will be posted here as we learn more about the Department’s response to comments it receives, any additional proposed rules–as the Department noted additional proposed rulemaking regarding Title IX and athletics would be forthcoming–and any final Title IX regulations.

 

Proposed Title IX Rules

July 12, 2022

The U.S. Department of Education posted proposed Title IX regulations on June 23, 2022, which were published in the Federal Register on July 12, 2022. A 60-day notice and comment period is now underway, with comments due to the Department of Education on or before September 12, 2022.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) aims to actualize Title IX’s goals of preventing sex discrimination in education and ensuring that all students are able to access equal educational opportunities. The NPRM broadens the definition of sex discrimination to include discrimination based on sex stereotypes, sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy status as well as discrimination due to sex- and gender-based violence. As such, the NPRM codifies protection for LGBTQI+ and pregnant students and employees. Further, the NPRM reiterates the Department of Education’s commitment to requiring that schools promptly respond to all complaints of sex discrimination through a fair process that treats complainants and respondents equitably.

The University is conducting a full analysis of the proposed regulations and their potential impact on UW processes and protocols. Based on initial analysis, some of the NPRM’s most impactful changes include: 

  • More UW employees will be required to take action and report any time they learn that someone has potentially experienced sex discrimination;
  • The broader definition of “sex discrimination” will lead to more complaints of alleged behaviors being addressed under a Title IX framework at UW, though the grievance procedure will be less prescriptive than was required by the 2020 federal Title IX regulations;
  • UW’s provision of modifications and accommodations for pregnant students and employees will likely be expanded.

As a member of the University community, we welcome anything you’d like us to consider as we prepare content for a UW institutional response to the NPRM. If you’d like to provide input, please email that to titleix@uw.edu. Additionally, any individual can provide their own feedback to the Department of Education. Instructions for how to do so are in the published NPRM.

October Title IX Community Conversation – Video Now Available

November 12, 2020

If you weren’t able to join the October 28 or 29 community conversation, a recording is now available of the October 29 presentation.

The video includes information about what the new federal rules require and how UW has come into compliance. We also discuss initiatives that are focused on moving beyond compliance. View the recording to learn more about UW’s two-pathway approach to implementing the rules, receive an update on our education & prevention work, and learn more about conversations that are underway regarding alternative resolution options.  Please email titleix@uw.edu if you are interested in providing input or participating in any of this work.