When many people think of Title IX, they believe it only applies to students who are discriminated against based on sex. However, what they don’t realize is that there is actually a much broader interpretation, protecting employees of most educational institutions as well.
Title IX states that “[n]o 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.” In the North Haven Board of Education v. Bell case, the court determined that while Title IX does not expressly include or exclude employees, therefore “it’s broad directive that ‘no person’ may be discriminated against on the basis of gender, on its face, includes employees as well as students.”
Under this law, people who are employed by institutions that receive federal funding are protected against sex discrimination. The following situations, while not complete, fall under the protection of Title IX:
- A female employee who is paid a lower salary than her male colleagues for like work
- Sexual harassment
- A male employee discriminated against based on gender non-conforming behavior
- Retaliation against a person for reporting or complaining of sexual discrimination
Title IX action is generally not the route most take when filing a complaint based on sexual discrimination, but it may provide another form of relief. If you think you have been the victim of sexual discrimination, please contact a qualified attorney to discuss your legal rights.
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