The Catholic University of America

Summary of Federal Laws

Employment

Equal Employment Opportunity

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EO Officer

AVP for Human Resources

Related Policies

Sexual Harassment

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Discrimination Complaint

Title IX of Education Amendments of 1972

20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1688; 34 C.F.R. § 106.1 et seq., 34 C.F.R. Parts 106.51-106.61

The Law: Prohibits employment discrimination based on gender by educational institutions receiving or benefiting from federal financial assistance.

Actions Necessary: Requires the adoption and publication of grievance procedures to resolve employee and student complaints, as well as the designation of a responsible employee to coordinate compliance. Notification of all students and employees of the name, address, and phone number of the responsible employee. See 34 C.F.R. § 106.8.

Record Keeping: Any grievance records relating to a Title IX violation or complaint must be be retained for the period of time cited in state law as Title IX does not contain a statute of limitations.

In the District of Columbia, the statute of limitations for personal injury actions is three years. See DC Code 12-301. However, the DC Human Rights Act (discrimination on the basis of gender) is 1 year.In some cases, such as the Penn State case involving children, the statute is tolled until the child reaches the age of majority.

 OCR page on religious exemption under Title IX: Includes historical documents of schools who have claimed the exemption in the past. Also includes OCR responses to the requests. 

Q&A

Q: Does an applicant who was denied admission to a graduate program have standing to file a complaint of discrimination through the institution's internal complaint process that is applicable only to complaints made by employees and students of the institution or is that person limited to file a complaint through state and/or federal agencies?

A. OCR's 504 regulation at 34 CFR 104.7, requiring schools to have grievance procedures, includes this: "Such procedures need not be established with respect to complaints from applicants for employment or from applicants for admission to postsecondary institutions." The Title IX regulation at 34 CFR 106.8 requires grievance procedures for the "resolution of student and employee complaints." The ADA regulations for Title II doesn't expressly include that limitation. OCR's Title VI regulations don't include a requirement for grievance procedures.

Cases

Settlement Agreement and Order in Moshak v. University of Tennessee, Jan. 6, 2016. Moshak v. The University of Tennessee 

The University of Tennessee has settled their sex discrimination and retaliation case with three female athletic trainers for over one million dollars. The plaintiffs initially alleged that the University was discriminating through a disparity in pay between them and male employees who perform equivalent duties. Additionally, the plaintiffs claim that as a result of the sex discrimination lawsuit, they were either demoted or fired. In their amended complaint, they assert the University “created a testosterone wall effectively prohibited women from enjoying equal employment conditions.”

The University has stated that this settlement is not an admission of liability. They have denied that any discrimination or retaliation occurred. According to the University, the decision to settle “was in the best,long-term interest” of the school. In a joint statement, the plaintiffs’ attorneys stated: “The resolution of this matter stands as a testament to the importance of equality for women in sports and those working with women in sports. This settlement sends a clear message to collegiate decision-makers nationwide that disparity in pay, opportunity, funding, participation or otherwise is unacceptable in this day and time.”

The settlement totaling over one million dollars covers compensation for wage-based damages, non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, and attorneys’ fees. (write up by Andrew Miller OGC law clerk)

 

On the limitations issue, see Bougher v. University of Pittsburgh (882 F. 2d 74 at 78 (3rd Cir. 1989)) where the court held as follows:

Although Congress did not provide a specific federal statute of limitations for claims under the Civil Rights Act, the Supreme Court has held that 42 U.S.C.A. § 1988 (West 1981) directs federal courts to "borrow" the state statute of limitations for the most analogous cause of action. See Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 266-67, 85 L. Ed. 2d 254, 105 S. Ct. 1938 (1985). In analyzing section 1983 claims in particular, the Court determined that these claims are most analogous to common law tort actions because a section 1983 claim involves the deprivation of life, liberty, or property. Accordingly, the Court held that, as a matter of federal law, all section 1983 claims are subject to the state statute of limitations for personal injury actions. Id. at 280; Springfield Township School Dist. v. Knoll, 471 (emphasis added)

 

For cites to Title IX as it applies to students, see Non-Discrimination with Respect to Students.

 

CCR updated CFR links 6/1/15

updated 11-7-16 to add Q&A