Law Office of Christine Garner. PC

Services

Title IX Support
 K-12  

Higher Education 


SEXUAL HARASSMENT INVESTIGATION

Christine Garner is certified as a Level 1 and 2 Civil Rights investigator through ATIXA.  Please contact us to determine her availability to act as an external investigator, second chair investigator or to provide a review of your findings and report from an investigation.  

Schools that are located in Northern Illinois including Chicago and suburbs and southern Wisconsin, including Milwaukee and Madison would not be charged for travel expenses.


EMPLOYMENT

Women have been fighting for equality in the workplace for decades.  Title VII and Title IX provide protection for sex based discrimination.  State laws may also provide protection.  Remember the deadline to file a complaint through EEOC under Title VII or to file a complaint with OCR under Title IX is 180 days.  An EEOC complaint filing could be extended to 300 calendar days if a state or local agency enforces a law that prohibits employment discrimination on the same basis.


TITLE IX TRAINING

DUE PROCESS FOR COMPLAINANT AND RESPONDENT IN A TITLE IX INVESTIGATION

Due process is certainly a current hot topic in relation to Title IX investigations. Betsy DeVos' speech on September 7, 2017
highlighted the problems that occur when due
process principles are not followed.  However, Ms. DeVos's speech also failed to address any positive results from Title IX enforcement.

Due process requirements can be satisfied for a complainant and a accused party.  Actually, there is more agreement than disagreement in regards to procedures that will provide due process for everyone.  We can provide a thorough and unbiased training session can tailored to your needs.  Please contact us to further discuss arranging a training session.
 

 


ATHLETICS

Many people still associate Title IX with its impact on athletics and the ground breaking reforms for female athletes.  Some may still remember  that on March 3, 1976, less than 4 years after Title IX was enacted, the Yale Woman's Rowing team demanded their rights after enduring insults that "real rowing" was for men.  Numerous inequities existed between the treatment of the men's team and the women's team.

Chris Ernst, a member of the woman's rowing team, led a protest by gathering 19 members of the team and marched into the director of women's athletics to demand fair treatment.  The team members stripped off their clothes to reveal "Title IX" written with marker on their chests and backs.

Ernst read the statement,
"These are the bodies Yale is exploiting.  On a day like today, ice freezes on this skin.  Then we sit for half an hour as the ice melts and soaks through to meet the sweat that is soaking us from the inside. " Showers were installed and Louise O'Neal was hired to create sweeping changes in Yale's women's athletic department.  Title IX gave these women the right to demand fair treatment. 

The Office of Civil Rights has  stated there are three basic areas for compliance which are:

  • student interests and abilities;

  • athletic benefits and opportunities; and

  • financial assistance.

Please feel free to contact our firm to discuss your questions or concerns regarding your institution's obligation and compliance.  


ACCESS  TO EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

Title IX prohibits discrimination in access to educational programs based upon a person's gender.


CLERY ACT AND SAFETY REPORTING 

Jeanne Clery was a 19 year old college student who was raped and murdered in her college dorm in 1986.   After her murder, Jeanne Clery's parents discovered the truth about crime and rape on their daughter's college campus.  If they had known the statistics before her enrollment, they would not have sent their daughter to that college.

The parents of Jeanne Clery worked to lobby for the the Clery Act which requires disclosures regarding campus safety.  


EDUCATION FOR PREGNANT AND PARENTING STUDENTS

The Department of Education has provided guidance in the pamphlet : Supporting Success of Pregnatn and Parenting Students.( https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/pregnancy.pdf).  The pamphlet specifically states: "Title IX specifically prohibits discrimination against a student based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions. The Title IX regulation also prohibits a school from applying any rule related to a student’s parental, family, or marital status that treats students differently based on their sex."


LGBTQ ISSUES

 The "Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students" was issued on May 13, 2016.  In the letter, the OCR clearly stated that Title IX's prohibition on gender discrimination "...encompasses discrimination based on a student’s gender identity, including discrimination based on a student’s transgender status."

On February 22, 2017,  the new Secretary of Education rescinded the May 13, 2016 letter.   As part of that recision,  Betsy Devos commented, "I have dedicated my career to advocating for and fighting on behalf of students, and as Secretary of Education, I consider protecting all students, including LGBTQ students, not only a key priority for the Department, but for every school in America."  Criticism has been raised that the rescission of the May 16, 2016 letter is inconsistent with the proclamation that Ms. Devos is truly "advocating for transgender students.

Our office will continue to monitor this important topic and will provide updates.  Please feel free to contact us regarding your questions, concerns and insight on LGBTQ rights.


HOUSING

A relatively obvious outcome would be that student housing should not discriminate based upon the gender of the student.  A student that has been sexually assaulted should also receive housing accommodations if needed to guarantee the safety of the student.