There are laws in the U.S. that prohibit retaliation against anyone who makes claims of wrongdoing. Whistleblower laws, for example, protect employees who speak out about illegal or other violations perpetrated by their company or government agency. Federal and state laws also shield those making sexual harassment and discrimination complaints, including those at educational institutions that fall under Title IX.
If you have been subjected to adverse actions after you made – or had been erroneously accused in – a Title IX complaint, you may have a case for illegal retaliation.
What Is Title IX?
Title IX is part of the Education Amendments of 1972 and prohibits sex discrimination in education. After this law passed, sweeping changes in the access females had to classes, sports, and other school activities occurred. But this federal civil rights law is comprehensive and covers more than some may realize.
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has assessed that sexual harassment, sexual violence, and bullying are forms of sexual harassment under Title IX.
Some states have added further protections. All 50 states have passed school anti-bullying legislation. Some states, like Massachusetts, have passed state-level legislation further obligating college campuses when Title IX violations are suspected.
Lodging a complaint is a protected right yet some people may find they are being punished in some way for making the claim.
Types of Illegal Retaliation
Title IX does not only provide for protections against sexual discrimination. Title IX also prohibits the educational institution or party in the complaint from retaliating against anyone involved. Students, teachers, coaches, advisers, and anyone else that works or participates in-school programs are explicitly protected.
Employees, faculty, staff, and students can bring retaliation claims.
Illegal Retaliation Against Students
Some examples of possible illegal retaliation include the following if you are a student:
- Received reduced or failing grades
- Blocked from participating in school activities/athletics
- Withdrawn school-based scholarships
- Difficulty in signing up for classes
- Threatened with suspension or expulsion
- Untrue rumors spread throughout the campus
- Bullying through social media and other electronic means
Illegal Retaliation Against Employees
Some examples of possible illegal retaliation include the following if you are an employee:
- Denied a promotion
- Denied tenure (or revoked)
- Refused a pay increase
- Suspended from work
- Transferred to a different department
Retribution can take many forms and it can happen if you are the one who made the complaint (complainant) or the accused (respondent). For the accused, retaliation can take place during the investigative process or even after the process if vindicated.
Experienced Counsel for Title IX Retaliation Claims
If you are a student or employee who believes you are being retaliated against, talk to an attorney experienced in Title IX as soon as possible.
Retaliation can have a long-term impact on a victim’s future. Students can be robbed of educational opportunities and employees can find their careers stopped in their tracks.
At Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC, we are committed to protecting your rights to be free from unlawful retaliation. We can represent clients in their underlying Title IX complaints, as well as any additional retaliation claims that may arise. Our extensive experience handling Title IX and college misconduct cases gives us specific insight on how to best work toward a successful resolution.
Schedule a consultation by calling (737) 200-2332 or submitting our online form. We can represent clients throughout the United States.