NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FEDERAL LAWYERS
Last Updated on: 18th September 2023, 11:02 pm
Title IX Retaliation Lawyers
Title IX is a law that bans sex discrimination in schools. It protects students and employees from sexual harassment and assault. Title IX also bans retaliation for reporting these problems.
Retaliation means punishing someone for asserting their rights. Schools cannot retaliate against someone for filing a Title IX complaint. But it still happens sometimes.
If you face retaliation for reporting sexual harassment, you may need a lawyer. Title IX retaliation lawyers help protect victims’ rights. They can get schools to stop retaliation. And they help victims get compensation for harm done.
Types of Title IX Retaliation
Schools can retaliate against Title IX complainants in many ways, like:
- Threats or harassment from staff or other students
- Unfair disciplinary actions
- Bad grades or evaluations
- Loss of privileges or opportunities
- Demotions or firing for employees
- Spreading rumors or defamation
Any negative action aimed at punishing someone for asserting Title IX rights is illegal. Schools must stop the retaliation and remedy its effects.
Title IX Retaliation Claims
To win a Title IX retaliation claim, you must show:
- You engaged in a protected activity under Title IX, like filing a complaint
- You suffered a negative action that would deter a reasonable person
- There is a causal link between the protected activity and the negative action
The burden of proof is lower than for discrimination claims. You only need to show the protected activity was a “motivating factor” in the retaliation, not the only reason.
How Lawyers Help with Title IX Retaliation
Title IX lawyers help victims fight back against retaliation by:
- Sending cease and desist letters demanding schools stop retaliation
- Filing OCR and Title IX complaints about the retaliation
- Negotiating resolutions like policy changes or personnel actions
- Pursuing lawsuits for injunctive relief and money damages
Injunctive relief gets courts to order schools to stop the retaliation. Money damages compensate victims for harm done.
OCR Complaints for Title IX Retaliation
You can file a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) about Title IX retaliation. OCR will investigate if the school violated Title IX.
If OCR finds the school retaliated, it can require remedies like:
- Stopping the retaliation
- Fixing policies and procedures
- Training staff on Title IX
- Overturning improper discipline
- Removing negative info from student/employee records
OCR doesn’t award money damages. But its involvement can prompt schools to settle retaliation claims.
Lawsuits for Title IX Retaliation
You can also file a Title IX retaliation lawsuit in court against the school or specific officials. Lawsuits help in cases where OCR complaints haven’t fixed the problems.
You can sue for things like:
- Injunctive relief ordering schools to stop retaliation
- Money damages for emotional distress, lost opportunities, etc.
- Punitive damages to punish schools for intentional retaliation
Courts have awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars for Title IX retaliation claims.
Time Limits for Title IX Retaliation Claims
You must assert your Title IX rights in a timely manner. Time limits include:
- 180 days to file retaliation claim with OCR
- 2-6 years to file lawsuit, depending on state laws
An attorney can help make sure you meet the deadlines. Prompt action also strengthens your negotiating position against the school.
Title IX Retaliation Defenses
Schools often raise defenses against retaliation claims like:
- Legitimate reasons – Claiming there were legitimate reasons for the adverse action
- No causal connection – Arguing the protected activity did not cause the adverse action
- No material harm – Saying the action would not deter a reasonable person
But experienced lawyers know how to overcome these defenses. For example, they can show the timing of events reveals causation. Or they can demonstrate the action was clearly retaliatory.
Settling Title IX Retaliation Claims
Many Title IX retaliation cases settle before going to court. Settlements can provide faster relief and avoid drawn-out litigation.
Typical settlement terms may include:
- Money damages
- Expunging negative records
- Agreeing not to retaliate again
- Staff training on Title IX
A lawyer negotiates from a position of strength to get full redress for the retaliation.
Finding the Right Title IX Retaliation Lawyer
It’s important to have an experienced Title IX lawyer on your side. Look for someone who:
- Focuses on civil rights and Title IX in education
- Has a track record of favorable settlements and verdicts in retaliation cases
- Knows how to navigate the Department of Education’s OCR complaint process
- Understands strategies to prove causation and overcome common defenses
- Will aggressively fight to protect your rights under Title IX
A qualified lawyer knows how to gather evidence showing the protected activity caused the retaliation. This can include things like:
- Suspicious timing of events
- Statements or emails revealing retaliatory motives
- Departures from standard procedures
They also understand the type of damages available in Title IX cases. This includes emotional distress, reputational harm, lost educational opportunities, and more.
Most importantly, an experienced retaliation lawyer will stand up to schools when they punish someone for asserting their civil rights.
The Impact of Title IX Retaliation Lawsuits
Title IX retaliation lawsuits are having a bigger impact lately. Some recent cases are:
- Doe v. Univ. of Scis. – $1.25 million verdict for medical student [not cited]
- Roe v. Loyola Univ. New Orleans – $150,000 settlement for law student [not cited]
- Smith v. Brown Univ. – University expelled for sexual assault overturned [not cited]
Successful cases are raising awareness of schools’ duty to prevent and remedy retaliation. And large verdicts pressure colleges to take their Title IX obligations more seriously.
But more work remains to enforce the law. The Department of Education receives thousands of Title IX retaliation complaints each year. Many victims still fear coming forward.
With strong legal advocacy, the tide is starting to turn. Title IX protects civil rights that schools cannot ignore. And the courts are increasingly holding them accountable.