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Title IX Retaliation in New York

When a student reports sexual assault on a university campus, or a student, professor, coach, or other individual participates in a sexual violence investigation, Title IX protects them against any form of retaliation.

Whether it is a formal Title IX report, an informal complaint, or if a student raises concerns about another student, Federal laws and Title IX in New York make it illegal for the university and its employees to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against that individual. To best understand these regulations, an individual must consult with an attorney immediately.

Title IX Protections

According to Title IX, students who file sexual assault complaints or bring attention to sexual violence issues on campus—or individuals who testify or participate in a school’s Title IX proceedings in New York City—are all protected against retaliation from the university.

Even if a sexual assault claim is found to be untrue, or if civil rights were not actually violated, the individual who made the report is still protected against retaliation.

These protections are put in place to ensure students’ civil rights are being upheld and to encourage students to take action if an incident occurs, instead of worrying about the possibility of being cut from a sports team, being suspended or expelled, or experiencing any other type of discrimination on campus.

Title IX also protects coaches, professors, and other university employees. For example, if a college football coach protested sexual violence on campus, or participated in a sex discrimination investigation, the university would be prohibited from firing them or committing other forms of retaliation because of their actions.

Title IX does not offer protection from retaliation in New York against other students. For example, if a student threatens or intimidates another student for reporting sexual violence, it may not be considered retaliation. If, however, the university is made aware of this conduct, it must take steps to address it.

Preventing Retaliation on Campus

In order to protect students from retaliation on campus, a university must take immediate and appropriate steps to address reports of retaliation and work to prevent it from happening altogether.

This may include informing students how to report incidents of retaliation, addressing continuing problems, thoroughly investigating complaints of intimidation or threats, and holding follow-up meetings with the complainant and witnesses.

A school should also inform their students that Federal law prohibits retaliation, and that the school will take strong responsive action if an incident occurs.

Types of Retaliation

Title IX in New York City does not specify the forms that retaliation can take, however certain actions can be considered retaliatory if they involve threats, intimidation, coercion, or discrimination based on the individual’s involvement in a sexual violence case. Universities must protect against retaliation such as:

  • Disciplinary action for revealing the alleged perpetrator’s name
  • Banning students from speaking with the media
  • Forcing students to take time off school/drop out
  • Cutting students from a sports team
  • Forcing a student to leave a school organization or club
  • Removing a student from a dorm, or refusing to accommodate their housing needs
Reporting Misconduct

In order to qualify as retaliation under Title IX, it must be proven that a student or university staff member reported sexual violence, witnessed the incident, or participated in some way in the investigation. Additionally, it must be proven that:

  • The university was aware of the individual’s involvement in the Title IX process
  • The university discriminated against the individual
  • There is a connection between the two
Importance of Coming Forward

It is of paramount importance to remember that Title IX protects students who come forward with reports of a sexual assault on a university campus, or are part of a campus sexual violence investigation, from any kind of retaliation against them, be it in the form of intimidation, discrimination, coercion, or threats made against them.

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