Lozano Smith’s Title IX Practice Area is comprised of specialists dedicated to the pressing issues faced by K-12 school districts, community college districts and higher education institutions. From athletics to sexual violence, this team advises, trains, and educates clients on the various components of Title IX – from prevention and mitigation to investigations resulting in disciplinary action.
Attorneys in the Title IX Practice Area collaborate with multiple practice groups, including student, labor and employment, investigations and special education. Our team focuses its efforts on streamlining the advice and counsel that is provided to clients on Title IX-related issues. Areas in which the group provides advice and training include:
- Athletics, including audits of athletic programs
- Sex-based discrimination of students and employees
- Pregnant and parenting students
- Single-sex education
- Issues relating to transgender employees and students
- Developing and auditing complaint grievance procedures and policies
- Responding to reports of sexual misconduct and harassment
- Investigating complaints of sexual misconduct and harassment
- Title IX Coordinator roles and responsibilities
- District and employee liability
- Reporting obligations
- Interaction with law enforcement agencies
- Discipline of employees and students
- VAWA/Clery Act
Commitment to Craft
Members of the Title IX Practice Area continually improve their craft through trainings with other investigators and associations, and many are trained and certified by:
- Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA)
- Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI)
- Trauma-Informed Training and Practices
Preventive Measures and Education
Through onsite trainings, our team proactively works with educational institutions to spot issues and trends, strengthen processes and protocols. We help build skills within your staff, and expand knowledge for identifying issues and addressing misconduct when it occurs.
Our clients find that in many cases this helps to save costs in the long run.
Lozano Smith has partnered with several leading associations to help equip leaders on best practices in addressing Title IX-related matters, including the Association of Chief Human Resources Offices (ACHRO), Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), and Small School Districts Association (SSDA).
Representative workshops include
- Building for the Future, Now: Best Practices in Conducting Title IX Investigations
- Best practices and responsibilities for administrators
- Title IX Investigations: how to conduct an investigation
- Reporting duties for teachers under Title IX
- Title IX and state-afforded rights for transgender students
- Non-binary employees in the workplace
- AB 1805: Mandated Sexual Harassment Training
New Appellate Court Case Holds College Not Required to Hold Live Evidentiary Hearing before Issuing Written Reprimand
March 2021Number 5The California Court of Appeal has held that a community college's issuance of a written reprimand to a student found in violation of the college's policy against harassment does not entitle the student to a live evidentiary hearing. (Knight v. S. Orange Cmty. Coll. Dist. (Feb. 10, 2021) Case No. G058644, 2021 WL 486518.) In reaching its decision, the court distinguished a written reprimand from a suspension or expulsion and discussed a string of recent California cases that...
Redefining Sex: How the Office of Civil Rights Distinguishes Title VII from Title IX in Relation to Transgender Athletes
December 2020Number 86The United States Supreme Court's landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County Georgia (2020) 590 U.S. __ [140 S.Ct. 1731] is producing ripple effects in the legal community. In Bostock, the Supreme Court held that the scope of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 (Title VII) which, in part, prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, extends its workplace protections to people based on their sexual orientation or transgender status (and presumably their gen...
Public School Districts Cannot be Sued Under California's Unruh Civil Rights Act for Disability Discrimination
December 2020Number 83In a case of first impression, the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District, recently held that a school district is not a "business establishment" and therefore cannot be liable for disability discrimination under California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, Civil Code section 51 (Unruh Act). (Brennon B. v. Superior Court of Contra Costa County (Nov. 13, 2020, A157026) _ Cal.App.5th _.) The court in Brennon B. concluded the Unruh Act imposes liability only on...
June 2020Number 49On May 6, 2020, the United States Department of Education (DOE) issued much-anticipated Regulations (Regulations) addressing how schools and colleges (referred to as Recipients) must respond to claims of sexual harassment covered by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). Title IX is the federal law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational settings. The Regulations make significant changes to current requirements and practices and re...
"She Said, He Said": Appellate Court Weighs In On Fairness Requirements In Student Sexual Assault Discipline Case
July 2019Number 33On April 23, 2019, a California appellate court ruled against a private college for failing to properly provide an accused student with a fair hearing in a sexual assault case that led to the student being suspended from college for two years.Doe v. Westmont College involved an alleged rape of a female college student (Victim) by a male college student (Accused) and demonstrates the necessity of fairness for all parties involved in contested student sexual assault discipline...
October 2017 Number 56 New guidance on schools' responsibilities for addressing claims of sexual misconduct under Title IX places greater emphasis on the rights of those accused of sexual misconduct. The new guidance marks a significant departure from prior guidance but lacks details, creating the potential for many issues requiring legal consultation. On September 22, the United States Department of Education issued interim guidance on schools' responsibilities in addressing sexual mi...
July 2017 Number 36 The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued new instructions to its regional directors regarding how to handle complaints involving transgender students. The document is intended to offer OCR staff additional guidance in light of recent court developments and the Trump Administration's withdrawal of the Obama Administration's guidance on transgender students. (See 2017 Client News Brief No. 9.) The instructions affirm that transgender...