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New York State Voluntarily Dismisses Lawsuit Regarding Title IX Regulations
The State of New York agreed on November 3, 2020, to dismiss its lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education regarding the new federal Title IX regulations. The lawsuit, filed in June 2020 by New York State officials and the Board of Education for the City School District of the City of New York, challenged the new federal regulations that govern how educational entities must adjudicate sexual harassment allegations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Although the parties voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit, they agreed the State or educational entities in the state could still argue the regulations were invalid if New York schools are sued for sexual assault or harassment-related claims.
In October, a federal trial judge in Washington, D.C., also dismissed a different lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of advocacy organizations for survivors of sexual assault.
Therefore, two lawsuits remain that challenge the legality of the new Title IX regulations. One lawsuit filed by the National Women’s Law Center and other legal advocacy groups completed a trial on November 12, 2020, in a federal trial court in Massachusetts. The parties in another lawsuit involving sixteen states and the District of Columbia, including California, continue to litigate the matter, and the court set some deadlines in March 2021.
An educational entity’s obligation to address sex- and gender-based harassment and discrimination stem from a variety of sources under federal and state law. Even if an educational entity does not accept federal or state funding, the new regulations may raise issues of best practice. Educational entities should therefore review their policies and procedures in light of the new Title IX regulations and carefully consider what practices they wish to adopt.