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U.S. Department Of Education Released Guidance Regarding Pregnancy And Related Conditions
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. The Department’s Title IX regulations prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy and related conditions in institutions that receive Federal funds. On October 4, 2022, the OCR released guidance reminding schools of Title IX’s application to discrimination and exclusion regarding pregnancy and related conditions. Schools must not discriminate or exclude any student from their education program or activity, or an employee or applicant from employment, based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from pregnancy. The OCR’s guidance states that schools must treat pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, and recovery therefrom the same as any other temporary disability, and provide the student or employee with leave. The OCR’s guidance also provides information on how students, employees, or applicants for employment who may have been discriminated against based on pregnancy or related conditions how to file a complaint through their school’s grievance procedures. The guidance notes that anyone can file a complaint with OCR, including students, parents, and guardians, employees, community members, or any others who experience or observe discrimination in education programs or activities based on sex, including pregnancy and related conditions, as well as based on race, color, national origin, disability, and age.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights October 4, 2022 news release is available at: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/ocr-pregnancy-resource.pdf.