News & Insight


By Lin Nguyen and Debbie Osgood

The U.S. Department of Education has issued its much-anticipated Final Rule on Title IX, unofficial version available here, which will go into effect on August 1, 2024. In a press release, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona described the Final Rule as furthering Title IX’s 50-year legacy and promise of “an equal opportunity to learn and thrive in our nation’s schools free from sex discrimination.”

Here are our key initial takeaways:

    • Broader scope of Title IX protection: Title IX’s regulations specifically include protection against sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
    • Title IX Coordinators: Title IX Coordinators must take “actions to promptly and effectively end any sex discrimination,” remedy its effects, and prevent its recurrence in the school’s education program or activity.
    • Expanded definition of sexual/sex-based harassment: The regulations define this harassment as “unwelcome sex-based conduct that, based on the totality of the circumstances, is subjectively and objectively offensive and is so severe or pervasive.”
    • Off campus harassment: The Title IX regulations apply to conduct that contributes to a hostile environment, even when part of the conduct occurs outside the United States or outside a school’s education program or activity.
    • Discretion regarding hearing process: Title IX’s required grievance procedures now allow schools to assess credibility during a live hearing or in meetings with the involved parties and witnesses.
    • Greater clarity regarding pregnancy, related conditions and parental, family or marital status: The Title IX regulations set clearer and stronger protections against discrimination based on “pregnancy or related conditions” and “parental, family, or marital status.”

To assist higher education attorneys and Title IX officials in their review of the Final Rule, the Department has published a fact sheet and summary of the major provisions of the final regulations, along with a resource for schools to revising nondiscrimination statements, policies, and grievance procedures.
HMBR attorneys are continuing to closely review and analyze the Final Rule on Title IX and will update HMBR’S Title IX Compliance webpage with resources and upcoming webinars events. For information on HMBR’s Title IX Training and external Title IX services, please contact Debbie Osgood, HMBR shareholder and former OCR National Enforcement Director, or Linh Nguyen, HMBR partner in the Education Group.

  Apr 19, 2024  |  By    |   On Client Alerts