Know Your Laws

When it comes to sexual misconduct at academic institutions, it is helpful to know about the major laws that apply. These are Title IX, The Clery Act, and Title VII. Read on for brief descriptions. 

Title IX

Title IX is a federal law that was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX states: 

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” 

This law applies to any institution that receives Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education. These institutions must operate in a non-discriminatory manner, and may not retaliate against anyone for opposing an unlawful educational practice or policy. They may also not retaliate against anyone for making charges, testifying or participating in any complaint action under Title IX. Sexual harassment and sexual violence are prohibited under Title IX. Click here for more information. 

The Clery Act

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act is better known as the Clery Act. This is a federal law that requires colleges and universities in the US to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses. By October 1st each year, institutions must publish their annual security report and distribute it to current and prospective students and employees. The report must provide crime statistics for the previous three years, descriptions of campus crime prevention programs, policy statements on safety and security measures, and information on procedures to be followed in the investigation and prosecution of alleged sex offenses. For more information, visit the Clery Center site.

Title VII

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. It generally applies to employers with 15 or more employees. Under this law, employers cannot make employment-related decisions such as recruitment, advertising and promotions on a person’s race, color, sex, national origin or religion. The law was amended in 1978 to include pregnancy. For more on Title VII, click here.