Skip to Main Content
Services Talent Knowledge
Site Search


Our attorneys stay on top of changes in legislation, agency regulations, case law, and industry trends—then craft timely legal alerts to keep clients up to date on legal developments important to their business.

July 23, 2021

Education Department's Office for Civil Rights Issues Q&A on Title IX Sexual Harassment Regulations

The mission of the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is to ensure equal access to education for all students, from pre-K through elementary and secondary schools to postsecondary institutions, as guaranteed by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This includes protecting the rights of students to an educational environment free from discrimination based on sex, now including sexual harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

On July 20, the Education Department issued a Q&A resource, which sets forth OCR’s interpretation of the responsibility of schools under Title IX, focusing on questions related to the Trump administration’s 2020 amendments to the regulations, found at 34 CFR Part 106. 

Meanwhile, President Biden issued an “Executive Order on Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free From Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.” Accordingly, the Education Department will conduct a comprehensive review of the Title IX regulations as amended in 2020. This review will be ongoing, and in the meantime, the 2020 amendments remain in effect.

The Q&A does not address sex discrimination or harassment in employment under Title VII of the Civil rights Act of 1964, nor should it be used in the interpretation of policies or procedures thereunder.

The comprehensive Q&A consists of 67 questions and answers in 17 sections, providing, among other things, the definition of sexual harassment; how a school can obtain notice of sexual harassment; how a school should respond to allegations of sexual harassment; and how a school is to process formal complaints of sexual harassment, including live hearings and cross examination. There is also an appendix of 17 sections containing example policies from elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools. 

The Q&A document is available here.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Penny Mason, of counsel, at, or another member of the firm’s Higher Education Practice Area.


Click here to sign up for alerts, blog posts, and firm news.

Featured Media


Office of Cannabis Management Preview of NYS Adult-Use Cannabis Regulations


Moving Defendant Relying on a Complete Defense Need Not Disprove Every Exception


Red Flags That a Company May Be in Financial Trouble, Part 1


NYS Appellate Court Sustains College's Tenure Terminations


New Guidance for Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries in New York State


ADA Accessibility Lawsuits: Tester Plaintiffs—Deborah Laufer, Robert Petropoulos, Saim Sarwar, and Others—Targeting Massachusetts Businesses in Continued Flurry of Federal Lawsuits

This site uses cookies to give you the best experience possible on our site and in some cases direct advertisements to you based upon your use of our site.

By clicking [I agree], you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For information on what cookies we use and how to manage our use of cookies, please visit our Privacy Statement.

I AgreeOpt-Out