Becoming pregnant while a student can have significant effects on your ability to complete your education. Whether the mother is suffering from traditional “morning sickness” or having significant pregnancy complications, the effects of being pregnant make it difficult to attend classes, complete assignments and complete the course requirements. However, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 provides significant protections for the pregnant mother in continuing her education.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq., prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex – including pregnancy or parental status – in all public and private schools, colleges, and universities which receive Federal funds. When a student becomes pregnant, Title IX requires the school to provide the pregnant mother certain reasonable accommodations, including the following:
- The pregnant mother may take medical leave from attending school during the pregnancy/complications if medically necessary.
- The pregnant mother must be allowed to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before the medical leave, including the opportunity to make up any missed work.
- The pregnant mother must be allowed to continue participating in classes and extracurricular activities if they desire to continue to attend school.
- The pregnant mother must be provided reasonable adjustments, such as seating arrangements or access to restrooms.
- Any absences due to pregnancy or childbirth must be excused, so long as your doctor says it is necessary.
- The school must take reasonable steps to protect the pregnant mother you from harassment based on your sex, including harassment related to pregnancy.
- The school must provide you with the same special services provided to other students with temporary medical conditions, such as homebound instruction, independent study, or tutoring.
Title IX provides expansive protections from harassment that is based on your sex, including pregnancy or parenting. If you feel that you have been discriminated against or harassed based on your sex, including pregnancy or parenting, contact the Law Offices of J.J. Talbott immediately. Our attorneys are experienced in fighting for our clients’ rights in Federal Court. To schedule a consultation to learn more about your rights, contact us at 850.437.9600.
By J.J. Talbott and Brad Larsen