Accusations of sexual assault or other discriminatory misconduct on college campuses have the potential to impact an accused person’s future negatively. A record of such a complaint limits the chances of transferring to another school or passing a background check for some jobs. In Florida, universities are expected to gain some flexibility in how they handle complaints and discipline people once the federal government finalizes proposed Title IX regulations.
Expected results of new regulations
The proposed regulations, as published in June 2022, remove rules put in place in 2017 by the previous administration. Critics of the 2017 changes claimed that they discouraged victims from reporting assaults or harassment.
Once the new regulations come into effect, legal scholars expect them to allow educational institutions to exercise various options when investigating complaints or imposing discipline. The legal landscape could vary according to a school’s status as public or private or which state the school is located in.
This departs from the 2017 rules that put a standard approach in place meant to ensure that accused people received fair due process. Because the new regulations are largely similar to the rules in place from 2013 to 2016, some observers predict that schools will experience a surge in reverse Title IX lawsuits.
What is a reverse Title IX lawsuit?
During the period prior to 2017, over 700 lawsuits arose from people who alleged that their schools harmed them by violating their rights in favor of those who falsely accused them. Schools often settled these lawsuits out of court to avoid costly trials regardless of the outcome of the original investigations. Most plaintiffs asked for their records to be expunged so that they could proceed in life without a stain on their records.
Despite current controversies about the proposed regulatory changes, the legal community is cautiously optimistic that they represent a more balanced approach. The flurry of reverse discrimination lawsuits that occurred in the past may not happen again.