Title IX and Pregnancy

Pregnant & Parenting Right, Protections, and Procedures

University of Montevallo’s Pregnant and Parenting Student Rights, Protections and Procedures

For a PDF version of these protections and procedures, please click here.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a law that protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that “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 Feder financial assistance.”

Scope of Protections and Procedures

These protections and procedures apply to every program offered by the University of Montevallo, including, but not limited to, admissions, educational programs and activities, extracurricular/co-curricular activities, and other activities. The procedures and its pregnancy-related protections apply to all pregnant persons, regardless of gender identity or expression. To request pregnancy or parenting-related accommodations, click here. Faculty and staff will work in concert with the Title IX Coordinator to make reasonable accommodations.

Pregnant and Parenting Student Protections and Procedures

The Department of Education’s (DOE) regulation specifically prohibits discrimination against a student based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions. It is illegal for the University to exclude a pregnant student from participating in any part of an educational program. This applies to specific classes such as honors classes, extracurricular/co-curricular programs, intercollegiate sports, honor societies, and opportunities for student leadership, among other activities. In alignment with the DOE’s regulations, the University must excuse a student’s absences because of pregnancy or childbirth as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences medically necessary. The student must return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before her medical leave began. Students with pregnancy-related disabilities, like any student with a short-term or temporary disability, are entitled to reasonable accommodations so they will not be disadvantaged in their course of study, research, or other activities. They may seek assistance from the Title IX office. Please note that the University is not obligated to make special accommodations not usually offered to students with temporary disabilities. However, the University will meet any reasonable accommodation request, even if it is a unique request.

In short, pregnant students should be treated the same way as someone with a temporary disability and can make up any missed work wherever possible. Extended deadlines, make-up assignments (e.g., papers, quizzes, tests, and presentations), tutoring, incomplete grades, etc. that can be completed later should all be employed. Information about pregnant student’s requests for accommodations will be shared with faculty and staff only to the extent necessary to provide a reasonable accommodation. Faculty and staff will regard all information associated with such requests as private and confidential and will not disclose this information unless necessary.

In situations such as clinical rotations, performances, labs, and group work, the institution will work with the student to create an alternative path to completion, if possible. Students are encouraged to work with their faculty members and the University of Montevallo to develop a plan for best addressing the conditions as pregnancy progresses, anticipate the need for leaves, minimize the academic impact of their absence, and get back on track efficiently and comfortably as possible. The Title IX Coordinator will assist with plan development and implementation as needed. Please click here to request pregnancy or parenting-related accommodations.

Students with child caretaking/parenting responsibilities who wish to remain engaged in their coursework and need to adjust their schedule because of birth, child adoption, or foster child placement may request accommodations. The extent of the accommodations will be agreed upon in concert with the Title IX Coordinator. If additional time is required by medical necessity or extraordinary caretaking/parenting responsibilities, extensions may be granted.

The Title IX Coordinator has the administrative responsibility to ensure these accommodations and will maintain all appropriate documentation related to accommodations. A reasonable accommodation may be denied if it would result in an undue hardship.

Definitions

Parenting: the raising of a child by the child’s parents in the reasonably immediate post-partum period

Pregnancy and Pregnancy-Related Conditions: included, but not limited to, pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, conditions arising in connection with pregnancy, and recovery from any of these conditions

Pregnancy Discrimination: treating an individual impacted by pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition less favorably than similar individuals not so affected, and includes a failure to provide legally mandated leave or accommodations

Pregnant Student/Birth-Parent: refers to the student who is or was pregnant; the biological mother and father of the child

Reasonable Accommodations: changes in the academic environment or typical operations that enable pregnant students or students with pregnancy-related conditions to continue to pursue their studies and enjoy the equal benefits of the University; a reasonable accommodation does not put an extreme or excessive burden on individuals to satisfy the request

Undue Hardship: an action requiring significant difficulty or expense

Reasonable Accommodations of students impacted by Pregnancy, Childbirth, or Related Conditions

Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Making modifications to the physical environment (accessible seating);
  2. Providing mobility support;
  3. Recording lectures;
  4. Limited lifting or standing;
  5. Increased restroom use frequency;
  6. Extending deadlines and/or allowing the student to make up tests or assignments missed for pregnancy-related absences;
  7. Excusing medically necessary absences (this must be granted, irrespective of classroom attendance requirements set by a faculty member, department, or division);
  8. Excused tardiness
  9. Granting leave or implementing incomplete grades for classes that will be resumed at a future date;
  10. Allowing breastfeeding students reasonable time and space to pump breast milk in a private, clean, and reasonably accessible location. Bathroom stalls do not satisfy this requirement;
  11. Assignment of a notetaker if the student is unable to attend classes;

Nothing in these protections and procedures requires modification to the essential elements of any academic program. Pregnant students cannot be channeled into an alternative program or school against their will.

Retaliation and Harassment

Harassment of any member of the University of Montevallo community based on sex, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, or parental status is prohibited. Faculty, staff, and other University of Montevallo employees are prohibited from interfering with student’s right to take leave, seek reasonable accommodation, or otherwise exercise their rights under these protections and procedures. Faculty, staff, and other University of Montevallo employees are prohibited from retaliating against students exercising the rights of pregnant or parenting students. Included, but not limited to imposing or threatening to impose adverse educational outcomes because students request leave or accommodation, file a complaint, or otherwise exercise their rights under these protections and procedures.

Housing-Related Accommodations

A pregnant student’s on-campus housing status will not be altered based on pregnancy status unless requested by the pregnant student.

Compliance

Any university community member may report a violation of these protections, rights, and procedures to any supervisor or Title IX Coordinators. All mandated reporters are responsible for promptly forwarding such reports to the Title IX office. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for overseeing complaints of discrimination involving pregnant and parenting students.

Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators

Anyone wishing to make a report relating to pregnancy discrimination or harassment may do so by reporting the concern to the university Title IX Coordinator:

Mr. Tony Miller, Jr. – Title IX Coordinator

Main Hall, Lower Level

205.665.6020

tmiller7@montevallo.edu

Ms. Barbara Forrest – Title IX Coordinator for Employees

Will Lyman House, Station 6055

205.665.6055

forrestb@montevallo.edu

Ms. Dawn Makofski – Deputy Title IX Coordinator

Student Activity Center (SAC)

205.665.6633

makofskidb@montevallo.edu

Complaints may also be filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights at:

Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C.  20202-1100
Customer Service Hotline #: (800) 421-3481

Facsimile: (202) 453-6012
TDD#: (877) 521-2172

Email: OCR@ed.gov

Web: http://www.ed.gov/ocr