Title IX Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct (Complainants)

Standing Up for Sexual Misconduct Victims on College Campuses

Under Title IX, every student or employee at an educational institution that accepts federal funds has the right to be free from sex discrimination within the school and related activities. Although simple in concept, Title IX is a complex law, and it can be difficult to know what steps to take to protect your rights. If you believe a violation of your rights has occurred, you need skilled and experienced legal representation.

Zalkind’s Title IX attorneys have significant experience representing students, teachers, and faculty at colleges and universities (as well as elementary and secondary schools) in matters involving sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. We represent students in both on-campus administrative proceedings and in court cases to enforce the right to be free from gender-based discrimination and harassment in the educational environment.

In addition, our legal team represents respondents in gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault cases at schools and universities. Learn more here.

Know Your Rights and Remedies

Sex discrimination can occur in many ways, from unequal treatment in athletics, to adverse employment decisions, to sexual misconduct, including harassment or assault. Any form of sex discrimination violates the rights of a student or staff member.

If you have experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault on campus, there are a number of options available to you.

  • You can seek certain accommodations from your school to help you address the effects of the harassment or assault. Most schools provide no-contact orders to ensure that the person who harassed or assaulted you does not contact you. Many schools provide counseling to students, and may also provide academic accommodations (extensions on assignments, excusal from class) so that you can address the effects of the harassment or assault. Your school may also be able to help you switch living situations, class schedules, or extracurricular activities so you do not have to come into contact with the person who harassed or assaulted you.
  • You can pursue an informal or formal grievance procedure as a way for the school to investigate and determine whether the incident in question was a violation of school policies. Students involved in sexual assault complaints are entitled by federal regulation to have an advisor of their choice, such as a lawyer, present at investigatory meetings and hearings.
  • You may opt to file a complaint with the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the federal agency tasked with investigating schools that are alleged to have violated Title IX. If you believe your school has not followed the law in handling your complaint of sexual harassment or sexual assault, OCR may investigate the school and require it to undertake corrective action.
  • You may decide to bring legal claims against the school if it failed to properly address your complaints of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual assault under Title IX and state laws.

Our Title IX lawyers are ready to help you navigate any and all of the above remedies. We have extensive experience with school investigations and hearings, identifying and helping students present relevant evidence, and helping to ensure that our clients’ rights under the law and the school policies are respected.

Uniquely Equipped to Help You Succeed

By combining our expertise in handling cases of gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace with our experience representing students in campus investigations and tribunals, we are well-positioned to represent you. Our Title IX lawyers know the federal and state laws, regulations, and guidance documents that are brought to bear on Title IX and Clery Act matters. In addition, we are deeply familiar with the Massachusetts state laws that apply to these cases, including the law specifically directed at sexual harassment in education and state contract law that applies to students’ relationships with their schools. We stay abreast of the rapidly changing landscape in this area, in light of proposed developments in state law and potential changes to federal enforcement policies.

We Stand Ready to Help

If you have experienced sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual assault in an educational setting, please contact us at 617-742-6020 or complete our contact form.

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