FortneyScott Client Alert:
President Biden Signs Executive Order Guaranteeing Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity
On Monday, March 8, 2021, International Women’s Day, 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 - announcing the Biden-Harris administration policy that “all students should be guaranteed an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, including discrimination in the form of sexual harassment, which encompasses sexual violation, and including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The EO directs the Department of Education (DoE) to review all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions that are inconsistent with this policy. Specifically, the EO calls out a Trump Administration rule that narrowed circumstances that triggered an institution’s obligations to respond to allegations of potential sexual misconduct; heightened the evidentiary standard requiring clear and convincing evidence; limited the application of Title IX to some off-campus conduct and activity that occurs during study abroad programs; and requires live hearings and cross-examination of the victim. 

The DoE must complete this review within 100 days. To hear more about this EO and anticipated results, please join the Novus/FortneyScott Higher Education Webinar on April 1, 2021, at 2 PM ET.

FortneyScott is a woman-owned, Washington, DC law firm counseling and advising clients on the full spectrum of workplace-related matters. The firm offers clients unparalleled experience and expertise by its attorneys. FortneyScott represents clients in agency enforcement matters and rulemakings, administrative hearing, and litigation matters, including mediation and arbitration.

Questions? Please contact your FortneyScott attorney or e-mail us at info@fortneyscott.com.
This update is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal counsel or advice. Employers should retain
experienced legal counsel to obtain advice about the effects of these developments on their particular circumstances.