Disability Services Center

Pregnancy and Title IX

University of Southern Maine Title IX: Pregnancy & Parenting Discrimination

 

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex — including pregnancy, parenting and all related conditions, such as abortion — in all educational programs and activities that get federal funding, which includes USM. It applies to both women and men.

All students that might be, are, or have been pregnant must have the same access to school programs and educational opportunities that other students have. Both women and men are affected by pregnancy related conditions as the law covers childbirth and those newly parenting.

USM must provide equitable responses in all areas of the University for individuals who are pregnant or affected by pregnancy-related conditions, including for academics, student employment, athletics, university activities outside of class, and tutoring or other accommodations. 

What do faculty need to know?

  • Student absences for pregnancy or any related conditions must be excused for as long as medically necessary.
  • Prompt communication by the student is encouraged to ensure appropriate accommodations are provided. 
  • When students return to school, they must be reinstated to the status they had before they left. 
  • Students can only be required to submit a doctor’s note only if that is required of students with other medical conditions. 
  • Faculty may not “dock” a student’s grade for not being able to attend a class due to a pregnancy related condition. 
  • Faculty must give the student the opportunity to earn back the credit from missed classes. 
  • Faculty must let the student make up any work that was missed due to pregnancy or any related conditions, including recovery from a miscarriage, abortion, or childbirth. 
  • Faculty do not get to determine when a student returns to school after a pregnancy/related condition. Faculty cannot mandate that students must take off a particular period of time for recovery— that is up to the student and their medical provider.
  • Many student athletes will be able to continue to participate in collegiate sports throughout their pregnancies with accommodations. 
  • It is up to the student and their medical provider to determine if the athlete can play while pregnant and for how long. 
  • Student athletes should not be mandated to disclose pregnancy status. 
  • Disclosures of pregnancy status should only be revealed with written authorization from the student-athlete. 
  • NCAA bylaws protect student-athletes with temporary medical disabilities, and at a minimum, the law requires institutions to treat pregnancy like it treats other temporary disabilities. 
  • Student-athletes should be recruited and given scholarship and other opportunities regardless of pregnancy or parenting status. 
  • Pregnant students should not be forced to stop playing arbitrarily or lose their status on a team.
  • Students with pregnancy related leave must be allowed to return to the team when it is medically safe.
  • Title IX covers the full scope of educational programs and activities offered by USM, including hiring, leave policies, health insurance, and job protection coverage. 
  • USM must allow student employees who need to take leave for pregnancy related conditions the opportunity to return to their position once they are medically cleared.
  • USM must also provide accommodations (larger desks, more breaks, water, etc.) to pregnant student employees (or those with pregnancy related conditions) during their workday.
  • Students’ pregnancy or parenting status may not be considered in the admission, hiring or leave process, or health insurance coverage.
  • USM cannot terminate or reduce athletic, merit, or need-based scholarships because of pregnancy or pregnancy related conditions. 
  • Discrimination against any pregnant or parenting person by the University is prohibited.
  • USM must make reasonable and responsive adjustments to our educational programs to ensure a pregnant student’s access. 
  • Neither women nor men may be discriminated against for pregnancy or pregnancy related conditions, including the recent birth of a child.
  • We have formal and informal policies in place to resolve any issues regarding pregnancy discrimination, including the Equal Opportunity Complaint Procedure and the Student Conduct Code.
  • Generally, pregnancy and related conditions are considered “short term disabilities” and should be treated as such.

What do coaches need to know?

What do supervisors need to know?

What do staff need to know?

What do we all need to know?

Questions?

Contact:

Sarah Holmes, Title IX Coordinator

207-780-5767

FMI: https://usm.maine.edu/deanofstudents/sex-discrim-assault-harassment-policy