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Title IX Rights for Pregnant and Parenting Students


​Purpose/Background

University of the Pacific is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals enjoy freedom from discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of sex, as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). Sex discrimination, which can include discrimination based on pregnancy, marital status, or parental status, is prohibited and illegal in admissions, educational programs, and activities, hiring, leave policies, employment policies, and health insurance coverage. Pacific hereby establishes a policy and associated procedures for ensuring the protection and equal treatment of pregnant individuals, persons with pregnancy related concerns, and new parents.

Under the Department of Education's (DOE) Title IX regulations, an institution that receives federal funding “shall not discriminate against any student, or exclude any student from its education program or activity, including any classes or extracurricular activity in the basis of such student's pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom." According to the DOE, appropriate treatment of a pregnant student includes granting the student leave “for so long of a period of time as is deemed medically necessary by the student's physician," and then effectively reinstating the student to the same or equivalent status as was held when leave began.

Applicability/Responsibility

This policy applies to all aspect of Pacific's educational program, including but not limited to, admissions, educational programs and activities, extracurricular activities, hiring, leave policies, employment policies, and health insurance coverage.

Definitions

AccommodationsModifications of those programs, policies, practices, and procedures that enable qualified pregnant students to have an equal opportunity to benefit from and have access to college programs and services.
Caretaking/ParentingCaring for and providing for the needs of a child in the reasonably immediate postpartum period.
Medical NecessityA determination made by a student's health care provider (of the student's choosing) that a certain course of action is in the patient's best health interests.
Official with Authority (OWA)An employee of University of the Pacific explicitly vested with the responsibility to implement corrective measures for Harassment, Discrimination, and/or Retaliation on behalf of the university.
PregnancyInclude (but are not limited to) pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of a pregnancy, conditions arising in connection with pregnancy, and recovery from any of these conditions.
Pregnancy DiscriminationIncludes treating an individual affected 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 StudentRefers to the student who is or was pregnant. This policy and its pregnancy-related protections apply to all pregnant persons, regardless of gender identity or expression.
Responsible EmployeeAn employee who knows, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known, that Sexual Misconduct has occurred. Responsible Employees have the obligation to report incidents of Sexual Misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or their designee. Except Confidential Resources, all employees at the university are Responsible Employees.
StudentIncludes all full and part‐time undergraduate, professional, and graduate Students from the time of application for admission to the time of the conferral of a  degree and includes periods prior to the start of classes, after classes have ended,  between terms, and when a student is not officially enrolled but has an ongoing  relationship with Pacific.
Title IX CoordinatorThe official designated by University of the Pacific to ensure compliance with Title IX and the university's Title IX program.
UniversityRefers to University of the Pacific.

 

Policy Statement

Pregnant students should be treated by Pacific the same way as someone who has a temporary disability, and should be given an opportunity to make up missed work wherever possible. To help support a pregnant student's completion of studies, extended deadlines, make-up assignments (e.g., papers, quizzes, tests, and presentations), tutoring, independent study, online course completion options, or incomplete grades that can be completed at a later date, should be considered, in addition to any other ergonomic and assistive supports typically provided by the Office of Service for Students w/Disabilities. To the extent possible, and after consultation with appropriate program directors, faculty members, or deans, Pacific will take reasonable steps to ensure that pregnant students who take a leave of absence or medical leave return to the same equivalent position of academic progress that they were in when they took leave, including if possible access to the same or comparable course catalog that was in place when the leave began. The Title IX Coordinator has the authority to determine that such accommodations are necessary and appropriate, and to inform faculty members of the need to adjust academic parameters accordingly. 

Information about pregnant students' requests for accommodations will be shared with faculty and staff only to the extent necessary to provide the reasonable accommodation. Faculty and staff will treat information shared with them as confidential. The Title IX Coordinator will only maintain documentation related to pregnancy-related accommodations.

In situations such as clinical rotations, performances, labs, and group work, Pacific will work with the student to devise an alternative path to completion, if possible. In progressive curricular and/or cohort-model programs, medically-necessary leaves are sufficient cause to permit the student to shift course order, substitute similar courses, or join a subsequent cohort when returning from leave.

Students are encouraged to work with their faculty members and Pacific's support systems to devise a plan for how to best address the conditions as pregnancy progresses, anticipate the need for leaves, minimize the academic impact of their absence, and get back on track as efficiently and comfortably as possible. The Title IX Coordinator will assist with plan development and implementation as needed.

Reasonable Accommodation of Students Affected by Pregnancy, Childbirth, or Related Conditions

Pacific and its faculty, staff, and other employees will not require students to limit their studies as the result of pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions.

The benefits and services provided to students affected by pregnancy will be no less than those provided to students with temporary medical conditions.

Students with pregnancy-related disabilities, like any student with a short-term or temporary disability, are entitled to reasonable accommodations so that they will not be disadvantaged in their courses of study or research, and may seek assistance from the Title IX office.

No artificial deadlines or time limitations will be imposed on requests for accommodations but Pacific is limited in its ability to implement accommodations retroactively.

Reasonable accommodations may include but are not limited to:

  • Providing accommodations requested by a pregnant student to protect the health and safety of the student and/or pregnancy (such as allowing the student to maintain a safe distance from hazardous substances);
  • Making modifications to the physical environment (such as accessible seating);
  • Providing mobility support;
  • Extending deadlines and/or allowing the student to make up tests or assignments missed for pregnancy related absences;
  • Offering remote learning options;
  • Excusing medically-necessary absences (this must be granted, irrespective of classroom attendance requirements set by a faculty member, department, or division);
  • Granting leave per Pacific's medical leave policy or implementing incomplete grades for classes that will be resumed at a future date; or
  • Allowing breastfeeding students reasonable time and space to pump breast milk in a location that is private, clean, and reasonably accessible. Bathroom stalls do not satisfy this requirement.

    Nothing in this policy requires modification to the essential elements of any academic program. Pregnant students cannot be channeled into an alternative program or school against their wishes.

    Accommodations are not reasonable if they:
  • Alter or remove essential requirements.
  • Fundamentally alter the nature of the program.
  • Impose undue financial or administrative burden.
  • Pose a threat to others.

Modified Academic Responsibilities Policy for Parenting Students

Students with child caretaking/ parenting responsibilities who wish to remain engaged in their coursework while adjusting their academic responsibilities because of the birth or adoption of a child or placement of a foster child may request an academic modification period during the first 3 months of the time the child entered the home. Extensions must be granted when additional time is required by Medical Necessity and may be considered in the circumstance of extraordinary caretaking/parenting responsibilities.

During the modification period, the student's academic requirements will be adjusted and deadlines postpones as appropriate, in collaboration among the Title IX office, the student's academic advisor, and the appropriate academic department(s) or program.

Students seeking a period of modified academic responsibilities may consult with their academic advisor or with the Title IX office to determine appropriate academic accommodations requests. The Title IX office will communicate all requests under this policy to students' academic advisors and coordinate accommodation-related efforts with the advisors unless the students specifically requests that their advisors be excluded. Students are encouraged to work with their advisors and faculty members to reschedule course assignments, lab hours, examinations, or other requirements, and/or to reduce their overall course load, as appropriate once authorization is received from the Title IX office. If, for any reason, caretaking/parenting students are not able to work with their advisors/faculty members to obtain appropriate modifications, students should alert the Title IX office as soon as possible, and the office will help facilitate needed accommodations and modifications.

In timed degree, certification or credentialing programs, students who seek modifications upon the birth of their child will be allowed an extension of up to 3 months to prepare for and take preliminary and qualifying examinations, and an extension of up to 3 months toward normative time to degree while in candidacy, to the extent those deadlines are controlled by Pacific. Longer extensions may be granted in extenuating circumstances.

Students can request modified academic responsibilities under this policy regardless of whether they elect to take a leave of absence.

While receiving academic modifications, students will remain registered and retain benefits accordingly.

Leave of Absence

Enrolled students may elect to take a leave of absence as outlined by the Voluntary Leave policy because of pregnancy and/or the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. The leave term may be extended in the case of extenuating circumstances or Medical Necessity.

Students taking a leave of absence under this policy will provide notice of the intent to take leave 30 calendar days prior to the initiation of leave, or as soon as practicable.

Intermittent leave may be taken with the advance approval of the Title IX office and students' academic department(s) or programs, when medically necessary.

Students who elect to take leave under this policy may register under an (inactive/ “on leave" etc. status) to continue their eligibility for certain benefits. While registered under that status, students who choose to take a leave of absence under this policy can elect to keep their health insurance coverage and continue residing in university housing, subject to the payment of applicable fees.

To the extent possible, Pacific will take reasonable steps to ensure that upon return from leave, students will be reinstated into their program in the similar status as when the leave began, with no tuition penalty.

Continuation of students' scholarship, fellowship, or similar Pacific-sponsored funding during the leave term will depend on the students' registration status and the policies of the funding program regarding registration status. Students will not be negatively impacted by or forfeit their future eligibility for their scholarship, fellowship, or similar Pacific supported funding by exercising their rights under this policy.

As long as students can maintain required academic progress, faculty, staff, or other Pacific employees will not require them to take a leave of absence, or withdraw from or limit their studies as the result of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, but nothing in this policy requires modification of the essential elements of any academic program.

The Title IX office can and will advocate for students with respect to financial aid agencies and external scholarship providers in the event that a leave of absence places eligibility into question.

Student-Employee Leave

All student-employees will be entitled to the protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act, regardless of whether they are also students or hold post-doctoral status.

Pregnancy and related conditions will be treated as any other temporary disability for job purposes, including leave and benefits.

If Pacific does not provide leave or if employees are ineligible for other leave policies, then Pregnancy and related conditions will be regarded as a justification for a leave of absence without pay for a reasonable period of time, at the conclusion of which employees will be reinstated to the status that they held when the leave began or to a comparable position, without decrease in rate of compensation or loss of promotional opportunities, or any other right privilege of employment.

Housing-Related Accommodations

Pregnant students' on-campus housing status will not be altered based on pregnancy status unless requested by the pregnant student. Parenting students' access to housing is governed by Residence Life and Housing.

Dissemination of the Policy and Training

A copy of this policy will be made available for faculty, staff, and employees in annually required training and posted on the Pacific website. Pacific will alert all new students about this policy and the location of this policy as part of orientation. The Title IX office will make educational materials available to all members of the Pacific community to promote compliance with this policy and familiarity with its procedures.

Violations

Harassment and Retaliation

Non-Discrimination and Non-Retaliation Policy [LINK]

Harassment of any member of Pacific community based on sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, or parental status is prohibited.

Faculty, staff, and other Pacific employees are prohibited from retaliating against students for exercising the right articulated by this policy, including imposing or threatening to impose negative educational outcomes because students request leave or accommodation, file a complaint, or otherwise exercise their rights under this policy.

Contact Information

Any  member  of  the University of the Pacific  community  may  report  a  violation  of   this  policy  to  any  supervisor,  manager,  to  the  Title  IX   Coordinator, or to Pacific's Compliance Helpline.  All  Officials with Authority  under Title IX and Responsible Employees  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
Elizabeth Trayner serves as University of the Pacific's Title IX Coordinator and oversees implementation of the Title IX Rights of Pregnant and Parenting Students.

Dr. Elizabeth Trayner
Title IX Coordinator
3601 Pacific Avenue
Hand Hall 112
Stockton, California 95211
titleix@pacific.edu 
Direct: 209.946.7770
Toll-Free: 888.383.2765
www.go.pacific.edu/TitleIX

Compliance Helpline:  1.800.854.8443

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

Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

San Francisco Office

U.S. Department of Education

50 United Nations Plaza

San Francisco, CA 94102

Telephone: (415) 486-5555

Facsimile: (415) 486-5570

Email: OCR.SanFrancisco@ed.gov  

Complaints may be filed online, using the form available, at www.ed.gov/ocr/complaintintro.html.

Related Information

ItemDescription
University Links 
Forms 
Related Links 
Procedures  Title IX Rights of Pregnant and Parenting Students Procedures


About This Policy
Last Updated
9/14/2021
Original Issue Date
9/14/2021

Responsible Department
Student Life