TROY, Ala (WDHN)— On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the resolution of a pregnancy discrimination investigation into Troy University.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the OCR ran the investigation into whether Troy University appropriately responded to a student’s requests for pregnancy-related adjustments during the 2020-21 school year.
The Department of Education says the investigation confirmed the unnamed student notified the university of her pregnancy before the fall 2022 semester and revealed repeated instances where the student experienced negative effects stemming from a lack of pregnancy-related accommodations.
Examples of the negative effects included a time when the student was unable to fit in a classroom desk due to her pregnancy and requested a table for one of her classes but never received one, and received a failing grade in a class because she was denied the ability to make up work.
According to the OCR, their investigation uncovered concerns that:
- The university did not make reasonable and responsive adjustments responsive to the student’s pregnancy-related requests.
- The responses the university did offer to the student’s requests were ad hoc and uncoordinated.
- The Title IX coordinator did not consistently or timely intervene when the student alerted him to issues with certain classes.
- No evidence reflected that the Title IX coordinator responded to a professor who sought guidance in addressing the student’s requests.
- The absence of available information about how to obtain pregnancy-related adjustments contributed to the university’s uncoordinated response and left the student to make multiple requests through both the university’s Title IX coordinator and individual professors
To resolve the investigation, a resolution agreement was made with Troy University where they agreed to train faculty and staff regarding rights and obligations to pregnant students, track pregnancy-related adjustments and the universities response, update the universities website to provide information about the rights of pregnant students, providing the affected student adjustments to grades and reimbursement, and review and revise certain policies to make sure it complies with the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which details the rights of pregnant students.
I thank Troy University for addressing the pregnancy-related needs of the student who came to OCR for help and for ensuring that, going forward, it will provide pregnant students equal access to the university’s courses and other offerings.Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon