Federal Court Denies Bid to Dismiss Hostile Education Environment Claim Where Student Was Unaware of Remedial Measures Taken

In the recent case of Doe v. University of North Texas Board of Regents, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas denied the University’s motion for summary judgment on a claim of hostile education environment harassment.  The student, Doe, had reported a sexual assault by a former adjunct professor who also worked in the school library.  Following the report, the University reassigned the accused’s teaching responsibilities, and though it kept him on as a full-time library employee, the University assigned him to a remote location in the library.  The University did not inform Doe of the measures that it took to reduce, if not eliminate, the chances that Doe would encounter the accused on campus, and Doe asserted that she remained fearful of running into him and therefore remained in her apartment for weeks at a time, missing classes and avoiding social activities.  Ultimately, Doe filed a claim against the University, claiming that its actions created a hostile education environment.

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DOE Launches New Website for Student Privacy Resources

The U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and Office of the Chief Privacy Officer (OCPO) have launched a new website to provide resources concerning best practices and technical assistance for institutions navigating their obligations under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other student privacy matters, including data security.  The new […]

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OCR Scales Back Scope of Civil Rights Investigations

On June 8, 2017, the Department of Education (DOE) Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Candice Jackson, issued an internal memorandum to staff with new guidance aimed at reducing the scope of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) investigation of complaints.  Under the Obama administration, OCR applied an expansive approach to its investigations, where inquiry into individual […]

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Caught In The Weeds: Reconciling Massachusetts And Federal Laws About Marijuana

In Massachusetts, medical marijuana has been legal since 2013. People need only obtain documentation from their physicians certifying that they suffer from a debilitating medical condition and the use of medical marijuana helps alleviate some of their symptoms. But, without a valid medical marijuana card, it was still illegal to possess or use marijuana. This […]

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Resident Advisors Are Subject To Union Organizing

In a recent decision involving George Washington University (“GWU”) and the Service Employees International Union (“SEIU”) Local 500, the National Labor Relations Board determined that students who serve as full and part-time resident advisors at GWU were “employees” within the definition of the National Labor Relations Act, and, therefore, were an appropriate unit for the […]

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Institutions Must Take Note of Recent Changes to CORI Regulations

In April, the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) released amendments to the regulations governing access to and the use of information maintained in the Commonwealth’s Criminal Offender Record Information System (CORI). The amendments to the regulations will effect use of the iCORI system to conduct background checks.

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Reading Past the Headlines: Computer Programmers Are Still Eligible for H-1B Visas

Earlier this month, headlines blared that “Computer Programmers May No Longer Be Eligible For H-1B Visas.”  This seems to have been an example of the media sensationalizing, or perhaps just misunderstanding, the actual content of the memorandum issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on March 31, 2016, entitled “Rescission of the December 22, […]

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