Title IX Claims

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex-based discrimination and retaliation in education. Title IX applies to education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance, and protects students and school employees at educational institutions at all levels, from kindergarten through postgraduate schools. Although Title IX is most commonly known for its application to athletic programs, it also prohibits sex discrimination and retaliation in all areas of education. For example, Title IX protests against discrimination in single-sex education programs, STEM programs, Career and Technical Education, on the basis of pregnancy, and sexual harassment and assault.

Testimonial Background
Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in education so that women and girls have equal access to school programs and activities, and to ensure that students and school employees can learn and work in an environment free from discrimination and retaliation.

A National Reputation in Title IX Cases

Correia & Puth is a recognized, national leader on use of Title IX as an effective tool to maintain an educational environment free from discrimination and retaliation. We have successfully filed Title IX claims, negotiated with schools, and where appropriate filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. We have litigated Title IX cases on behalf of athletic coaches and college and high school educators who have been targeted for retaliation after they took a stand against sex discrimination at their schools. For example, Linda Correia represented a leading women’s volleyball coach and a golf coach in a lawsuit that resulted in a $3.4 million settlement against Florida Gulf Coast University. That successful battle earned Ms. Correia the 2009 Trial Lawyer of the Year award from the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association. In 2016, we settled a Title IX retaliation and sex discrimination case against the University of North Florida for $1.25 million. In another case, we achieved a settlement that included reinstatement of a high school coach who had been fired in retaliation for speaking up for equal resources for her girls lacrosse team.

Title IX: Sexual Harassment & Assault

Title IX protects students from sexual harassment or sexual assaults. Schools have an obligation under Title IX to ensure that student survivors of sexual assault or harassment can continue their education programs and do not have to experience a hostile environment. Being victimized often limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from a school’s educational program, which is a deprivation of the student’s civil right to an education free from sex discrimination. When the school knows or reasonably should know about harassment or assault, the school must take prompt and effective steps to end the sexual harassment, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects. Schools must have procedures in place to enable students to make complaints about sexual harassment and effective procedures to appropriately address sexual assault and harassment complaints. Effective school responses should include access to counseling and other health services for the student, thorough and fair investigations of complaints and steps to ensure the student has the opportunity to complete her education program.

Title IX: Retaliation

Under Title IX, educational institutions and programs are prohibited from retaliating against an individual for asserting Title IX rights or raising concerns that the school is in violation of Title IX. This means that when employees or students complain about sex-based discrimination or retaliation, the school cannot penalize them because of their report or complaint. For example, the law prohibits retaliation against a teacher who reports the sexual assault of a student on campus or a coach who complains about unequal treatment of male and female athletic programs. The law also protects students who have reported or complained about possible Title IX violations from retaliation, for example, when a student reports sexual harassment to school administrators or complains about a teacher’s refusal to excuse her absences related to her pregnancy.

Title IX: Athletics

Title IX protects against sex-based discrimination in athletic programs. Title IX requires schools to treat both sexes equally with regard to athletic participation opportunities, athletic scholarships, and treatment of teams. Title IX requires schools to provide female and male student-athletes equivalent facilities, equipment, uniforms, travel and travel funding, scheduling of practice and games, housing, and other activities related to athletic participation. Schools must also provide equal opportunities to obtain athletic scholarships, and ensure that female and male student-athletes have equivalent opportunities to participate in sports programs. Since its passage, women have been able to participate in athletics at much higher rates and experience the benefits associated with participation in sports.

Title IX: Pregnancy

Pregnancy discrimination is also sex discrimination that is prohibited by Title IX. The law requires that schools give all students who might be, are, or have been pregnant the same access to school programs and extracurricular activities that other students have. This means that schools must excuse absences for as long as a student’s doctor says is necessary, and must let the student make up the work missed while out. Students who miss classes, clinic hours, or any other educational program due to pregnancy and related conditions cannot be penalized for those absences and must be given the opportunity to make up work they miss so that the student is not subject to unequal treatment because of her pregnancy.

Title IX: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Discrimination against LGBT or gender nonconforming students is prohibited by Title IX’s protection against sex discrimination in schools. Federal courts and agencies have recognized that federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. For example, the Supreme Court long ago recognized that it is illegal for an employer to deny employment opportunities or permit harassment because a woman does not dress or talk in a feminine manner, because this is discrimination based on sex. Likewise, federal trial and appellate courts have found that one cannot consider an individual’s gender identity (innate identification of gender) or sexual orientation (innate emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction) without considering their sex, which means that discriminating against someone based on their gender identity or sexual orientation is synonymous with sex discrimination prohibited under the law. Schools have an obligation under Title IX to respond to and remedy bullying, harassment, and discrimination against LGBT or gender nonconforming students. Students have a right to equal access to educational opportunities, including access to single-sex spaces, gender-neutral and equitable enforcement of dress codes, and activities consistent with their gender identity.

Practice Areas

Accommodations for Disabilities

We are committed to ensuring that all employees with disabilities have equal access to the workplace.


Age Discrimination

We fight employers who use age bias to discourage older workers from staying on the job or keep them from advancement.


Corporate Accountability

Corporations must be held accountable for wrongdoing, and whistleblowers often keep employers honest.


COVID-19 Protections for Health Workers

If you are a health care worker facing retaliation because you raised concerns, there are laws in place to protect you.


Disability Discrimination

We are dedicated to safeguarding the rights of individuals with disabilities and vigorously advocate for equal access.


Equal Pay Rights

Motivated by our commitment to workplace fairness, we fight employers who have shortchanged an employee because of bias.


Family & Medical Leave Discrimination

The FMLA provides job protected leave so that employees are not forced to choose between their job and caring for loved ones.


Family Responsibilities Discrimination

Employees should not be penalized for taking care of their loved ones, and we are committed to fighting for your rights.


Federal Employees

We help federal sector employees understand workplace rights and navigate the unique federal agency employment context.


Federal Employee Whistleblower Protections

Employees and contractors of the federal government have strong protections from retaliation for speaking out.


Gender Identity Discrimination

We believe no employee should face harassment, discrimination, or retaliation because of who they are or how they identify.


National Origin Discrimination

We believe all employees should be given a fair chance to succeed regardless of their culture and background.


Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy and motherhood are not incompatible with work. Our firm fights for expecting mothers and mothers with newborns.


Race Discrimination

Employers are forbidden from making decisions to hire, fire, promote, or to provide training or other benefits because of a person’s race.


Religious Discrimination

We value individuals' religious beliefs and personal choices and are committed to ensuring the ability to practice without fear.



We believe that employees should be able to assert their legal rights without risking their livelihoods.


Severance Agreements

Our practice of negotiating severance agreements is built upon years of experience working on behalf of employees at all levels.


Sex Discrimination

We work to eliminate gender discrimination, unfair pay, sexual harassment, and unlawful glass ceilings.


Sexual Harassment

We are dedicated advocates for the right to a workplace free from a sexually hostile work environment.


Sexual Orientation Discrimination

We believe that no employee should be fired, shortchanged, or treated differently because of who they are and whom they love.


Title IX Claims

We are a national leader on use of Title IX as an effective tool for an educational environment free from discrimination and retaliation.


Veterans (USERRA)

USERRA provides job protections to employees who temporarily leave private employment for military service.


Wage & Commission Claims

We fight employers who have wrongfully withheld salaries, commissions, and wages, and hold them accountable for what's unpaid.


Whistleblower Retaliation

Employees should be free from intimidation, harassment, or threats when taking a stand against wrong or unsafe workplaces.

It takes courage to fight back against those who discriminate.
Contact us to see how we can help you.