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Access Policy on Pregnant and Parenting Students and Applicants

What you need to know about this policy:

What it’s about:
This Policy prohibits discrimination and harassment against a Student or Applicant1 based on Pregnancy and Related Medical Conditions and discrimination or harassment based on sex or gender related to a Student or Applicant’s actual or potential parental status pursuant to the University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the accompanying regulations.

The official statement:
The University is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals enjoy freedom from discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of sex. Discrimination on the basis of sex, which can include discrimination based on Pregnancy and Related Medical Conditions, is prohibited and illegal in admissions, educational programs and activities, and extracurricular activities. Discrimination on the basis of sex can also occur when Parenting Students or Applicants are treated differently due to their sex or gender. The University hereby establishes this Policy for ensuring the protection and equal treatment of Students and Applicants, regardless of sex or gender, when Parenting a Child or when they are pregnant or have a Pregnancy-Related Medical Condition.

A. Prohibited Conduct

Discrimination and harassment based on Pregnancy and Related Medical Conditions and discrimination and harassment based on sex or gender related to Parenting are forms of sex-based discrimination that are prohibited by the University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct (“PPDHRM”) and by this Policy. This Policy prohibits all forms of discrimination and harassment based on an individual’s Pregnancy and Related Medical Conditions or sex and gender related to Parenting, as defined below. This Policy and the University’s PPDHRM and related Procedures are to be read in conjunction.

This Policy also prohibits Complicity and Retaliation, as defined below.

Claims of discrimination and/or harassment based on Pregnancy and Related Medical Conditions or sex or gender related to Parenting or of complicity or retaliation arising under this Policy will be evaluated and addressed pursuant to the relevant sections of the PPDHRM.

1. Discrimination

Discrimination is any unlawful distinction, preference, or detriment to a Student or Applicant as compared to others that is based on the Student or Applicant’s Pregnancy or Related Medical Condition and that is sufficiently serious to unreasonably interfere with or limit the Student or Applicant’s ability to participate in, access, or benefit from the University’s educational programs, services, or activities (e.g., admission, academic standing, grades, assignments, campus housing, financial assistance).

Students affected by Pregnancy or Related Medical Condition must be offered benefits and services equivalent to those provided to other Students with a temporary medical condition.

The University must provide Students who are Pregnant or have a Related Medical Condition with reasonable accommodations that are necessary to afford such Students an equal opportunity to participate in the University’s educational programs or activities, to the extent that such accommodations would not result in a Fundamental Alteration of an academic program or impose an Undue Burden on the University.

Discrimination also includes any unlawful distinction, preference, or detriment to a Parenting Student or Applicant as compared to other Parenting Students that is based on the Student’s sex or gender.

a. Participation in Classes and Programs

Students may not be prohibited from participating in classes or instructional programs (including, but not limited to, study abroad programs) on the basis of Pregnancy or Related Medical Conditions or on the basis of sex or gender related to Parenting status. This includes any activity that is a part of the University’s educational program, even if the activity is not directly operated by the University.

Students may not be required to submit a note from a medical professional related to Pregnancy or a Related Medical Condition in order to participate in classes or instructional programs unless such a note is required for participation in such activities from all Students who have a physical or emotional condition requiring treatment by a medical professional.

Students may not be required to participate in a separate educational program or activity based on Pregnancy or Related Medical Conditions or on the basis of sex or gender related to Parenting.

Students may not be required to limit or end their academic studies at the University based on Pregnancy or Related Medical Conditions or based on sex or gender related to Parenting.

b. Absences, Class Participation, and Make-up Work

Consistent with section A.1.(d) of this Policy, Students must be afforded reasonable academic accommodations due to Pregnancy and Related Medical Conditions, to the extent that such accommodations would not result in a Fundamental Alteration of the academic program or impose an Undue Burden on the University. Such accommodations may include provisions for extensions on assignments, postponement of quizzes and exams, and excused absences for medical appointments and for Related Medical Conditions for as long as the Student’s medical provider deems medically necessary. Accommodations may also include the opportunity to make up any work missed due to Pregnancy or Related Medical Conditions, including class participation and attendance credits, if the grading system in a course is based in part on class participation or attendance.

Faculty are encouraged to allow Students to take short-term absences for responsibilities pertaining to Parenting, including caring for their Child during the Child’s injury or illness, attending medical, mental health, or dental appointments for their Child, and meeting with their Child’s teacher or school administrator. Such requests must be addressed without regard to the Student’s sex or gender.

c. Extracurricular Activities

Students may not be prohibited from participating in University extracurricular activities (including, but not limited to, school clubs, sports, honor societies, and Student leadership opportunities) on the basis of Pregnancy or Related Medical Conditions or on the basis of sex or gender related to Parenting.

Student-athletes who are affected by Pregnancy or a Related Medical Condition must be treated in the same way as ill or injured student-athletes. A student-athlete who is Pregnant or has a Related Medical Condition must be provided with the same types of modifications provided to student-athletes who are ill or injured to allow continued team participation. A financial award to a student-athlete who is Pregnant or has a Related Medical Condition and who remains engaged with the Department of Athletics must be renewed if financial awards are renewed for other ill or injured student-athletes who remain engaged with the Department of Athletics. A formerly Pregnant student-athlete must be returned to the status which they held before when the leave began.

d. Accommodations

Discrimination also includes failing to provide reasonable accommodations for Pregnancy or Related Medical Conditions to the extent that such accommodations would not result in a Fundamental Alteration of the academic program or impose an Undue Burden on the University, as consistent with state and federal law. Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Granting incomplete grades for courses to be completed at a later date
  • Modifications of the physical environment, such as accessible seating or provision of temporary elevator access
  • Mobility support
  • Allowance of more frequent trips to the restroom or breaks for water
  • Extending deadlines and/or allowing the Student to make up tests or assignments
  • Providing temporary disability parking permits2
  • Providing remote learning opportunities
  • Excusing medically-necessary absences in coordination with the Policy on University Approved Absences
  • Granting reasonable time and private space to pump breastmilk3
  • Providing larger uniforms for athletics or on-campus jobs
  • Allowing course drops, medical underloads, medical leaves of absence, or medical withdrawals4
  • Granting requests from pregnant or nursing Students to protect the health and/or safety of the Student, Pregnancy, or infant (e.g., allowing the Student to maintain a safe distance from hazardous substances

The procedures for requesting an accommodation under this policy are detailed in the Procedure for Pregnancy and Related Medical Conditions Accommodations for Students. Inclusion of an accommodation in this list does not mean it would be a reasonable accommodation under all situations. Nothing in this Policy requires modification of the essential elements of any University program.

2. Harassment

Harassment is a type of discrimination that occurs when verbal, physical, electronic, or other conduct based on a Student or Applicant’s Pregnancy or Related Medical Condition or based on sex or gender related to Parenting interferes with that Student’s educational environment (e.g., admission, academic standing, grades, assignments) or participation in a University program or activity (e.g., campus housing).

Examples of harassment may include, but are not limited to, sexual jokes, comments, or name-calling related to Pregnancy and Related Medical Conditions, or on the basis of sex or gender related to Parenting; comments about an individual’s intellectual or physical ability to complete coursework or commitment to their education or future profession due to Pregnancy and Related Medical Conditions, or Parenting; withholding or threatening to withhold research funding or scholarships due to Pregnancy and Related Medical Conditions, or on the basis of sex or gender related to Parenting; calling a pregnant individual sexually-charged names; spreading rumors about a pregnant individual’s sexual activity; and any other unwelcome behavior based on a Student’s Pregnancy and Related Medical Conditions or based on sex or gender related to Parenting that would be sufficiently serious to interfere with the Student’s ability to fully participate in the educational environment.

3. Retaliation

Retaliation is acts or words taken against an individual because of the individual’s participation in a protected activity that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in protected activity. Protected activity includes an individual’s good faith: (i) participation in the reporting, investigation, or resolution of an alleged violation of this Policy; (ii) opposition to policies, practices, or actions that the individual reasonably believes are in violation of this Policy; or (iii) requests for accommodations on the basis of Pregnancy and Related Medication Conditions, or exercising the right to such accommodations. Retaliation may include intimidation, threats, coercion, or adverse employment or educational actions.

4. Complicity

Complicity is any act that knowingly aids, facilitates, promotes, or encourages the commission of prohibited conduct by another person.

Definitions

Applicant: an individual who has submitted an application to be admitted to a full- or part-time course for academic credit at the University.

Child: a Student’s biological, adopted, or foster Child; legal ward; or relative for whom the Student has Parenting responsibilities.

Fundamental Alteration: a change that is so significant that it alters the essential nature of the course or program.

Parenting: fulfilling the role of parent for a biological, adopted, or foster Child; a legal ward; or a relative for whom the Student has primary caretaking responsibilities.

Pregnancy and/or Related Medical Conditions: pregnancy, birth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, pregnancy or infant loss, breastfeeding and expelling breastmilk, conditions arising in connection with any of these conditions, and recovery from any of these conditions.

Student: a person who has gained admission to a full or part-time course of study for academic credit at the University.

Undue Burden: Imposition of more than a de minimis cost on the University’s operations, which may include those requests that are costly, compromise safety, efficiency, infringe on the rights of others, or require others to do more than their fair share of the potentially hazardous or burdensome work.