HHS Announces Voluntary Resolution Agreement With University Of Southern California Medical School to Settle Sex Discrimination Complaints
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
On June 15, 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), and the University of Southern California (USC), along with its medical enterprise, Keck Medicine of USC (KMUSC), entered into a voluntary resolution agreement or settlement. In a statement released to the public, HHS said the agreement would resolve a compliance review of KMUSC Entities’ policies and procedures for responding to sex discrimination complaints made by students, employees, or patients employed by, or participating in, any programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from HHS.
Read the press release in full here for more information. HHS OCR initiated the compliance review on June 10, 2019, to assess KMUSC’s compliance with Title IX in its handling of sexual harassment complaints.
Compliance With Federal Civil Rights Obligations Under Title IX.
Pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally assisted education programs or activities, KMUSC Entities have agreed to:
1. Periodically notify all students, employees, and patients engaged in, furthering, benefiting from, or responsible for any educational operation, program, or activity at KMUSC Entities of the name, title, office address, email address, and telephone number of the Title IX Coordinator and the Deputy EEO/Title IX Coordinator for Healthcare;
2. Institute a new chaperone policy requiring clinicians to have a medical chaperone present while performing a sensitive health examination;
3. Update employee training modules to include information regarding the requirements of Title IX in the healthcare setting, including potential Title IX issues that may arise in the context of the provider-patient relationship, the roles and responsibilities of chaperones, and the identification of those health care providers who are qualified and charged with determining the medical standard of care when such issues arise in the context of a possible Title IX matter; and
4. Ensure KMUSC’s Title IX policy and resolution processes are fully implemented and readily available to all students, employees, and patients with respect to any educational or other University operation, program, or activity at KMUSC Entities.
Read the HHS Voluntary Resolution Agreement.
To learn more about the changes that were made to Title IX regarding campus assault rules, click here to read my prior blog.
If You Are the Victim of Sex Abuse or Discrimination–Take Action.
Attorneys of The Health Law Firm are constantly being consulted by resident physicians, fellows, and medical students who are the victims of sexual abuse, harassment, or discrimination because of their sex, gender, medical condition race, or national origin. This may come from a program director, department chair, senior resident, or attending physician. It is very important to document this through a formal complaint before it gets out of hand or negatively affects your career. To get legal help navigating your way through a difficult situation, contact one of the experienced attorneys at The Health Law Firm.
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Health Law & Business. “HHS Settles Title IX Bias Complaints With USC, Medical Center.” Bloomberg Law. (June 15, 2022). Web.
“USC Under Investigation for Title IX Violations in Handling Claims of Sexual Assault.” Thomas Law Offices. (July 25, 2018). Web.
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law is an attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Suite 1000, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620 or Toll-Free: (888) 331-6620.
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