Male Surgeon Wins $15 Million Verdict in Suit Based on “Reverse Discrimination” and Anti-Male Bias; Hospital Requests New Trial

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law and Hartley Brooks, Law Clerk, The Health Law Firm
In a massive jury verdict awarding a male attending physician more than he requested, a jury found that a hospital demonstrated reverse discrimination and an anti-mail bias in how it handled a female resident physician’s complaint against him.
On January 8, 2024, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital urged a Pennsylvania Federal court to reverse a $15 million judgment against it over its handling of a sexual assault investigation in a gender bias case. In December 2023, a federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found that there was proof that the hospital exhibited anti-male bias and violated a male orthopedic surgeon’s civil rights when it investigated allegations that he sexually assaulted a medical resident.  Thomas Jefferson University Hospital claimed the court unfairly excluded key evidence that would have countered the surgeon’s claims that the female medical resident was actually the aggressor.
The Initial Incident.
In 2018, Plaintiff John Abraham, a male orthopedic surgeon at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, alleged that a female resident physician attended a pool party at his residence and engaged in sexually aggressive behavior towards him without his consent.  According to the law suit, he reported the female resident’s conduct to the hospital.
Dr. Abraham later learned that the female resident had already filed a complaint against him, resulting in an investigation into his behavior.  No charges against him aver resulted from the hospital’s investigation or a related criminal investigation.
The Alleged Gender Discrimination. 
Dr. Abraham sued Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, accusing it of practicing discrimination against men during its investigation of the sexual assault allegations.  According to him, the hospital demonstrated gender bias by disregarding his allegation that he was assaulted by the female and pressuring him to take a leave of absence.  This was compounded by its failure to take any action against the alleged female aggressor about whom he complained.  The investigation was eventually terminated with no findings after Dr. Abraham relinquished his privileges at the hospital.
In the suit Dr. Abraham sought $5 million in compensatory damages.  However, after the four-day civil trial, the federal jury awarded him $11 million in compensatory damages and $4 million in punitive damages.
The Hospital’s Request for a New Trial.
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital requested a new trial after the jury handed down the verdict. The hospital claimed that the court excluded critical evidence that it would have used on cross-examination of Dr. Abraham to help it win its case.  The excluded evidence included texts stating Dr. Abraham was not drunk at the party and that he intended to have sex with the female resident even though he knew it was unethical because she was his student.
The hospital also argued that the court gave incorrect jury instructions about the difference between anti-male discrimination and anti-respondent discrimination in a sexual assault investigation. According to the hospital’s motion, taking “risk minimization measures” against someone accused of sexual assault, like placing them on a leave of absence, is not cause for a Title IX gender discrimination lawsuit. Additionally, the hospital claims, not specifying this difference to the jury incorrectly led the jury to believe that anti-respondent bias was, in fact, anti-male bias.
The judge has not yet ruled on the hospital’s request.
To read two recent blogs I wrote about Title IX and its applications to resident physicians and fellows, click here and here.
Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys Representing Health Care Professionals, Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows.
The Health Law Firm routinely represents students, including medical students, dental students, nursing students, pharmacy students, resident physicians, and fellows, who have legal problems with their schools or programs. We also represent students, residents, and fellows in investigations, academic probation and suspensions, disciplinary hearings, clinical competence committee (CCC) hearings, and appeals of adverse actions taken against them. The Health Law Firm’s attorneys include those who are board-certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.
Our firm also specializes in providing legal representation to a wide range of healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, massage therapists, mental health counselors, registered nurses, and more.
To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or Toll-Free (888) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.
Sources:
Abraham v. Thomas Jefferson University No. 2:20-cv-02967-MMB (E.D. PA. January 8, 2024)
Abraham v. Thomas Jefferson University No. 2:20-cv-02967-MMB (E.D. PA. June 19, 2020)
D’Annunzio, P.J.. “Info Kept From Jury In $15M Gender Bias Case, Pa. Court Told.” Law360. (9 January 2024) https://www.law360.com/articles/1783770
Rock, Amy. “Thomas Jefferson University to Pay $15 Million to Male Surgeon for Gender-Biased Rape Investigation.” Campus Safety Magazine. (15 December 2023) https://www.campussafetymagazine.com/university/thomas-jefferson-university-to-pay-15-million-to-male-surgeon-for-gender-biased-rape-investigation/
Ruderman, Wendy. “Former Rothman orthopedic surgeon takes on Jefferson in federal court over sexual assault allegations.” The Philadelphia Inquirer. (5 December 2023) https://www.inquirer.com/health/john-abraham-rothman-jefferson-sex-discrimination-case-jury-federal-20231205.html
About the Authors: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.
Hartley Brooks is a law clerk with The Health Law Firm. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area.
The Health Law Firm can be visited at:  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Suite 1000, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620 or Toll-Free: (888) 331-6620.
Current Open Positions with The Health Law Firm. The Health Law Firm always seeks qualified individuals interested in health law. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. If you are a current member of The Florida Bar or a qualified professional who is interested, please forward a cover letter and resume to: [email protected] or fax them to (407) 331-3030.
“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2024 George F. Indest III, The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any way in any medium without the written permission of the copyright owner. The author of this work reserves the right to have his name associated with any use or publication of this work or any part of it.
By |2024-03-14T09:59:09-04:00March 26, 2024|Categories: Health Facilities Law Blog, Mental Health Law Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Male Surgeon Wins $15 Million Verdict in Suit Based on “Reverse Discrimination” and Anti-Male Bias; Hospital Requests New Trial

Male Surgeon Wins $15 Million Verdict in Suit Based on “Reverse Discrimination” and Anti-Male Bias; Hospital Requests New Trial

Attorney and Author George F. Indest III HeadshotBy George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law and Hartley Brooks, Law Clerk, The Health Law Firm
In a massive jury verdict awarding a male attending physician more than he requested, a jury found that a hospital demonstrated reverse discrimination and an anti-mail bias in how it handled a female resident physician’s complaint against him.
On January 8, 2024, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital urged a Pennsylvania Federal court to reverse a $15 million judgment against it over its handling of a sexual assault investigation in a gender bias case. In December 2023, a federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found that there was proof that the hospital exhibited anti-male bias and violated a male orthopedic surgeon’s civil rights when it investigated allegations that he sexually assaulted a medical resident.  Thomas Jefferson University Hospital claimed the court unfairly excluded key evidence that would have countered the surgeon’s claims that the female medical resident was actually the aggressor.
The Initial Incident. 
In 2018, Plaintiff John Abraham, a male orthopedic surgeon at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, alleged that a female resident physician attended a pool party at his residence and engaged in sexually aggressive behavior towards him without his consent.  According to the law suit, he reported the female resident’s conduct to the hospital.
Dr. Abraham later learned that the female resident had already filed a complaint against him, resulting in an investigation into his behavior.  No charges against him aver resulted from the hospital’s investigation or a related criminal investigation.
The Alleged Gender Discrimination. 
Dr. Abraham sued Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, accusing it of practicing discrimination against men during its investigation of the sexual assault allegations.  According to him, the hospital demonstrated gender bias by disregarding his allegation that he was assaulted by the female and pressuring him to take a leave of absence.  This was compounded by its failure to take any action against the alleged female aggressor about whom he complained.  The investigation was eventually terminated with no findings after Dr. Abraham relinquished his privileges at the hospital.
In the suit Dr. Abraham sought $5 million in compensatory damages.  However, after the four-day civil trial, the federal jury awarded him $11 million in compensatory damages and $4 million in punitive damages.
The Hospital’s Request for a New Trial.
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital requested a new trial after the jury handed down the verdict. The hospital claimed that the court excluded critical evidence that it would have used on cross-examination of Dr. Abraham to help it win its case.  The excluded evidence included texts stating Dr. Abraham was not drunk at the party and that he intended to have sex with the female resident even though he knew it was unethical because she was his student.
The hospital also argued that the court gave incorrect jury instructions about the difference between anti-male discrimination and anti-respondent discrimination in a sexual assault investigation. According to the hospital’s motion, taking “risk minimization measures” against someone accused of sexual assault, like placing them on a leave of absence, is not cause for a Title IX gender discrimination lawsuit. Additionally, the hospital claims, not specifying this difference to the jury incorrectly led the jury to believe that anti-respondent bias was, in fact, anti-male bias.
The judge has not yet ruled on the hospital’s request.
To read two recent blogs I wrote about Title IX and its applications to resident physicians and fellows, click here and here
Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys Representing Health Care Professionals, Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows.
The Health Law Firm routinely represents students, including medical students, dental students, nursing students, pharmacy students, resident physicians, and fellows, who have legal problems with their schools or programs. We also represent students, residents, and fellows in investigations, academic probation and suspensions, disciplinary hearings, clinical competence committee (CCC) hearings, and appeals of adverse actions taken against them. The Health Law Firm’s attorneys include those who are board-certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.
Our firm also specializes in providing legal representation to a wide range of healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, massage therapists, mental health counselors, registered nurses, and more.
To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or Toll-Free (888) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.
Sources:
Abraham v. Thomas Jefferson University No. 2:20-cv-02967-MMB (E.D. PA. January 8, 2024)
Abraham v. Thomas Jefferson University No. 2:20-cv-02967-MMB (E.D. PA. June 19, 2020)
D’Annunzio, P.J.. “Info Kept From Jury In $15M Gender Bias Case, Pa. Court Told.” Law360. (9 January 2024) https://www.law360.com/articles/1783770
Rock, Amy. “Thomas Jefferson University to Pay $15 Million to Male Surgeon for Gender-Biased Rape Investigation.” Campus Safety Magazine. (15 December 2023) https://www.campussafetymagazine.com/university/thomas-jefferson-university-to-pay-15-million-to-male-surgeon-for-gender-biased-rape-investigation/
Ruderman, Wendy. “Former Rothman orthopedic surgeon takes on Jefferson in federal court over sexual assault allegations.” The Philadelphia Inquirer. (5 December 2023) https://www.inquirer.com/health/john-abraham-rothman-jefferson-sex-discrimination-case-jury-federal-20231205.html
About the Authors: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.
Hartley Brooks is a law clerk with The Health Law Firm. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area.
The Health Law Firm can be visited at:  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Suite 1000, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620 or Toll-Free: (888) 331-6620.
Current Open Positions with The Health Law Firm. The Health Law Firm always seeks qualified individuals interested in health law. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. If you are a current member of The Florida Bar or a qualified professional who is interested, please forward a cover letter and resume to: [email protected] or fax them to (407) 331-3030.
“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2024 George F. Indest III, The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any way in any medium without the written permission of the copyright owner. The author of this work reserves the right to have his name associated with any use or publication of this work or any part of it.
By |2024-03-14T09:59:10-04:00March 6, 2024|Categories: Medical Education Law Blog, The Health Law Firm Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Male Surgeon Wins $15 Million Verdict in Suit Based on “Reverse Discrimination” and Anti-Male Bias; Hospital Requests New Trial

Female Scientist Files Suit Against Duke School of Medicine For Discrimination, Retaliation

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On August 10, 2023, a female scientist in the anesthesiology department at Duke University’s School of Medicine filed a complaint against the school under Title VII and the Equal Pay Act. She told the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina that Duke paid her less than her male colleagues, increased her hours without increasing her pay, and threatened her with demotions after complaining about it.

According to the complaint (lawsuit), she was the first female principal investigator (PI) to work in Duke’s hyperbaric medicine center. The term “principal investigator,” as used in scientific research, means an individual with a medical degree or Ph.D. appointed directly by third parties (usually the sponsors) to lead and oversee funded scientific research projects on their behalf.

Alleged Hostile Work Environment.

Reportedly, on August 14, 2019, the scientist accepted the position of Assistant Consulting Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the Duke University School of Medicine. Because she was expecting to undergo several surgeries, she negotiated a part-time role in which she would work ten hours per week at a $30,000 salary, according to the suit. The federal government funded her projects. Duke clarified it paid her $70 an hour. Additionally, the lawsuit alleged that she was promised to receive more money if she exceeded 10 hours per week.

However, the plaintiff said that her supervisor began assigning her to additional work starting in December 2020 and raised her hours to 20 to 40 hours per week without any extra pay. She contacted the human resources department, but the problem went uncorrected, according to court documents.

Additionally, she began talking to her other colleagues, who were male PIs, about their pay rates and learned that they were all making more than her. The suit claimed that one male PI earned $100,000 for the same work she performed while receiving less than half that amount.

Alleged Gender Discrimination.

The scientist alleges that she complained to Duke about gender discrimination in August 2021. She said her supervisor presented her with an ultimatum two weeks later:
She could either be demoted to a staff position or be downgraded to a job assisting a male PI or resign from her current faculty position. She refused all options, the complaint said.

Subsequently, Duke allowed her contract to lapse, leaving her with 20 hours a week and unclear employment rights under the university’s internal policies, the suit said. According to the complaint, this resulted in her making far less than the $70-per-hour pay rate she was not only promised but also that the university was charging the federal government.

Therefore, she claims in the complaint Duke’s refusal to compensate her at the same pay rate as her male counterparts constitutes a violation of the Equal Pay Act.

The University’s Alleged Retaliation.

After she filed her complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Duke allegedly retaliated against her, according to the suit. This occurred when Duke tried to reclassify her to a nonfaculty position and deprive her of human resources (HR) services and grievance rights.

She also claims that the university interfered with her attempts to escape the discriminatory and retaliatory environment of the anesthesiology department. The complaint states that Duke required her to apply only for staff positions and refused to allow her to be hired as faculty by another department. Still, according to the suit, her supervisor “spread malicious and false information about her” and told her she was ineligible for a transfer. And by mid-2022, she said, her supervisor had begun to refuse to speak directly to her altogether.

Her suit seeks back pay, punitive damages, and attorney fees. To read the entire lawsuit (complaint), click here.

To read other legal documents, visit our website’s Articles and Documents section.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Health Care Professionals and Providers.

At the Health Law Firm, we provide legal services for all health care providers and professionals. This includes physicians, nurses, dentists, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, resident physicians and fellows, assisted living facilities, ambulatory surgical centers, nursing homes, and other healthcare providers. We represent principal investigators, clinical professors, medical researchers and others in defense of allegations of scientific misconduct, research fraud and similar matters.

The lawyers of The Health Law Firm are experienced in both formal and informal administrative
hearings and in representing physicians in investigations and at institutional review board (IRB) investigations and hearings, and university academic hearings. We represent physicians accused of wrongdoing, in patient complaints, and in Department of Health investigations. Several of our attorneys act as expert witnesses in attorney’s fee litigation and in health law litigation.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or toll free at (888) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.ThehealthLawFirm.com.

Sources:

Freedman, Emmy. “Duke Paid Female Scientist Less Than Male Peers, Suit Says.” Law360. (August 10, 2023). https://www.law360.com/health/articles/1709732?nl_pk=0cbd4c0b-c6c8-416a-9e67-b4affa63b102&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=health&utm_content=2023-08-11&read_main=1&nlsidx=0&nlaidx=18

Dalesio, Emery. “Duke University to Pay $54M to Settle Suit Over Hiring Agreement with UNC.” Insurance Journal. (June 7, 2019). https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/06/07/528679.htm

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Suite 1000, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620 or Toll-Free: (888) 331-6620.

Attorney Positions with The Health Law Firm. The Health Law Firm is always looking for qualified attorneys interested in the practice of health law. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. If you are a member of The Florida Bar and are interested, forward a cover letter and your resume to: [email protected] or fax to: (407) 331-3030.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2023 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

 

By |2024-03-14T09:59:18-04:00October 11, 2023|Categories: Medical Education Law Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Female Scientist Files Suit Against Duke School of Medicine For Discrimination, Retaliation

HHS Announces Voluntary Resolution Agreement With University Of Southern California Medical School to Settle Sex Discrimination Complaints

Author HeadshotBy 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.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys Representing Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents students, including medical students, dental students, nursing students, pharmacy students, resident physicians, and fellows, who have legal problems with their schools or programs. We also represent students, residents, and fellows in investigations, academic probation and suspensions, disciplinary hearings, clinical competence committee (CCC) hearings, and appeals of adverse actions taken against them. The Health Law Firm’s attorneys include those who are board-certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or Toll-Free (888) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Sources:

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.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2022 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

New Campus Sexual Assault Rules Strengthen Rights of the Accused Student in School Hearings

George Indest HeadshotBy George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
On May 6, 2020, the U.S. Education Department finalized a new policy that will reshape the way schools and universities respond to sexual misconduct complaints. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued rules to strengthen the rights of accused students, reduce legal liabilities, and narrow the scope of cases colleges are required to investigate. These investigations and hearing are often called “Title IX investigations and hearings.”

The agency started the overhaul in 2018 after revoking rules from the Obama administration that it says adopted a “failed system” that pressured schools to deny the rights of alleged perpetrators.

A New Sexual-Assault Policy on Campuses.

The policy changes narrow the definition of sexual harassment and require schools and universities to investigate claims only if they’re reported to certain officials. Colleges can be held accountable for mishandling complaints only if they acted with “deliberate indifference.” One of the more hotly contested changes is that students will be permitted to question one another during live hearings.

DeVos also said for the first time that dating violence, stalking, and domestic violence also must be addressed. and she added new language ordering schools to provide special support for victims regardless of whether they file a formal complaint.

Under the new rules, the definition of sexual harassment is narrowed to include “unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive” that it denies a person access to a school’s education programs or activity.

The Obama administration used a much broader definition that included any “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,” including “sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”

For colleges, the new policy narrows the type of complaints they will be required to investigate. In sharp contrast to the Obama Administration, it orders colleges to pursue cases only if they’re reported to certain campus officials. Additionally, it says schools can choose whether to handle cases in off-campus areas that are outside their “programs or activities.”

Opponents of the law said the Obama rules forced schools to stop sweeping the issue under the rug and survivors will get the message loud and clear that there is no point in reporting assault. In contrast, those supporting accused students said past laws tipped the scales in favor of accusers and caused unfair, hasty actions against the accused.

The changes take effect on August 14, 2020.

Unfortunately, these types of cases are not uncommon on college campuses, which is why this is such a hot button topic. Click here to read my recent blog on a similar case.

It’s About Time.

We have been involved in a number of cases brought alleging sexual harassment, sexual assault, absence of consent, date rape, and other similar allegations, under Title IX. Unfortunately, the deck has been always stacked completely in favor of the person making such accusations and the accused student has been given almost no due process of law rights. It is long past time for a change to these one-sided rules.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys Representing Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents students, including medical students, dental students, nursing students, pharmacy students, resident physicians, and fellows, who have legal problems with their schools or programs. We also represent students, residents, and fellows in investigations, academic probation and suspensions, disciplinary hearings, clinical competence committee (CCC) hearings, and appeals of adverse actions taken against them. The Health Law Firm’s attorneys include those who are board-certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Sources:

“New campus sexual assault rules give accused students more rights, Betsy DeVos says.” CBS NEWS. (May 7, 2020). Web.

Binkley, Collin. “New campus sexual assault rules bolster rights of accused.” Associated Press (AP). (May 6, 2020). 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.

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“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2020 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

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