In February, we launched a multi-part series in which we provide a refresher on the key players on the Title IX team under the current 2020 regulations. While we wait for the Biden administration to release their proposed regulations, remember that the 2020 regulations are still in effect and will be for some time. With that in mind, we want to ensure that everyone is up to speed on the current roles and responsibilities of the members of their team.
Today, we focus our spotlight on the Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator. The 2020 regulations permit institutions to facilitate an informal resolution process between parties involved in a Title IX grievance. The regulations briefly define the informal resolution as a “process, such as mediation, that does not involve a full investigation and adjudication.” There are several key timelines and requirements for the informal process, including the following:
- An informal resolution process can only take place after a formal complaint is filed.
- An institution may facilitate the informal process at any time prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility. After a final determination, however, the institution is not permitted to conduct an informal resolution with the parties.
- The institution must provide the parties a written notice that relays 1) the allegations, 2) the requirements of the informal resolution process, and 3) any consequences resulting from participation in the informal process, including any records that will be maintained or shared.
- Both parties must consent to the informal resolution through voluntary, written consent.
- At any time, any party has the right to withdraw from the informal process and resume the grievance process with respect to the formal complaint.
- The informal process should take place within a reasonably prompt time frame.
- The informal process is not permitted to resolve allegations in which an employee sexually harassed a student.
- An institution may not require a party to undergo the informal resolution process and waive their right to a formal Title IX investigation and adjudication as a condition of enrollment, employment, or any other right.