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Frequently Asked Questions for Students

Does the University have to excuse medically necessary absences due to pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions?

  1. Under Title IX the institution must excuse any absences related to these conditions, so long as your doctor says the absence is medically necessary. If  leaves for even longer than what is medically necessary are being requested, please speak with ISU Disability services.  When you return from your absence, you must reasonably be reinstated to the same status you held before you left – there can be no penalty for your leave. 
  2. Title IX covers all aspects of your education wherever they occur – you cannot be forced to limit your educational activities due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions.  This includes school sponsored internships or externships, clinics, lab work, athletics, and extracurricular activities.  Job placement and career counseling cannot be biased because of your pregnancy or parental status. 

What is an “excused absence”?  Do I have to complete make-up work?

You cannot be penalized for taking legally protected leave.  Faculty may require you to complete missed assignments or other work to make up for missed participation, but the make-up work should be comparable with the work given to other students, not extra.  When setting timelines for make-up or missed work, faculty need to treat it reasonably as leave; for example, assignment deadlines should not be the day you return, but should be pushed back to give you at least the same amount of time as other students have had to complete the assignments. 

I have had a difficult pregnancy or childbirth.  Can the University provide support?

If the university provides any special services or accommodations for temporarily disabled students, under Title IX you are equally entitled to the same services.  Additionally, depending upon your condition, you may also have a right to accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADAAA).  

Does Title IX only protect me in the classroom?

Title IX covers all aspects of your education wherever they occur – you cannot be forced to limit your educational activities due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions.  This includes school sponsored internships or externships, clinics, lab work, athletics, and extracurricular activities.  Job placement and career counseling cannot be biased because of your pregnancy or parental status. 

Do I have a right to pump breast milk on-campus?

The university may reasonably accommodate necessary absences for pumping breastmilk, just as it must reasonably accommodate other medically necessary absences resulting from pregnancy and related conditions.  The University has private and well-equipped parent rooms (other than a bathroom) where you should be able to pump.  

I work for the university as an employee.  Do I have rights?

In addition to the rights, you have under Title IX as a student, you may also be covered by other laws that protect employees.  Discrimination against employees based on pregnancy or sex-based stereotypes about parents is illegal.  Additionally, employees with pregnancy-related conditions that constitute disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADAAA) are entitled to reasonable accommodations under that law.   Finally, you may be entitled to paid or unpaid job-protected leave because of pregnancy or childbirth.

I have been treated negatively because of my pregnancy/childbirth/miscarriage/false pregnancy or related condition.  What can I do?

Harassing or intimidating you because of your pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, false pregnancy, or related condition is sex discrimination in violation of Title IX.  Likewise, limiting your educational opportunities on those grounds is illegal.  University officials are responsible for preventing and responding to harassment from any member of the university community.  Consider reporting your experience to remedy your own situation through the Office of Equity and Inclusion

 

Adapted from thepregnantscholar.org