What types of assistance must be provided to a pregnant student?
When necessary, Madison College must make adjustments to the regular program that are reasonable and responsive to the student’s temporary pregnancy status. For example, Madison College might be required to provide a larger desk, allow frequent trips to the bathroom or permit temporary access to elevators.
What if an instructor or program has their own policies about class attendance and make-up work?
The college must ensure that the policies and practices of individual instructors do not discriminate against pregnant students. For example, an instructor cannot refuse to allow a student to submit work after a deadline that she missed because of absences due to pregnancy or childbirth. Additionally, if an instructor’s grading is based in part on class attendance or participation, the student should be allowed to earn the credits she missed so that she can be reinstated to the status she had before her leave. Madison College must ensure that their instructors and staff are aware of and follow Title IX requirements. An individual instructor’s policy is not okay if it breaks the law.
What about internships, career rotations, and other off-campus elements of her program?
Madison College must allow the student to continue participating in off-campus programs. For example, if her program provides opportunities to work in the field, Madison College cannot deny her participation based on her pregnancy. Madison College can require a doctor’s note for continued participation, if the school requires one for all students who have a medical condition that requires treatment by a doctor. If Madison College asks for a note, the instructors cannot second-guess her doctor’s decision.
Can an instructor require a student to keep up with CourseWork while at home on maternity leave?
The instructor must excuse a student’s absences because of pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences medically necessary. The student cannot be required to turn in work while on maternity leave until the doctor releases her. The missed work will have to be made up after her doctor authorizes her return to school.
What if there are availability issues when scheduling make-up work?
Instructors should make every effort to find a mutually convenient time. However, if conflicts arise, the instructor’s associate dean should facilitate a resolution.
What if a Student cannot make up the work during the semester?
If the instructor gives the student an Incomplete, her academic status may be negatively affected. But if she is approved for Title IX protection, her academic status will not be affected negatively. Student Accommodation Services will work with the Director of Counseling to correct the status. However, Financial Aid regulations do not give the college any discretion in terms of Financial Aid eligibility.
Is Title IX protection retroactive?
No, a student must apply for pregnancy and disability due to childbirth leave in a timely manner (current semester). The college cannot go back in time to make accommodations. Documentation of medical appointments must be submitted to DRS within three days of the appointment. Documentation of medical leaves or emergencies should be submitted within one week.
Can an instructor lower a student's grade for missing class?
A student cannot be penalized for pregnancy or other related conditions. If an instructor provides specific “points” or other advantages to students based on class attendance, she must be given the opportunity to earn back the credit from classes she misses due to pregnancy so that she can be reinstated to the status she held before she took leave.