Handbook of Operating Procedures 3-3021

Preventing Discrimination Against Pregnant and Parenting Students



Effective January 15, 2024
Executive Sponsor: Chief Compliance Officer
Policy Owner: University Title IX Coordinator

 

  1. Policy Statement

The University of Texas at Austin is committed to providing an educational environment that is free from discrimination on the basis of pregnant and parenting status in accordance with Texas Education Code (Tex. Educ. Code), Section 51.982 and other applicable laws, including Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex (including pregnancy discrimination) in education programs or activities; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability (including disabilities based on temporary medical conditions from pregnancy); and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in public schools such as institutions of higher education. 

This Policy and its procedures are established to ensure the protection and equal treatment of pregnant and parenting students.

 
  1. Reason for Policy

Discriminating on the basis of pregnancy is prohibited under the University's Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) 3-3020, Nondiscrimination Policy, and HOP 3-3031, Prohibition of Sexual Assault, Interpersonal Violence, Stalking, Sexual Harassment, and Sex Discrimination. The purpose of this Policy is to provide additional protections for pregnant and parenting students as required by Texas law.
 

  1. Scope & Audience

This Policy applies to all University faculty, staff, employees, students, student organizations, visitors, contractors, university affiliates, and applicants for admission to or employment with the University and others conducting business on campus.

 

  1. Definitions (specific to this policy)

Leave of Absence:

A period of time when a student is not enrolled in classes but is eligible to reenroll in the future. A leave of absence, for the purpose of this Policy, is also known as an academic withdrawal.
 

Parenting Student:

A student who is the parent or legal guardian of a child under 18 years of age.
 

Pregnancy or Related Condition:
Pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, lactation, or any other conditions directly related to being pregnant.
 
Pregnant Student:
A student who has, or is recovering from, a pregnancy or related condition.

Student:
A person who is currently enrolled at the University, is accepted for admission or readmission to the University, has been enrolled at the University in a prior term and is eligible to continue enrollment in the term that immediately follows, or is attending an educational program sponsored by the University while that person is on campus.

Supportive Measures
Individualized services that are available to pregnant and parenting students without any fee or charge through the Title IX Office or other offices.

 
  1. Website (for policy)

https://secure2.compliancebridge.com/utexas/public/getdoc.php?file=3-3021
 

  1. Contacts

CONTACT

DETAILS

WEB

Title IX Office

Phone: 512-471-0419

Website: Title IX Office

Website: https://titleix.utexas.edu/pregnancy-parenting

Email: titleix@austin.utexas.edu

Email: supportandresources@austin.utexas.edu

University Risk and Compliance Services

 Phone: 
English:
877-507-7321 
Spanish:
800-216-1288

Website: University Risk & Compliance Services

Email: compliance@austin.utexas.edu

 
  1. Responsibilities & Procedures

 

  1. Prohibited Conduct

The University may not require a pregnant or parenting student, solely because of the student’s status as a pregnant or parenting student or due to issues related to the student’s pregnant or parenting, to:
Acts of Prohibited Conduct directed at a pregnant or parenting student will be investigated in accordance with the University’s HOP 3-3031 policy and are subject to potential disciplinary action. 

Retaliation against pregnant or parenting students for engaging in protected activity is also prohibited and subject to disciplinary action, in accordance with the University’s HOP 3-3031 policy. 

For more information and reporting options, including filing a discrimination or retaliation complaint, visit the Title IX Office website

 
  1. Resources and Supportive Measures for Pregnant and Parenting Students

The University provides reasonable supportive measures, in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, to pregnant and parenting students on an individualized and voluntary basis depending on the student’s needs resulting from pregnancy or related conditions and/or parenting.

Documentation may be required to receive supportive measures. Supportive measures that constitute an undue hardship, or fundamentally alter the essential program requirement, or conflict with federal law or accreditation standards are not considered reasonable supportive measures. Documentation that a reasonable accommodation related to a student’s pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, or childbirth is “medically necessary” is not required. 

Reasonable supportive measures may include, but are not limited to:
  1. Graduate Student Long-Term Academic Leave Supportive Measures for Childbirth or Adoption.

In cases of childbirth or adoption, graduate students are allowed a one-semester extension in the completion of academic responsibilities required for their degree. Academic responsibilities include coursework, qualifying exams, committee meetings, presentations, or any other required academic milestones. This policy allows academic responsibilities to be postponed either during or immediately following the semester in which the graduate student’s child is born or adopted. After an accommodation period, graduate students are expected to resume progress toward degree completion, and faculty are encouraged to remain flexible in their expectations so that graduate students can meet the demands of graduate study while adjusting to new demands in their parental roles.
 
  1. Leave of Absence

The University shall allow a pregnant or parenting student to take a Leave of Absence for a minimum of one semester, as required by the circumstances and without a showing of medical need. If the student is in good academic standing at the time the student commences a Leave of Absence, the student may return to the same degree or certificate program in good academic standing so long as the program still exists and would still meet accreditation standards. The University may require that the student fulfills revised requirements of the program if the program in effect when the student returns has changed. The student may return without being required to reapply for admission.

Students are encouraged to meet with Texas OneStop prior to commencing a leave of absence to be informed of possible impacts to their financial aid or scholarship. Continuation of the student’s scholarship, fellowship, or similar university-sponsored funding prior to a Leave of Absence will depend on the student’s registration status and the policies of the funding program regarding registration status. The University will not cause students to forfeit their future eligibility for their scholarship, fellowship, or similar university-supported funding, or suffer other negative consequences, for taking a Leave of Absence under this policy. 

Documentation Required. Documentation may be required for a leave of absence request under this Policy, if the leave of absence is longer than one term or semester. The University may request documentation to verify the student’s status as a pregnant or parenting student.

 
  1. Additional Services for Parenting Students

 

  1. Student Parent Liaison. The Student Parent Liaison is a staff member in the Title IX Office who is responsible for providing current and incoming parenting students with information regarding supportive measures and other resources available to parenting students at the university. The Student Parent Liaison can be contacted via email at supportandresources@austin.utexas.edu or by phone at 512-471-0419.

 

  1. Priority Registration. If the University provides any group of students early registration for courses or programs, parenting students may receive the same early registration for those courses or programs by completing the Parenting Student Priority Registration Accommodation Form. For more information about Priority Registration, parenting students can contact the Student Parent Liaison via email at supportandresources@austin.utexas.edu or by phone at 512-471-0419. 
 
  1. Forms & Tools

Resources:

  1. Support and Resources, Title IX Office
    Email: supportandresources@austin.utexas.edu
    Phone: 512-471-0419
    Pregnant and parenting students, faculty, and staff are eligible to receive support and resources from the Title IX Office. Support and resources may include supportive measures, medically necessary periods of leave, and leaves of absence. Case Managers from the Title IX Office connect with students, faculty, and staff to provide one-on-one, individualized support. For more information about support and resources and how to get connected with a Case Manager, contact the Title IX Support and Resources team.
  1. Undergraduate College – Support for Students with Dependents
    Phone: 512-471-4421
    The Undergraduate College has created a webpage for students with dependents to find relevant on- and off-campus resources and connect with other pregnant and parenting students. It includes resources related to financial support and scholarships, academic support, childcare, school-life balance, parenting resources, and community.
  1. Graduate School – Families & Childcare
    The Graduate School has created a webpage for graduate student families. It includes resources related to school accommodation policies, academic resources, employment resources, family resources, and childcare.
  1. HealthPoint Wellness and Work Life Services - Lactation/Quiet Room Locations
    Phone: 512-232-1422
    Human Resources maintains a list of all lactation/quiet room locations, as well as contact information for these spaces.
  1. Human Resources - Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    Phone: 512-475-8099
    Human Resources maintains a webpage regarding the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which entitles employees to take up to 12-weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for reasons related to the birth of a child, bonding with a newborn, and placement of a child for adoption or foster care.
 
  1. Frequently Asked Questions

None
 

  1. Related Information

HOP 3-3031 - Prohibition of Sexual Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, Interpersonal Violence, and Stalking 

HOP 3-3020 - Nondiscrimination Policy

HOP 5-4330 - Parental Leave 

HOP 5-4310 - Family and Medical Leave 

 

  1. History    

Origination date: January 15, 2024
     Editorial revisions: May 30, 2024

Next scheduled review date: January 2027