University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Department of Education OCR Title IX Investigation of BioHealth College ED-CA-0028
Docket / Court 09-11-2027 ( No Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Education
Special Collection Title IX, Sexual Violence Investigations/Resolutions
Case Summary
On November 17, 2010, a female student attending BioHealth College in San Jose, California filed a complaint with the US Department of Education, San Francisco Office for Civil Rights (OCR) alleging discrimination on the basis of sex. The complainant asserted that that she was subjected to sexual ... read more >
On November 17, 2010, a female student attending BioHealth College in San Jose, California filed a complaint with the US Department of Education, San Francisco Office for Civil Rights (OCR) alleging discrimination on the basis of sex. The complainant asserted that that she was subjected to sexual harassment and assault by a school employee in 2010 and that the College failed to respond appropriately when she gave it notice.

On November 22, 2010, OCR opened an investigation. It reviewed documents from BioHealth College and conducted interviews with relevant parties. Six months later, the OCR published a letter of findings determining that the college’s sexual misconduct policy was not compliant with Title IX. However, OCR also concluded that BioHealth College’s response to the complainant’s specific allegations was not in violation of any law.

In conducting its investigation, OCR found that the College failed to adequately distribute its nondiscrimination policy, failed to indicate that harassment by faculty and staff against students was prohibited, and failed to identify a designated Title IX coordinator to the community. Furthermore, BioHealth College’s complaint procedure was inadequate, as it was not specific to Title IX and did not include the required substantive and procedural safeguards (like a prompt timeline for resolution).

With respect to the college’s handling of the complainant’s specific case, OCR found that the President had immediately suspended the alleged perpetrator, conducted a thorough and fair investigation in which the complainant was allowed to present evidence, and provided prompt notice of the outcome to the complainant. The President determined, based on his investigation, that the faculty member had violated the policy regarding fraternization amongst students and employees and that the sexual conduct was consensual. In response, the President issued the faculty member a written warning but did not terminate his employment.

On May 11, 2010 the College President signed a resolution agreement with OCR where it agreed to modify its policies to be in compliance with Title IX. BioHealth College specifically committed to:

  • Modify its nondiscrimination statement to indicate that faculty and staff were prohibited from engaging in sex discrimination, including sexual harassment.

  • Publicly identify the Title IX Coordinator.

  • Develop and publish a procedure to resolve sex discrimination complaints.

  • Submit to reporting and monitoring requirements through August 2011.

Because OCR found that complainant was not personally subjected to discrimination, she did not receive any victim-specific remedies.

On October 7, 2011, OCR determined that BioHealth College was in substantial compliance with the resolution agreement and thus closed its monitoring.

Hope Brinn - 12/02/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Reporting
Defendant-type
College/University
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Out-of-court
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.
Defendant(s) BioHealth College
Plaintiff Description The complainant is a female student enrolled at BioHealth College.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2010 - 2011
Filing Year 2011
Case Closing Year 2011
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Chronicle of Higher Education, Title IX Tracker: BioHealth College
Chronicle of Higher Education
Date: Jan. 10, 2019
By: Chronicle of Higher Education
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
[Notification letter for BioHealth College]
ED-CA-0028-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/18/2010
[Notification letter for BioHealth College]
ED-CA-0028-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/22/2010
[Notification letter for BioHealth College]
ED-CA-0028-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/22/2010
[Data request for BioHealth College]
ED-CA-0028-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/22/2010
[Findings letter for BioHealth College]
ED-CA-0028-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/13/2011

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