Pregnancy & Parenting Student Statement
California Lutheran University is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals enjoy freedom from discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of sex, as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). Sex discrimination, which can include discrimination based on pregnancy, marital status, or parental status, is prohibited and illegal in admissions, educational programs and activities, hiring, leave policies, employment policies, and health insurance coverage. California Lutheran University hereby establishes a policy and associated procedures for ensuring the protection and equal treatment of pregnant individuals, persons with pregnancy-‐ related conditions, and new parents.
Under the Department of Education’s (DOE) Title IX regulations, an institution that receives federal funding “shall not discriminate against any student, or exclude any student from its education program or activity, including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom.” According to the DOE, appropriate treatment of a pregnant student includes granting the student leave “for so long a period of time as is deemed medically necessary by the student’s physician,” and then effectively reinstating the student to the same status as was held when the leave began.
This generally means that pregnant students should be treated by California Lutheran University the same way as someone who has a temporary disability and will be given an opportunity to make up missed work wherever possible. Extended deadlines, make-up assignments (e.g., papers, quizzes, tests, and presentations), tutoring, independent study, online course completion options, and incomplete grades that can be completed at a later date, should all be employed, in addition to any other ergonomic and assistive supports typically provided by Disability Services. To the extent possible, California Lutheran University will take reasonable steps to ensure that pregnant students who take a leave of absence or medical leave return to the same position of academic progress that they were in when they took leave, including access to the same course catalog that was in place when the leave began.
As with disability accommodations, information about pregnant students’ requests for accommodations will be shared with faculty and staff only to the extent necessary to provide the reasonable accommodation. Faculty and staff will regard all information associated with such requests as private and will not disclose this information unless necessary.
In situations such as clinical rotations, performances, labs, and group work, the institution will work with the student to devise an alternative path to completion, if possible. In progressive curricular and/or cohort-‐model programs, medically necessary leaves are sufficient cause to permit the student to shift course order, substitute similar courses, or join a subsequent cohort when returning from leave.
Students are encouraged to work with their faculty members and California Lutheran University’s support systems to devise a plan for how to best address the conditions as pregnancy progresses, anticipate the need for leaves, minimize the academic impact of their absence, and get back on track as efficiently and comfortably as possible. The Title IX Coordinator will assist with plan development and implementation as needed.
It is the policy of the State of California, pursuant to Section 66251, that all persons, regardless of their sex, should enjoy freedom from discrimination of any kind, including, but not limited to, pregnancy discrimination as described in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ( 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681, et seq. ), in the postsecondary educational institutions of the state.
Each of the following requirements apply to postsecondary educational institutions in this state:
(1) A postsecondary educational institution, including the faculty, staff, or other employees of the institution, shall not require a graduate student to take a leave of absence, withdraw from the graduate program, or limit his or her graduate studies solely due to pregnancy or pregnancy-related issues.
(2) A postsecondary educational institution, including the faculty, staff, or other employees of the institution, shall reasonably accommodate pregnant graduate students so they may complete their graduate courses of study and research. Reasonable accommodation within the meaning of this subdivision may include, but is not necessarily limited to, allowances for the pregnant student's health and safety, such as allowing the student to maintain a safe distance from hazardous substances, allowing the student to make up tests and assignments that are missed for pregnancy-related reasons, or allowing the student to take a leave of absence. Reasonable accommodation shall include the excusing of absences that are medically necessary, as required under Title IX.
(3) A graduate student who chooses to take a leave of absence because she is pregnant or has recently given birth shall be allowed a period consistent with the policies of the postsecondary educational institution, or a period of 12 additional months, whichever period is longer, to prepare for and take preliminary and qualifying examinations and an extension of at least 12 months toward normative time to degree while in candidacy for a graduate degree, unless a longer extension is medically necessary.
(4) A graduate student who is not the birth parent and who chooses to take a leave of absence because of the birth of his or her child shall be allowed a period consistent with the policies of the postsecondary educational institution, or a period of one month, whichever period is longer, to prepare for and take preliminary and qualifying examinations, and an extension of at least one month toward normative time to degree while in candidacy for a graduate degree, unless a longer period or extension is medically necessary to care for his or her partner or their child.
(5) An enrolled graduate student in good academic standing who chooses to take a leave of absence because she is pregnant or has recently given birth shall return to her program in good academic standing following a leave period consistent with the policies of the postsecondary educational institution or of up to one academic year, whichever period is longer, subject to the reasonable administrative requirements of the institution, unless there is a medical reason for a longer absence, in which case her standing in the graduate program shall be maintained during that period of absence.
(6) An enrolled graduate student in good academic standing who is not the birth parent and who chooses to take a leave of absence because of the birth of his or her child shall return to his or her program in good academic standing following a leave period consistent with the policies of the postsecondary educational institution, or of up to one month, whichever period is longer, subject to the reasonable administrative requirements of the institution.
(c) Each postsecondary educational institution shall have a written policy for graduate students on pregnancy discrimination and procedures for addressing pregnancy discrimination complaints under Title IX or this section. A copy of this policy shall be made available to faculty, staff, and employees in their required training. This policy shall be made available to all graduate students attending orientation sessions at a postsecondary educational institution.