Skip to main content

Pregnancy & Parenting

Title IX addresses discrimination based on pregnancy and parenting status. We strive to be proactive to prevent all forms of discrimination, including those based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, and recovery from a pregnancy or related condition. 

Below are several examples of rights students have during and after a pregnancy. While Title IX applies to both students and employees, others laws like the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) also provide options for employees. If you are an employee, you are encouraged to read the information below as well as contact Human Resources for more information specific to your circumstances.

Overview

Students have civil rights under Title IX during a pregnancy, around childbirth, surrounding a false pregnancy, termination of a pregnancy, as well as recovery from a pregnancy. Pregnancy and related conditions are considered to be a temporary health status based on sex.

Parenting status generally refers to health status related to a prior pregnancy, such as needing to express milk during classes or works hours.This may also include anticipated absences related to childbirth. 

Academics

Absences related to health issues during a pregnancy, including doctor’s visits, morning sickness, any complications, etc., may be excused by professor and instructors. No student is required by university policy to miss classes due to a pregnancy.

If any work is missed during absences related to a pregnancy, the course’s instructor must provide the opportunity to make up that work. If attendance is graded, an alternative way of making up missed attendance points must be provided.

Pregnant and parenting students have the same right to participate in and finish internships related to their academic work. If you struggle to complete your internship due to health concerns related to a pregnancy, you are encouraged to contact your supervisor and/or a Title IX administrator.

Financial Aid

If you receive financial assistance or scholarships from OKCU, those will not be negatively impacted by any pregnancy.

If you decide to temporarily withdraw from the University for non-medical reasons related to your pregnancy, this may have an impact on any financial aid you receive. You are strongly encouraged to speak with a financial aid counselor if you are considering this option.

Extracurricular Activities

Being pregnant or being a parent does not preclude anyone from participating in extracurricular activities, including athletic teams, student groups or organizations, and campus-affiliated groups.

If a student needs reasonable accommodations to continue to participate in a University-sponsored activity, those can be provided to the student to ensure they can continue to access our programs and services.

Lactation Rooms

Anyone in our campus community can access on-campus lactation rooms to express milk in a safe and healthy environment. Designated lactation rooms are available across campus in the following locations: 

Main Campus

  • Dulaney Browne Library, 2nd floor study carrel 
  • McDaniel University Center, Room 233 
  • Meinders School of Business, Room 319 
  • Walker Center, Room 263B

Law School

  • OKCU Law, Room 117

Additional spaces on campus may be available and can be coordinated in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator.

Childbirth

It is not uncommon for a student to miss class, exams, or other academic deadlines around the end of a pregnancy. This includes childbirth as well as any other termination of a pregnancy. Absences and missed assignments can be excused, without a doctor’s note, by faculty members.

A student has the right to make up missed work due to absences incurred around the end of a pregnancy. This may be coordinated with relevant instructors, and Title IX administrators may assist in discussing such a plan.

Reporting Options

Responsible employees are members of our community that have to report known or suspected sex discrimination. Because pregnancy is a health status, knowledge or belief that a member of our community is pregnant would not need to be reported. If someone is experiencing discrimination, harassment, or violence based on their pregnancy, that would need to be reported. 

Below are some examples of when information related to a pregnancy would need to be reported to the Title IX Coordinator.

  1. When a responsible employee believes another employee is pregnant and is being treated unfairly because of their pregnancy, that WOULD need to be reported. Even if there is not an explicit allegation being made at this point, responsible employees have to report known or suspected sex discrimination.
  2. When a student approaches a faculty or staff member to ask for support or accommodations related to their pregnancy, that WOULD need to be reported. The Title IX Coordinator can assist in making sure the student gets appropriate support and resolve any disagreements about what a reasonable accommodation would be.   
  3. When a member of our community confides in someone they trust, who is a responsible employee, that they are pregnant, that WOULD NOT need to be reported. Information about a pregnancy is in no way a policy violation.

Any student, faculty member, staff member, guest, or visitor is welcome to contact the Title IX Coordinator or a Title IX administrator to learn more about their rights, what forms of interim support OKCU can provide, and how OKCU responds to reports of pregnancy discrimination. Contact information for the Title IX Coordinator and the Title IX Resource Team is available here

When we receive a report of pregnancy discrimination or questions about receiving accommodations or support, we reach out to the reporting party to provide more information about their rights and options.

Discrimination

Because pregnancy is a temporary health status that’s connected to sex, discrimination, harassment, and violence based on pregnancy are prohibited by Title IX and OKCU policy. 

If any member of our community, including students, faculty, staff, or visitors, feels they have been discriminated against, harassed, or treated unfairly due to their pregnancy, they are strongly encouraged to report the issue to OKCU’s Title IX administrators. Title IX staff can go over information about their rights and options for support and resolution of the matter.