No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Title IX, Education Amendments Act of 1972

Responding to Pregnant & Parenting Students

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex: including pregnancy, parenting and all related conditions, such as abortion, miscarriage, or childbirth, in all educational programs and activities that receive federal funding, which includes UMFK.

It applies to both men and women.

All students that might be, are or have been pregnant, must have the same access to school programs and educational opportunities that all students have. Both men and women are affected by pregnancy related conditions as the law covers childbirth and those newly parenting.

UMFK must provide equitable responses in all areas of the University for individuals who are pregnant or affected by pregnancy related conditions, including academics, student employment, athletics, university activities outside of class, and tutoring or other accommodations.

What does Faculty need to know?

  • Prompt communication by the student is encouraged to ensure appropriate accommodations are provided.
  • Student absences for pregnancy or any related conditions must be excused for as long as it is medically necessary.
  • Student can not be forced to change their major or degree program.
  • When students return to school, they must be reinstated to the status they had before they left.
  • Students can only be required to submit a doctor’s note if that is required of students with other medical conditions.
  • Faculty may not “dock” a student’s grade for not being able to attend a class due to a pregnancy related condition.
  • Faculty must let the student make up any work that was missed due to pregnancy or any related conditions, including recovery from a miscarriage, abortion, or childbirth.
  • Faculty must allow the student to leave the classroom when needed to express breast milk during class time without being “docked” points.

What do Coaches need to know?

  • It is up to the student and their medical provider to determine if the athlete can play while pregnant, for how long, and what accommodations are needed.
  • Student athletes should not be mandated to disclose pregnancy status.
  • Disclosure of pregnancy status should only be revealed with written authorization from the student athlete.
  • NCAA bylaws protect student-athletes with temporary medical disabilities, and at a minimum, the law requires institutions to treat pregnancy like it treats other disabilities.
  • Student-athletes should be recruited and given scholarship and other opportunities regardless of pregnancy or parenting status.
  • An athlete’s financial aid award cannot be conditioned on not becoming pregnant.
  • A pregnant student-athlete’s athletic financial aid award is absolutely protected during the term of the award.
  • Pregnant students should not be forced to stop playing arbitrarily or lose their status on the team.
  • Students with pregnancy related leave must be allowed to return to the team when it is medically safe.
  • ¨A pregnant student athlete cannot be retaliated against for reporting or complaining about pregnancy discrimination.

What do Supervisors need to know?

  • Title IX covers the full scope of educational programs and activities offered by UMFK, including hiring, leave policies, health insurance, and job protection coverage.
  • UMFK must allow student employees who need to take leave for pregnancy related conditions the opportunity to return to their position once they are medically cleared.
  • UMFK must also provide accommodations (larger desk, more breaks, water, etc.) to pregnant student employees (or those with pregnancy-related conditions) during their workday.

What does Staff need to know?

  • Students’ pregnancy or parenting status may not be considered in the admission, or hiring process.
  • UMFK cannot terminate or reduce athletic, merit, or need based scholarships because of pregnancy or pregnancy related conditions.

We do not discriminate.

In complying with the letter & spirit of applicable laws and in perusing goals of diversity, the University shall not discriminate on the ground of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status or gender expression, national origin or citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veterans status in employment, education, & all other areas of the university.

What do we all need to know?

  • Discrimination against any pregnant or parenting person by the University is prohibited.
  • UMFK must make reasonable and responsive adjustments to our educational programs to ensure a pregnant student’s access.
  • Neither women nor men may be discriminated against for pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, including the recent birth of a child.
  • UMFK has formal and informal policies in place to resolve any issues regarding pregnancy discrimination, including the Equal Opportunity Complaint Procedure and the Student Conduct Code.
  • Generally, pregnancy and related conditions are considered “short-term disabilities” and should be treated as such.
  • UMFK must provide a reasonable break time for students to express breast milk as needed.
  • UMFK must provide a place for the students to express breast milk.

Questions? Contact:

Liz Lavoie

UMS Title IX Coordinator
241 Estabrooke Hall, University of Maine
Orono, ME 04769

Email: or
Phone: (207) 581-1226 or (207) 581-5866
Fax: (207) 581-5856