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Pregnant and Parenting Students

Title IX prohibits discrimination against students based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions. Schools are required to treat pregnant and parenting students the same way they treat others who are similarly able or unable to participate in school activities.

USF will provide appropriate, reasonable adjustments to educational programs and activities to support pregnant and parenting students, including but not limited to:

  • The University must excuse a student’s absence because of pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences medically necessary. This must be granted irrespective of classroom attendance requirements set by a faculty member, department, college, or division.
  • At the conclusion of that period, the student must be given a reasonable amount of time to make up the work missed and must be allowed to return to the same academic status as before the medically necessary absence.
  • No artificial deadlines or time limitations can be imposed on a request for accommodations, but the University is limited in its ability to implement accommodations retroactively.
  • A faculty member does not have to fundamentally alter the nature of a program for pregnant or parenting students.
  • This only applies to the student’s pregnancy or childbirth. Schools are not required to excuse absences so that a father can be present for the birth of the child. However, the Office of Civil Rights recommends this, and it is best practice to implement.
  • Absences due to medical emergencies arising from pregnancy or childbirth may be excused. For example, a father who misses class due to an unplanned and unforeseen emergency C-section can request the absence be excused as a medical emergency.
  • A student in need of an education adjustment should first submit the request in writing to the instructor. If the request is denied, the student may contact the Title IX Coordinator to request assistance.
  • If it is unreasonable for a student to receive extra time to complete a course, the student will be given the option to withdraw from the class without penalty.
  • In the event a request for adjustment is received that may be covered by Section 504 or the Rehabilitation Act or the American with Disabilities Act, the request will be determined between the Title IX Coordinator and the Office of Accessibility Services in consultation with the Dean of Students.
  • A faculty member cannot demand from a student a copy of the medical recommendation given by her doctor.
  • If a student’s program requires participating in off-campus programs, such as fieldwork, USF cannot deny that student participation based on pregnancy.  USF cannot ask for a doctor’s note for continued participation unless the school requires a note for all students who have a medical condition that requires treatment by a doctor.
  • Protections for parenting students extend to any parent on the basis of medical necessity related to the health of the parent who gave birth and/or baby during the pregnancy and postpartum period reasonably thereafter.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS

  • Reasonable accommodations may include but are not limited to:
  • Providing accommodations requested by a pregnant student to protect the health and safety of the student and/or the pregnancy (such as allowing the student to maintain a safe distance from hazardous substances).
  • Making modification to the physical environment, such as accessible seating.
  • Providing mobility support.
  • Extending deadlines and/or allowing the student to make up tests or assignments missed for pregnancy-related reasons.
  • Offering remote learning options.
  • Granting leave per the University’s medical leave policy or implementing incomplete grades for classes that will be resumed at a future date.
  • Allowing breastfeeding students reasonable time and space to pump breast milk in a location that is private, clean, and reasonably accessible. Bathroom stalls do not satisfy this requirement. For a map of lactation rooms click here.

LACTATION ROOMS

USF provides several lactation rooms for the purpose of breastfeeding or pumping of breast milk.  If a lactation room is not within a reasonably accessible distance, please contact the Title IX Coordinator for an alternative accommodation.

USF Library, 3rd floor, Room 348. Check out the key from the Library Services Desk on the 1st floor.

Marshall Student Center, 2nd floor, MSC 2402. For entry please see information desk attendant on the 1st floor.

The Well, 1st floor, MDA 1125. For access to this room please email USFHealthSSS@health.usf.edu. Your email should include Name, U#, Start Date, End Date.

Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare, 4th floor, MDH 4112