Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in an education program. Among the types of gender discrimination covered by this statute, Title IX protects against discrimination related to pregnancy or parental status. Protection extends to students who are pregnant or who have either had a false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, have gone through childbirth, or are recovering from any of those conditions. Title IX regulations also prohibit a school from applying any rule related to a student’s parental, family or marital status that treats students differently based on their sex. Below are some frequently asked questions and their answers about the University’s compliance with this aspect of Title IX.

Click here for a Lactation Space Map at Auburn University.

"Pregnant" refers to someone who is-or was-pregnant. Title IX includes protections related to:
  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Loss of Pregnancy
  • Recovery

Pregnant students may contact the Office of Title IX to request assistance with accommodations.

Title IX Office
317 James E. Foy Hall
Hours: 7:45 a.m.-4:45 p.m., M-F

Examples of pregnancy-related accommodations include, but are not limited to, rescheduling tests or exams, excusing absences, submitting work after a deadline, providing alternatives to make up missed work, retaking a semester, or temporary parking arrangements for closer accessibility to buildings on campus. The Office of Title IX may facilitate communications with the student’s professors or assist with other University resources.

Yes. Absences due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions must be excused and cannot be treated or penalized like unexcused absences. Depending on the length of the absence and area of instruction, it may be academically necessary for the student to take a leave of absence. Professors must provide a leave of absence for pregnant students for as long as it is deemed necessary by their medical doctor. Professors may require a doctor’s note for pregnancy –related absences only if a doctor’s note is required to excuse other medically-related absences.

After an excused absence due to pregnancy, childbirth, or any related medical conditions, professors must allow a reasonable time for the student to make up missed assignments and tests. This is true regardless of the professor’s typical makeup assignment policy. Depending on the nature of the course, making up the exact missed assignment might not be feasible. The makeup work does not have to be exactly the same as the missed work, but needs to be reasonably equivalent.

A student may not be penalized for absences known to be due to pregnancy, childbirth, or other related medical conditions. A professor cannot reduce a pregnant student’s grade because of attendance or participation points that the student missed during excused absences due to their pregnancy-related conditions. The professor must give the student a reasonable opportunity to earn back the credit missed due to pregnancy.

No. Under Title IX, the University cannot exclude someone from class based on their pregnancy. The University can only require a pregnant student to provide a doctor’s certification of fitness to continue in an education program or activity if the same requirement is imposed on all other students with medical conditions requiring a doctor’s care.

Yes. Pregnant students cannot be excluded from University-related off-campus programs, such as internships, off-campus activities, University-sponsored activities, and other extracurricular activities. A professor cannot require a doctor’s note to show fitness to participate unless it is required for all students in the program.

Yes. Click here for a Lactation Space Map at Auburn University.

  • Employees will be provided reasonable break times to express breast milk for their nursing child for one year after the child’s birth. These break periods will be given each time the employee has a need to express breast milk.
  • Lactation rooms will be provided as a private and sanitary place, other than a bathroom, to express milk during business hours. The rooms will provide an electrical outlet, a comfortable chair, and nearby access to running water. Employees may use their private office area to express milk, if they prefer.
  • A refrigerator will be made available for safe storage of expressed breast milk. Those expressing milk may use their own cooler packs to store expressed breast milk, or may store milk in a designated refrigerator/freezer, and should provide their own containers, clearly labeled with name and date. Those using the refrigerator are responsible for keeping it clean.
  • All employees are expected to provide an atmosphere of support for employees who choose to express milk.

Yes. To request reasonable accommodations, contact the Office of Title IX, who will recommend reasonable accommodations and work with the department in implementing them.

Additional Resources

Last updated: 11/20/2023