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Future JD Students

LGBT Survey Results: Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology

Nondiscrimination Policy

As a member of the Association of American Law Schools and in conformity with its bylaws, the faculty of Chicago-Kent has adopted the following policy: Chicago-Kent College of Law of the Illinois Institute of Technology provides equality of opportunity in legal education for all persons, including faculty and employees, with respect to hiring, continuation, promotion and tenure, applicants for admission, enrolled students, and alumni, without discrimination or segregation on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation.

LGBT Student Organization(s)

Members of the Chicago-Kent Lambdas, our very active LGBT student group, have indicated that they believe that Chicago-Kent is a supportive environment for LGBT students.

For more information about Lambdas, contact cklambdas@kentlaw.iit.edu.

LGBT Faculty

We have a number of “out” faculty at Chicago-Kent.

LGBT Administrator(s)

Michelle Mohr Vodenik
Director of Career Services and Public Interest/Diversity Advisor
Email: mvodenik@kentlaw.edu

Dawn Rupcich
Assistant Vice President of Administration, Finance, CLE, and the Center for Law and Computers
Email: drupcich@kentlaw.edu

Sue Jadin
Assistant Director of Administration and Finance
Email: sjadin@kentlaw.edu

LGBT Course(s)

Law 651 Sexual Orientation and the Law

Despite recent legal gains in the effort to protect gay men and lesbians from discrimination, society’s attitude toward homosexuality continues to be ambivalent. This is particularly true in the areas of marriage and childbearing, but it is also true in a number of states where no protection is provided against public or private employment discrimination, or where openly gay teachers are restricted from teaching in the classroom. This seminar will establish a theoretical framework for approaching lesbian and gay issues by critically looking at various conceptions of homosexuality and society’s justification for affecting behavior. It will then apply this understanding to the interaction between gays and the criminal justice system; discrimination in public and private employment; First Amendment issues posed by gay students and teachers in public schools and universities; legal problems faced in same-sex relationships, including the issue of marriage; and child custody and visitation rights, as well as the ability to become foster and adoptive parents.

Domestic-Partner or Same-Sex Marriage Benefits

Effective October 1, 1997, benefits-eligible faculty and staff of IIT may enroll same-sex domestic partners in university benefit programs. To enroll, a complete Certification of Domestic Partnership and completed enrollment forms for the desired and eligible coverage must be submitted to Human Resources within 30 days of the date of employment benefit eligibility.

Eligibility

To qualify for coverage under IIT-sponsored benefit plans, an employee and his or her same-sex domestic partner must complete a Certification of Domestic Partnership certifying that they share a residence and have done so for at least six months, have a close and committed personal relationship and intend to remain so indefinitely, share basic living expenses, are not married to anyone, are not related by blood in any way that would bar marriage in the state of Illinois, are both age 18 or older and mentally competent to consent, are each other’s sole domestic partner, and are mutually responsible for each other’s welfare.

Insured Benefits

Health and dental coverage are available to an employee’s same-sex domestic partner and eligible children, with contributions at family rates. An employee’s contribution to provide health benefits for a domestic partner and children will be the same as for a spouse and children. However, the Internal Revenue Code treats spouses differently with respect to health benefits. The cost of coverage for a spouse is automatically exempt from taxes, but for a person who is not related by marriage, a payment for health benefit coverage is not entitled to tax exemption unless the person is a “dependent” as defined in the Internal Revenue Code. If the domestic partner or his/her children are the employee’s dependents under the Code, the employee must provide the university with a certification to that effect to gain the benefit of the tax exemption. If the domestic partner or his/her children are not the employee’s dependents, the payments for coverage will be treated as follows:

  • The contribution for health insurance for the domestic partner and/or his/her children will be made on an after-tax basis.
  • IIT’s contribution for the coverage for the domestic partner and/or his/her children will be considered taxable income to the employee, and the university will withhold state and federal taxes on that amount.

Tuition Benefits

Benefits under IIT’s qualified tuition benefit program are available to an employee’s domestic partner and eligible children of the domestic partner. Tuition benefits provided to a domestic partner and his/her children are taxable income to the employee unless the children are the employee’s or are the dependents of the employee as defined by the Internal Revenue Code.

Absence Benefits

An employee may receive up to three days paid time off from work upon the death of a domestic partner, in accordance with IIT’s bereavement policy. In addition, in accordance with FMLA leave (see Policy C.6.00), an employee may take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave to care for his or her domestic partner who is seriously ill, or to care for the children of a domestic partner in the event of a serious illness, or for the adoption or birth of a child. Employees should consult with IIT’s policies during short-term and long-term absences. During this period qualifying as FMLA leave, IIT will continue to make its contribution toward family coverage for insured benefits.

Flexible Spending

IIT employees may participate in the IIT Flexible Spending Account and receive tax-free reimbursement for out-of-pocket health care and dependent care expenses, provided the care is for the employee’s children or the dependents of the employee, according to the definition in the Internal Revenue Code.

Use of IIT Facilities

Domestic partners and their eligible dependents may use IIT facilities, including IIT libraries, housing, student union, and athletic facilities, to the same extent as spouses and/or dependents of IIT employees.

Enrollment

Enrollment forms and the Certification of Domestic Partnership may be obtained by contacting Human Resources at 312.567.3318.

It is the policy of IIT to accept the employee’s and the partner’s signature to verify the accuracy of the representations made in the enrollment forms and the Certification of Domestic Partnership. If questions arise at any time, IIT may ask for documentation that the partnership meets IIT’s criteria for eligibility.

Student Health Insurance—Eligible Dependents

If you are covered by IIT’s Student Health Insurance Plan, you may purchase coverage for the following dependents: your spouse or domestic partner, or your unmarried dependent children between the ages of 31 days and 19 years who live with you and are fully supported by you.

Additional Information

A number of colleges and universities, as well as some law schools, have implemented Safe Space programs to provide resources and support for individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), as well as persons who might have questions about their sexuality or concerns about a friend or loved one who is LGBT.

In the fall of 2005, the Office of Multicultural Student Services at the Illinois Institute of Technology held a meeting to consider the creation of a Safe Space program on the main campus. Several representatives from Chicago-Kent attended that meeting and decided that a Safe Space program at Chicago-Kent would assist our school in responding to the needs of our LGBT students and make the campus a more open and accepting environment. In the spring of 2006, a group of faculty, staff, and students convened to develop this initiative.

Back to LGBT Survey Link

May 21, 2014, 13:28 PM

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