WLG signs onto critical abortion Supreme Court brief

WLG signed onto an amicus brief that has just been filed in the Supreme Court in the case of June Medical Services LLC v. Gee.  This is an exceedingly important reproductive rights case about a restrictive Louisiana anti-abortion law. It follows just three years on the heels of an identical Texas law already considered by the Supreme Court, and struck down as unconstitutional in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.  The only difference?  The composition of the Court, an extremely dangerous precedent (or should we say un-precedent) to set.

You can read the amicus brief, filed by the National Women’s Law Center, HERE<https://womenlawyersonguard.us15.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c2312611909237616b06efbcf&id=5fb6f7b4f1&e=99020be48c>.

You should also take a look at the “story” brief filed by 368 “legal professionals who have exercised their constitutional right to an abortion.”  It is exceptionally powerful, turning what is usually dry, legal arguments into vivid and compelling narratives. This brief is HERE <https://womenlawyersonguard.us15.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c2312611909237616b06efbcf&id=f5b78e9bfd&e=99020be48c>.

Please take our survey to help us address the gender gap!

A gender pay gap has been documented in numerous studies.  We need your assistance to support certain laws that are trying to address this gap, but which are under attack.

In the last 3 years, a number of jurisdictions have passed laws that prohibit employers from asking prior compensation information from their applicants.  As you know, employers often use this information to set the applicant’s salary at their new position.  Often, in their prior positions, women are making less than men of comparable, experience, credentials, etc. so this practice perpetuates the gender compensation gap.

This survey [CLICK HERE] gathers anonymous information/stories from attorneys who have experienced the following: They applied for a lateral legal position, their potential employer asked their prior compensation, they told them, they got the job and their new compensation was probably based on their old compensation. Then they discovered, or suspected, that a male colleague of equal or less credentials, experience, level, business, etc. was being paid more. 

If this describes an experience you have had, please respond to this anonymous survey [SURVEY HERE]WE NEED YOUR INPUT!!  The information will be used in various ways, for example: potential amicus briefs in cases challenging the prohibition on asking compensation history, and for articles, programs and other initiatives on gender pay equity in the legal profession.  No names or other identifying information will be asked or used.

Please also FORWARD this link to your network, and ask them to forward to their networks as well!

Thank you so much for your assistance.

A new era for the ERA: Conference

A new era for the ERA: Conference

Women Lawyers On Guard Action Network Inc. is co-sponsoring a conference on the Equal Rights Amendment in Richmond, VA, on Saturday, October 26, 2019. At that conference, we will be presenting a panel on Gender Pay Equity, including: some shocking statistics on the gender pay gap, legislative and litigation addressing the gap, how the ERA might help close the gap (or not), and some practical ways that legal employers can address this problem. Registration link is HERE (scroll toward bottom). The tickets are only $65 for lawyers, $10 for students and $20 for lawyers practicing five years or less. Abigail Spanberger, Ellie Smeal and other notables will be speaking at the conference.

Is Coming Forward Worth It? Reporting Sexual Assault

This New York magazine article examines the consequences of coming forward to report sexual assault or harassment. The cost to women survivors comes not only in the assault or harassment itself, but also in the aftermath of reporting it. Read more: https://www.thecut.com/2019/09/coming-forward-about-sexual-assault-and-what-comes-after.html

WLG Signs Onto Four “Public Charge” Amicus Briefs

Women Lawyers on Guard signed onto four amicus briefs on the subject of who is a “public charge,” including La Clinica de la Raza v. Trump; State of California v. Department of Homeland Security; State of New York v. Department of Homeland Security, and Make the Road New York v. Cuccinelli.

You may have read in the news that the Department of Homeland Security has implemented regulations that add a significant burden to those who seek to immigrate to the USA. The Immigration and Nationality Act bars an individual from obtaining a green card (and other legal statuses) if they are “likely” to “become a public charge.” Since Congress first introduced the term in 1882, “public charge” has been understood as including very specific programs, i.e. only someone who is dependent on the government to avoid destitution. Congress has never altered this longstanding meaning of “public charge.”

However, the Department of Homeland Security has recently promulgated new regulations, set to take effect in mid-October unless stopped by these pending litigation cases. This rule adds significantly to the programs that immigrants cannot take advantage of and still hope to become legal. In addition, the rules have added a minimum income threshold as well as an English proficiency standard. Those who have studied the regulation have determined that huge swaths of legal citizens could not even meet these tests, and it has already dissuaded legal immigrants from accessing certain programs that have been accessible to them for decades
The four amicus briefs that we have signed onto inform the court of the particularly detrimental effect this regulation will have on women.

WLG Joins Important Amicus Brief on Rape Reporting

Women Lawyers On Guard just signed onto an amicus brief in Kesterson v Kent State University, U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Cir.  At issue is who, at a University, a person who has been raped must report to before the school has liability.  Kesterson was raped by her softball coach’s son in her freshman year. When she finally summoned up the courage to tell her coach in her sophomore year, the coach (Karen Linder) did not report the rape to the Title IX office, as required by school policy. Instead, she told Kesterson not to tell anyone else, and retaliated against Kesterson.  Kesterson eventually told four more officials at Kent State including two assistant coaches and the Executive Director of the school’s Office of Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services.

The District Court held that none of these reports gave the school “actual knowledge” and therefore the school had no liability or duty to respond, until Kesterson herself reported to the Title IX office a year later.  Needless to say, Kesterson suffered both academically and athletically.

The amicus brief argues that the school received actual notice based on the actual knowledge of five school employees and that the “appropriate person” test developed in employee-student cases should not apply to peer-to-peer sexual harassment.

NWLC Brief (as filed)