Appeals Court: D.C. Must Better Integrate People with Disabilities into their Community, Upholds Class Action Remedy

Appeals Court: D.C. Must Better Integrate People with Disabilities into their Community, Upholds Class Action Remedy

Last month, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decided Brown v. District of Columbia, 928 F.3d 1070 (D.C. Cir. 2019), in favor of a class of about 1,000 residents of D.C.-supported nursing facilities who are seeking transfers to community-based care. The class alleged that the District failed to transition them out of the public institutions in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities by programs receiving federal assistance (here, Medicaid, which helps fund the nursing facilities).

Impact Fund and Allies File Amicus Brief Urging SCOTUS to Protect LGBTQ Workers

Impact Fund and Allies File Amicus Brief Urging SCOTUS to Protect LGBTQ Workers

LGBTQ workers are entitled to the full protections of our nation’s laws.  If the Supreme Court rules that Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, it will create an arbitrary and painful carve-out to the landmark civil rights law, leaving LGBTQ workers vulnerable to discrimination and harassment on the job.  The Impact Fund and our allies urge the Court to adopt a uniform, protective standard that will fulfill Title VII’s promise of equal employment opportunity for all.  

Impact Fund and Allies File Amicus Brief to Preserve Workers’ Right to Bring Class Actions Under the ADA

Impact Fund and Allies File Amicus Brief to Preserve Workers’ Right to Bring Class Actions Under the ADA

Workers discriminated against on the basis of disability must be allowed to join together and use class actions to pursue workplaces free of discrimination, just as Congress intended when it passed the ADA.

LAWSUIT RESULTS IN A FAIR CHANCE FOR JOB SEEKERS WITH PRIOR CONVICTIONS

LAWSUIT RESULTS IN A FAIR CHANCE FOR JOB SEEKERS WITH PRIOR CONVICTIONS

Walter went to a “clean slate” organization, where they helped him reduce the conviction to a misdemeanor. He believed that it had been “expunged” and removed from his conviction record entirely. So when the school district’s job application asked about prior convictions, Walter answered, “No.” When a background check surfaced his old conviction, that mistake cost Walter the job. 

SCOTUS Takes up LGBTQ Workers' Rights Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

SCOTUS Takes up LGBTQ Workers' Rights Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

By taking up all three cases the Supreme Court has decided to take on one of the most critical issues facing the LGBTQ community: whether federal law allows people to express their identity fully without reprisal or harassment.

TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund: #MeToo for Low-wage Workers

TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund: #MeToo for Low-wage Workers

Whether you have a workplace sexual harassment case which needs funding, your client would benefit from storytelling assistance, you are worried about a defendant coming after your client for defamation, or you would like to become a member of the Legal Network for Gender Equity, the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund is eagerly looking forward to hearing from you.

Fifth Circuit Reinforces Intolerance of LGBTQ Workers With Title VII Outlier

Fifth Circuit Reinforces Intolerance of LGBTQ Workers With Title VII Outlier

While Wittmer does not change the federal law protecting LGBTQ people, it stands as an outlier among many recent decisions that have found that discriminating against them in the workplace is “because of sex.” The Fifth Circuit covers Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, all states that lack statewide protections for LGBTQ workers, and LGBTQ people in the South face higher rates of prejudice and intolerance than other parts of the country. Wittmer makes the conflict among the states and federal circuits even stronger, where LGBTQ workers can be protected in one part of our country but not in another.  

California Supreme Court Ponders Digital Discrimination Case, White v. Square

California Supreme Court Ponders Digital Discrimination Case, White v. Square

Along with Disability Rights Advocates and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, the Impact Fund has written an amicus brief urging the California Supreme Court to recognize that turning users away through discriminatory terms of service or other actions is illegal discrimination, and that users who are deterred by discriminatory terms should be able to bring legal claims in court. 

Class Action Strategy and Practice Guide: A Must-Have For All Class Action Attorneys

Class Action Strategy and Practice Guide: A Must-Have For All Class Action Attorneys

Class actions involve decisions on strategy at every turn.  The positions of the parties are constantly changing and counsel must always be looking ahead and, at the same time, carefully watching their flank.  This book helps all practitioners and parties identify, analyze and answer key strategy questions. Ever evolving class action tactics, case law and rule make this insightful practice guide a must read for lawyers, judges, advocates and decision makers at every level.

Toothless Rights: How Forced Arbitration and Class Action Waivers Undermine Civil Rights at Work

Toothless Rights:  How Forced Arbitration and Class Action Waivers Undermine Civil Rights at Work

Class and collective action empowers those that share the same experiences and injuries to stand together and assert their rights as a group, and they are critical to achieving widespread, systemic change. Class action waivers in mandatory arbitration agreements can erase all of these benefits, requiring employees to pursue their claims through individual arbitration. 

But a series of Supreme Court decisions since the early 1980’s has largely sanctioned and accelerated the propagation of forced arbitration, including agreements that prohibit class litigation.

Amendments to Class Action Rule 23 Now in Effect: Objectors Beware!

Amendments to Class Action Rule 23 Now in Effect: Objectors Beware!

The amendments to the to the federal class action rule were set to take effect December 1, 2018 subject to Congressional action – rejection, modification, or deferment. That deadline passed without the legislature’s response. As a result, these proposed are now in effect, marking the first substantive update to Rule 23 in fifteen years.

Get Ready For California’s New Mediation Confidentiality Disclosure Law, Effective Jan 1, 2019

Get Ready For California’s New Mediation Confidentiality Disclosure Law, Effective Jan 1, 2019

The legislation—which amends Section 1122 of the California Evidence Code and adds Section 1129—adopts a disclosure protocol in lieu of limiting the mediation privilege.

Introducing Impact LGBTQ: Impact Fund’s Newest Initiative for Social Justice

Introducing Impact LGBTQ: Impact Fund’s Newest Initiative for Social Justice

Our twenty-five years of litigating civil rights cases, training plaintiffs’ attorneys in complex and impact litigation, and supporting innovative social justice cases have given us a unique understanding of what it will entail to enforce the laws protecting LGBTQ people. That’s why we are launching Impact LGBTQ.

Why “Ascertainability” in Class Actions Matters: How a Kiddie Pool Could Threaten Workers’ Rights in California.

Why “Ascertainability” in Class Actions Matters: How a Kiddie Pool Could Threaten Workers’ Rights in California.

The heightened and burdensome standard for ascertainability articulated by Sotelo and applied in Noel v. Thrifty Payless, Inc. will prevent meritorious employment class actions and undermine workers’ rights. This result is at odds with California’s strong public policies favoring the class mechanism and the robust enforcement of workers’ rights.

Impact Fund and Allies File Amicus Brief Defending Courts’ Role Protecting Workers During Litigation

Impact Fund and Allies File Amicus Brief Defending Courts’ Role Protecting Workers During Litigation

Our brief highlights the role afforded to courts to intervene and address the conduct of counsel and parties in litigation. This historical role is especially important in litigation connected to the workplace, where the power imbalance between employers and employees presents unique threats to the rights of employees in the form of coercion and retaliation.

Epic Systems And The Erosion Of Federal Class Actions

Epic Systems And The Erosion Of Federal Class Actions

Epic Systems expanded Concepcion, concluding that federal labor law does not block arbitration class waivers, rendering them permissible in the employment context, too. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that this additional barrier will lead to the under-enforcement of employment law stemming from this restriction on collective power, as has already happened in the consumer context.

REFUSING TRANS PEOPLE HEALTHCARE SERVICES IS SEX DISCRIMINATION, SAY IMPACT FUND AND ALLES IN AMICUS BRIEF TO IOWA SUPREME COURT

REFUSING TRANS PEOPLE HEALTHCARE SERVICES IS SEX DISCRIMINATION, SAY IMPACT FUND AND ALLES IN AMICUS BRIEF TO IOWA SUPREME COURT

EerieAnna (27) and Carol (42) have identified as female since they were young children, and they have both undergone hormone therapy, psychological care, and the legal processes to change their names and genders. When they tried to undertake sex reassignment surgery, however, their health insurance carriers, managed by Iowa’s state Medicaid program, denied them coverage

A question for Microsoft: How many #MeToo’s does it take?

A question for Microsoft: How many #MeToo’s does it take?

Sworn statements explained how women at Microsoft are undervalued in comparison to men, are denied opportunities that men receive, are left out of important meetings, and work in a sexualized environment in which male employees stare at women’s breasts, grope them, and comment on their bodies and clothes.  One woman explained the pressure that she and other women feel to “hit the sweet spot between being perceived as ‘too timid’ or ‘overly passionate’ and ‘too harsh’ in Microsoft’s male-dominated culture.” Her male manager lowered performance ratings for her and the team of women she supervised because he believed they did not “smile enough.”  

Impact Fund Files Amicus On Behalf Of Military's Diabetic Kids

Impact Fund Files Amicus On Behalf Of Military's Diabetic Kids

Standing is like a light switch; a plaintiff has either alleged an identifiable injury or not. The concept of Article III standing is used by the courts to distinguish between a dispute that is properly before the court, rather than an abstract interest intended to be addressed by the legislature. Given this, the Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit have consistently held that a minimal injury is sufficient to confer standing and have never weighed one’s injury relative to their resources.

SCOTUS Rules on Class Action Tolling in China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh

SCOTUS Rules on Class Action Tolling in China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh

The Court’s decision, in our opinion, is a grave departure from the goals of efficiency and economy inherent to class actions. Requiring plaintiffs to preemptively file multiple actions unnecessarily burdens the judiciary and clogs the system with duplicative cases. The Court’s decision also is at odds with what we regard as the reality of modern class actions in that many do not have a final decision on class certification within two or four years, for reasons outside the named plaintiff’s control. Necessary discovery, taxed courts, appeals, and recalcitrant defendants all slow the process and often prevent the parties from obtaining a final ruling on class certification within the first few years. In addition, orders denying class certification may identify remediable issues that can be addressed only by filing a new action. This week’s ruling prohibits plaintiffs who initially timely filed their case from filing those new actions if the court’s class certification order arrives outside the original statute of limitations.