Blog of Rights

Ariela
Migdal

Ariela Migdal (@ArielaMigdaljoined the ACLU in 2007 and has worked in such areas as women’s rights, gender-based workplace discrimination and single-sex education. She currently litigates cases concerning discrimination against women in traditionally male-dominated occupations. Migdal clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and Judge Harry T. Edwards of the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals. She also clerked in the Israel Public Defender office. She received a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 2001. Migdal also holds an M.A. from London University and a B.A. from Harvard University.

The (Not-So-Secret) War on Moms : How the Supreme Court Took Protections Away from Pregnant Workers

The (Not-So-Secret) War on Moms : How the Supreme Court Took Protections Away from Pregnant Workers

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 11:03am
This week, the Supreme Court ruled, by the all-too-familiar 5-4 margin, that a provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) giving workers time off to care for their own serious health conditions — including pregnancy and childbirth — can't be enforced by state employees in damages lawsuits against their public employers. The decision in Coleman v. Court of Appeals of Maryland effectively stripped many public employees — the majority of whom are women — of the right to job protection when they need to take time off while pregnant. The ACLU had joined an amicus brief arguing that the law was written in a gender-neutral way to provide women workers with the time they needed to go through childbirth and pregnancy-related complications, while ensuring that employers wouldn't discriminate based on the assumption that only women will need to take health-related leave from their jobs. While no opinion garnered five votes, a majority of the Court agreed that the law was not justified as a remedy for a pattern of unconstitutional discrimination against women or pregnant workers.

Protections for Home Care Workers: Ending An Unjust Legacy

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project & Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:31pm

"Year in and year out, Evelyn Coke left her Queens house early to go to the homes of elderly, sick, often dying people. She bathed them, cooked for them, helped them dress and monitored their medications. She sometimes worked three consecutive…

Stopping Pregnancy Discrimination Once and For All: New York Leads the Way

Stopping Pregnancy Discrimination Once and For All: New York Leads the Way

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project & Katharine Bodde, New York Civil Liberties Union at 12:32pm

Julie Desantis-Mayer had worked as a package driver at UPS for nearly ten years before she and her husband made the decision...

Pregnant Worker in Connecticut Protected From Discrimination by State Law

Pregnant Worker in Connecticut Protected From Discrimination by State Law

By Lining Zhang, ACLU & Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 3:25pm

Like many women, police officer Annie Balcastro of Wallingford, CT faced an uncertain future when she had to request a light-duty accommodation during her pregnancy. Many pregnant workers whose jobs entail physical activity are pushed…

Women in Combat: Policy, Meet Reality

Women in Combat: Policy, Meet Reality

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 12:33pm

Until today, official United States policy banned all women from being assigned to ground combat units. The policy was military-wide and covered our whole gender – no exceptions for women who were fast, strong, excellent marksmen, good at keeping…

UPS Hearts Logistics. Pregnant Employees, Not So Much.

UPS Hearts Logistics. Pregnant Employees, Not So Much.

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 12:25pm

Peggy Young asked if she could be put on "light duty" at her UPS job during her pregnancy. UPS refused and put her on unpaid medical leave instead.

The Rights We Take for Granted

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 12:06pm

It may seem obvious that all workers are entitled to a work environment free from sex discrimination and to the wages guaranteed to them by law. But for laborers who come to this country to work temporarily under the H-2B visa program, the ability…

Tear Down the “Maternal Wall!” FMLA Protects Women in the Workplace

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 11:08am

More than 30 years after Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers still engage in two kinds of pregnancy-related sex discrimination. First, they discriminate outright against workers who get pregnant — firing them or refusing…

Wal-Mart Now "Women-Friendly?" We Don't Think So

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 4:12pm

The New York Times reported yesterday that Wal-Mart is rolling out "women-friendly plans" to buy more from women-owned businesses and to help women who work for Wal-Mart's suppliers. While the company acknowledged that the "majority"…

Survey Shows Sexual Harassment in School Is All Too Common

Survey Shows Sexual Harassment in School Is All Too Common

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 1:18pm

According to a new study, sexual harassment, including unwanted sexual touching and sexual coercion as well as milder behaviors, is a regular feature of going to school for a significant number of American middle- and high-school students. The…

Statistics image