Washington Markup

On the First Anniversary of Wal-Mart v. Dukes:  Stand Up or Be Trampled

On the First Anniversary of Wal-Mart v. Dukes: Stand Up or Be Trampled

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:27am
Over a decade ago, I had the great honor to be part of a team representing Betty Dukes, an employee at Wal-Mart who had received unfair treatment at her job and had decided to do something about it. Betty soon became the face of a large class of women who worked at Wal-Mart and faced similar types of discrimination in the workplace. These women banded together, from all across the country, to take on sex discrimination at one of the world’s largest employers—and through it all, Betty Dukes remained at the forefront fighting for justice. “In this life,” said Betty, “you have to stand up or be trampled.”  The ACLU co-authored a brief before the Supreme Court, joined by a large number of civil rights groups, highlighting the gender stereotypes that the women were banding together to challenge.

ENDA Is Good, Could Be Even Better

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:04pm

On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held an important hearing on workplace discrimination experienced by those who are or perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). The hearing addressed…

Twelve More Lawsuits, Still No Case

Twelve More Lawsuits, Still No Case

By Sarah Lipton-Lubet, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:55pm
Every few weeks, opponents of birth control manage to garner some media attention by objecting – again – to the federal contraceptive coverage rule, which ensures that millions of women will have affordable insurance coverage for contraception…
New Federal Standards Offer Unprecedented Protections to LGBTI Prisoners

New Federal Standards Offer Unprecedented Protections to LGBTI Prisoners

By Leslie Cooper, LGBT Project at 2:25pm

Yesterday the Department of Justice (DOJ) released the long-awaited National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape. These standards – the first of their kind—create an historic opportunity to put an end to the epidemic of sexual abuse in prison, which disproportionately affects prisoners who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or have intersex conditions (LGBTI).

One Year Longer?  Why Won’t DHS Protect Its Detainees under the Prison Rape Elimination Act Right Now?

One Year Longer? Why Won’t DHS Protect Its Detainees under the Prison Rape Elimination Act Right Now?

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:18pm

The Prison Rape Elimination Act was passed by a unanimous Congress in 2003, with regulations due by June 2010. It was clearly intended to cover all detainees, civil and criminal. Two years later, the Obama administration at last released the final implementing rules for PREA. Commendably, the Department of Justice reversed its prior position that PREA doesn’t cover all immigration detainees. Yet the Department of Homeland Security – despite an abysmal track record of preventing and investigating sexual abuse and assault in its facilities, which was recently exposed on PBS’s Frontline – got a 360-day extension on PREA compliance.

PREA Rule: DOJ Takes First Steps to Protect Prison Rape Victims

PREA Rule: DOJ Takes First Steps to Protect Prison Rape Victims

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project at 12:05pm

Last Thursday’s release of the long-delayed national Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) regulations by the Department of Justice reminds us of the hundreds of prison rape victims we’ve heard from over the years who could not seek justice because the prison officials who failed to protect them were essentially immunized from liability by a 1996 federal law, the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The announced purpose of the PLRA was to curb the filing of frivolous litigation by prisoners. In reality, the law makes it

EEOC: Help Stop Discriminatory Barriers to Employment

By Dan Zeidman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:49pm

Ms. W, a Native American woman in Washington State, was convicted in 2008 for possession of marijuana. After applying for a job at a discount retail store and receiving a conditional offer of employment, Ms. W received a call from the manager telling…

Identity Theft and the War on Immigrants

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:41pm

The war on America's immigrants can lead to some very strange results. In a classic example, last year Republicans actually said, when it comes to immigration at least, new government regulations actually create jobs. But these attacks on immigrants…

We Can't Wait For Fair Pay

We Can't Wait For Fair Pay

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:02am

Today is Equal Pay Day, the day into 2012 that a woman must work, on average, to make she same amount a man did in 2011 alone.

The Administration Must Act: Immigrants in Detention Deserve Equal Protection from Sexual Abuse

The Administration Must Act: Immigrants in Detention Deserve Equal Protection from Sexual Abuse

By Sandhya Bathija, Washington Legislative Office at 6:14pm

In 2009, Claudia Leiva Deras, a domestic violence survivor who is now a lawful U.S. resident, was held in immigration detention at the Cass County Jail in Plattsmouth, Neb. While Claudia waited there for the outcome of her immigration hearing,…