Last week, Judge William Alsup of the US District Court for the Northern District of California joined federal courts in New York and Washington state in striking down the Denial of Care Rule put forth by the US Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year. Judge Alsup declared the rule, which would permit health care workers to decline to provide services, care, or information to patients due to the worker's personal religious or moral beliefs, discriminatory and unconstitutional.
Fifteen plaintiffs and two nonprofit organizations have filed a new class action lawsuit seeking improvement of what is reported to be severely inadequate healthcare in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities. Filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, Disability Rights Advocates, and the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, the lawsuit does not seek money damages, but instead requests that ICE closely track these conditions and improve healthcare at its facilities.
Last week a joint motion for approval was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California reflecting a settlement agreement between Google and 227 people alleging age discrimination in hiring by the tech giant. The $11 million settlement will be comprised of a minimum amount of over $11,000 for each plaintiff, as well as additional amounts for lost wages on a case-by case basis. As part of the settlement, Google denies having discriminated on the basis of age.
In a tentative order issued last Friday, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge allowed a former Google employee's lawsuit alleging discrimination by the company against conservatives, men, white people, and people of Asian descent to go forward. The lead plaintiff, whose suit has been joined by a small number of other men, is a former Google engineer who was fired after he circulated an internal memo that was critical of the company's efforts to increase gender and racial diversity among its workforce, and suggested that the lack of female engineers in the profession had to do with biological differences.
New Jersey and other states are supporting the effort of a Navy veteran from Colorado to challenge the binary gender designations on passport applications. The case could affect how the federal government refers to non-binary individuals.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the city was justified in attempting to prevent sexual orientation discrimination by withholding referrals of foster children to agencies that do not work with same-sex parents. It did not find any religious persecution or bias that would make the policy unconstitutional under the First Amendment.
A New York tenant achieved an early victory in a lawsuit against his landlord based on harassment by a neighbor. This case should encourage landlords in New York and surrounding states to respond proactively to accusations of discrimination or harassment involving their tenants.
Earlier this month, the United States women’s soccer team filed a lawsuit in a California district court, alleging that U.S. Soccer’s codified policies and its actual practices discriminate against members of the women’s national team based on their gender. The claimed result is that female team members are paid less than similarly situated male soccer players on the U.S. men’s team, according to the complaint.
In its first decision from this term, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled earlier today that state and local governments must follow labor laws that ban age discrimination regardless of the number of their employees. Plaintiffs in Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido were two former Arizona firefighters who argued that the Mount Lemmon Fire District laid them off in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Because the fire department had fewer than 20 employees, the defendant argued that they were too small to qualify as an employer who had to comply with the law.
The ACLU in Michigan has filed a lawsuit on Rachel Peterson’s behalf against the supermarket company, Meijer, citing that Peterson was a victim of sex discrimination after her prescription was denied by a pharmacist at the Meijer store located in Poteskey. Rachel Peterson was prescribed Misoprostol by her doctor after suffering a miscarriage in July. She drove three hours to the Meijer store in Poteskey, but the pharmacist, Richard Kalkman, refused to provide her with the medication. Kalkman cited his Catholic beliefs as the reason behind his refusal; he thought that Peterson wanted to use the medication to terminate her pregnancy and did not accept Peterson's response that her doctor said the pregnancy was not viable. Peterson also stated that Kalkman neither let her speak with another pharmacist or a supervisor, nor did he allow her to transfer her prescription to another pharmacy. Peterson was on vacation at the time of the incident and drove back three hours to a pharmacy near her hometown to get the prescription filled.