Class-Action Status Granted to IA State Employment Discrimination Case
On Tuesday, a District Court judge granted class-action status to a lawsuit filed by 32 plaintiffs alleging that they were denied state jobs or promotions in Iowa because of their race. The lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2007, can now move forward and may cover more Iowans who may have experienced employment discrimination, according to the Des Moines Register. The state is accused of creating systematic barriers for African-Americans seeking jobs and promotions.
According to the Des Moines Register, the lawsuit claims that since 1995, the state has designed its practices to ensure that only the minimum number of African-Americans required by state affirmative action plans are hired. The suit's new class-action status enables African-Americans to become plaintiffs in the case if they believe they experienced discrimination either as job applicants or as Iowa executive branch employees after July 1, 2003. One of the plaintiffs, Tereasa Jefferson, alleges that she was wrongly removed from her position in the state's personnel department. Though she eventually found another job with the state, she now earns less than she did in her previous position. Jefferson told the Des Moines Register, "I'm hoping for change. I have children who will enter this work force, and we just want a fair shake."
The plaintiffs' attorney, Tom Newkirk told NBC, that "the purpose of the lawsuit is to help the state of Iowa develop an Iowa solution to a national problem, which is discrimination against African-Americans...None of my clients want to be given a job. They want to be given equal opportunity." The case applies to over 20,000 employment applications, reported Chicago Tribune.
Media Resources: Des Moines Register 9/29/10; WHO TV 9/29/10; Chicago Tribune 9/28/10
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .