When we fight, we win!

BFOQ Case Heads to the 9th Circuit

I am proud of our Local Union.  We never give up the fight for workers’ rights, and we do it in every forum.  

On August 28 - the day that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I have a dream speech”— your Union filed a brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to overturn a truly terrible decision for civil rights.  

The ruling, issued by a U.S. District Court judge, upheld the Department of Corrections’ decision to engage in sex discrimination by designating dozens of correctional officer positions in the women’s prisons as “female only”. 

DOC took this action to satisfy a lawsuit by inmates, and they did it without trying other reforms first.  Worse yet, both DOC and the District Court judge used reasoning that was based on stereotypes—the very type of discrimination that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was trying to eradicate. 

We’ll see how the case comes out on appeal, but as I said, it makes me proud to be a part of this Union. Our legal team prepared an excellent case on a very complex piece of litigation, and I think it is a fantastic brief.  You can read it here.

The leadership of your Union, with Tracey Thompson at the helm, never hesitated to pursue this claim, and we have stayed committed to it throughout every step of the litigation. 

I’d like to especially thank Lauren Berkowitz, our summer intern, for her work on the brief, Daniel Swedlow for his partnership throughout the litigation, and most critically—Meghan Allen in our contract office for all of her incredible paralegal support and technical expertise in ensuring that the brief was properly presented. 

It will be several months before we get a decision, and there may be oral argument, but as soon as there is another development, I will be sure to let you know.

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