Jul 26th, 2013 by

Disability law is an area of law that overlaps with many other areas of law –
including employment law, administrative law, elder law, consumer law,
construction law, insurance law, school law, health law, social security law,
and civil rights law. Individuals with disabilities are a protected class under
civil rights laws, and it is the one protected class that anyone can join,
usually involuntarily, at any point in their lives.
It is my hope that this book, which is a very broad brush look at disability
law, will find its way into the hands of both individuals who have disabilities
and entities that have obligations under various disability laws. This book is
meant to provide basic information about disability rights, as well as
resources for finding out more.

Jacquie Brennan
Southwest ADA Center

Go to the ADA National Network DISABILITY LAW HANDBOOK

Tips for Talking to Children About Marriage Equality
Jun 27th, 2013 by

Tips for Talking to Children About Marriage Equality

Posted by Rohmteen Mokhtari, June 26, 2013

With all the media attention on the Supreme Court’s historic marriage equality rulings, some parents and teachers may initially feel a little anxious about discussing the topic with their children or students.

Sometimes talking to children about LGBT issues seem difficult, in part, because as adults we haven’t had a chance to consider what we want to say and how we would respond to questions. Often when discussing a new topic, we rely on past experiences to help us out. However, many of us don’t have much experience talking about LGBT topics. Therefore, our past experience doesn’t help us out.

Fortunately, with just a little forethought and preparation this can be a great teachable moment.

read more …………….

Play By The Rules – Great Free Curriculum
Jun 10th, 2013 by

Play by the Rules is a promising award winning program developed by the Alabama Center for Law & Civic Education to teach law to youth to develop their sense of civic responsibility and provide them with the tools they need to prevent crime, save lives and build safer communities.

The Play by the Rules program is proudly brought to you by the Alabama Center for Law & Civic Education. This website is funded by the Young Lawyers Section of the Alabama State Bar.

See the Connecticut site.

Free copies are available to schools. The book covers many areas often faced by Title IX Coordinators, such as:

  • What is Harassment?
  • What is Bullying and is it a Crime?
  • What are My Rights as a Student?

The curriculum is being used by School Resource Officers.

Japanese mayor: Wartime sex slaves were necessary
May 14th, 2013 by

Note: Just when you thought you heard it all. So many things wrong here.


By MALCOLM FOSTER | Associated Press – 1 hr 3 mins ago

TOKYO (AP) — An outspoken nationalist mayor said the Japanese military’s forced prostitution of Asian women before and during World War II was necessary to “maintain discipline” in the ranks and provide rest for soldiers who risked their lives in battle.

The comments made Monday are already raising ire in neighboring countries that bore the brunt of Japan’s wartime aggression and that have long complained that Japan has failed to fully atone for wartime atrocities.

Toru Hashimoto, the young, brash mayor of Osaka who is also co-leader of an emerging conservative political party, also told reporters that there wasn’t clear evidence that the Japanese military coerced women to become what are euphemistically called “comfort women.”

“To maintain discipline in the military, it must have been necessary at that time,” said Hashimoto. “For soldiers who risked their lives in circumstances where bullets are flying around like rain and wind, if you want them to get some rest, a comfort women system was necessary. That’s clear to anyone.”

Full story here:

How Far Has The Women’s Movement Moved In The Last 40 Years?
May 6th, 2013 by

How Far Has The Women’s Movement Moved In The Last 40 Years?

April 25, 2013
By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women’s Rights Project at 3:40pm

Forty years ago, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) board of directors determined that women’s rights should be the organization’s highest priority. Then-executive director Aryeh Neier, created the ACLU Women’s Rights Project and named Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the first director. Since then, Ginsburg has become a justice on the United States Supreme Court, and the Women’s Rights Project (WRP) has won many landmark court decisions, achieved significant legislative successes, and shifted public awareness and understanding of women’s equality.

Yet many of the struggles that Ginsburg and her colleagues at WRP fought in the 1970s, we continue to fight today. Indeed, the top priorities of WRP in its first decade remain our priorities four decades later: pregnancy discrimination, women’s role in the military and single-sex education based on gender stereotypes.

Ginsburg and her colleagues – like others in the “second wave” women’s movement of the 1970s – recognized that economic security was necessary for women’s autonomy and independence. They identified employment discrimination as a primary source of women’s inequality. Accordingly, an initial target of both litigation and legislative advocacy was unequal employment opportunities.

In order to overcome this obstacle, Ginsburg and her colleagues knew they would have to dismantle the powerful stereotype that the world of work belonged to men while women’s place was in the home. Thus began the effort to unseparate the “separate spheres” of work and family life. Critical to bridging this divide was overcoming the vast gulf of pregnancy discrimination. Society at large in the 1970s viewed women’s primary roles as wife and mother. Barefoot and pregnant was where women belonged.


Indeed, it was common practice for an employer to fire a woman as soon as the employer learned the employee was pregnant. For example, one of the early cases that WRP litigated was Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur, in which the Supreme Court struck down a policy requiring pregnant teachers to go on mandatory leave midway through their pregnancies.

Eradicating pregnancy discrimination, however, proved to be an uphill battle. In the 1970s, the ACLU participated in a pair of cases in which the Supreme Court held that pregnancy discrimination was not sex discrimination under the Constitution or under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, because the discrimination was against “pregnant persons”, and both women and men could be not pregnant.

In response to these Supreme Court decisions, the ACLU led a coalition of women’s groups that successfully lobbied Congress to amend Title VII by enacting the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) to make clear that indeed Congress considered discrimination against pregnant women to be sex discrimination.

Unfortunately, today many employers and courts still seem not to understand that pregnancy discrimination is sex discrimination. A number of courts around the country have ruled in favor of employers who refuse to make minor modifications to jobs for pregnant women, even though they routinely provide such accommodations to other employees who are similarly temporarily unable to perform all aspects of their jobs.

In the case of Peggy Young v. UPS in the 4th Circuit, we filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of numerous women’s rights organizations, arguing that the law required UPS to offer temporary accommodations for a pregnant package driver, in light of its policy of offering such accommodations for workers injured on the job, workers who lost their driving licenses, and workers covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of UPS and held that requiring employers to provide similar accommodations for pregnant workers would elevate pregnant employees to “most favored nation” status. Court decisions like Young have prompted women’s rights organizations to go back to Congress, which introduced a bill called the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to make clear that employers may not refuse to accommodate pregnant workers.

Advocates are also responding to bad court decisions by trying to fix the problem of pregnancy push-out at the state level. The ACLU of Maryland and others, including Peggy Young, successfully pushed for enactment of a law that will help ensure that pregnant workers in Maryland can no longer be forced off the job. Similar bills have been introduced in New York, Iowa, Illinois, and Maine. Other states, including Michigan, Connecticut and California already have such protections.

To continue reading Lenora’s insights into women’s rights and the work the ACLU Women’s Rights Project has done to advance equality visit Trustlaw.

For a more in-depth examination of the accomplishments of the Women’s Rights Project under Ginsburg’s leadership and all that remains to be done to combat gender stereotypes, download a copy of Fighting Sex Stereotypes in the Law: Reflections on 40 Years of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project.

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