Latest News: M&S and Judge Clemon Fight Against the Rising Tide of Discrimination
Nationwide Lawsuit Says Walmart Fails to Accommodate Pregnant Workers
M&S, along with A Better Balance, National Women’s Law Center and Sedey Harper & Westhoff filed a federal complaint on May 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. on
behalf of female employees. Two former Walmart employees who suffered pregnancy discrimination brought a class action lawsuit against Walmart, claiming that the retail giant discriminated against thousands of women and pregnant employees across the country. One woman – an employee at a store in Illinois – was pushed into unpaid leave after she requested to stay off ladders and avoid heavy lifting during her pregnancy. Another pregnant employee in Florida requested an accommodation for heavy lifting but was denied and ultimately fired.
M&S is Fighting Against Segregating Schools in Alabama
In April, a federal judge ruled a predominantly white city in Alabama could separate from its school system, which is more diverse. While the judge ruled that the move was motivated by race and could obstruct efforts to desegregate, she also said the town of Gardendale could move forward with the secession.
Judge U.W. Clemon, who serves as Of Counsel to Mehri & Skalet, is representing the black plaintiffs in the case, arguing against resegregation in Jefferson County. The federal judge’s ruling was perplexing, given her finding of racial motivation. In response to the ruling, the Notice of Appeal and the Motion to Stay Pending Appeal was filed on May 22, 2017.
“If this decision stands, it will have a tremendous adverse impact,” Judge Clemon said to the Washington Post.
Judge Clemon is all too familiar with this case. In 1971 he argued Stout v. Jefferson County Board of Education. In that case, a black parent sued the school system for being racially segregated. The judge ruled in their favor, ordering the schools in Jefferson County to integrate, which was upheld until present day.
Recent Media Coverage:
Washington Post, “A Southern city wants to secede from its school district, raising concerns about segregation”
Washington Post, “Judge: Mostly white Southern city may secede from school district despite racial motive”
Newsweek, “Whites Only: School segregation is back, from Birmingham to San Francisco”
CNN, “Alabama city allowed to form own school system”
Judge Is Ready to Issue Order Halting Travel Ban If Necessary
On May 11, federal judge Judge Tanya S. Chutkan issued an order staying her consideration of the preliminary injunction motion and issued an order stating that “the Court is inclined to agree with Plaintiffs that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their claims” with respect to the illegality of the Travel Ban. She further wrote that, “[i]n the event that both existing injunctions [issued by other courts] are overturned, this court is prepared to issue a ruling without delay.” Judge Chutkan ordered the case to otherwise move forward “[i]n order to avoid undue delay in this litigation.” Her order creates a back stop or second line of defense against the Travel Ban going into effect. You can read a copy of the order here.
In a statement, Cyrus Mehri said: “We are pleased that Judge Chutkan wrote that she believes that the travel ban is likely unlawful. Judge Chutkan is seriously troubled by the government’s actions and is ready to step in if any existing injunction is rolled back. Judge Chutkan did not agree with the government’s arguments there was no merit to our claims and that she has ordered the litigation to move forward. However, we would have preferred for the Court to rule on other key issues in the case, such as the ongoing irreparable harm that the organizations and individual plaintiffs continue to suffer. We will continue to vigorously prosecute this case.”
Cyrus Mehri spoke at New York’s Iranian American Bar Association (IABA)’s annual Nowruz Gala on April 23. You can view the speech here.
Recent Media Coverage:
Washington Post, “U.S. judge in D.C. signals readiness to become third to order halt to revised Trump travel ban”
POLITICO, “Third judge could block revised Trump travel ban”