What We’ve Accomplished: Equity in Schools

Strong futures start with equal opportunities in school. But too many girls, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming students receive messages early on that they shouldn’t pursue certain interests or careers, or that they shouldn’t seek justice after sexual violence. For 45 years, ERA has fought fearlessly alongside our student and faculty clients, bringing game-changing cases to ensure our schools provide safe learning and growing spaces that are free from sexual violence and gender stereotypes.

At a time when our hard-won rights are threatened, ERA has joined forces with like-minded allies across the country to fight roll backs of protections from gender discrimination. We’ve also launched the nation’s first network of pro bono attorneys dedicated to providing free legal help to student survivors of sexual assault and harassment.

A Timeline of Our Biggest Wins

2019

  • Ending Sexual Violence in Education. We fought back hard against rollbacks to students’ rights after sexual assault or harassment, launching our Initiative to End Sexual Violence in Education, and the nation’s first pro bono attorney network dedicated to providing free legal help to student survivors.

2018

  • Suing the Federal Government for Student Survivors. ERA joined forces with other national advocacy groups to sue the Department of Education and Secretary Betsy DeVos over attempts to reverse Title IX protections, and mobilized our base of grassroots supports to join the fight. This lawsuit is ongoing.
  • Protecting Women in Science.Together with co-counsel, we represented two scientific researchers at a world-renowned biomedical research institute in a lawsuit over their employers’ inadequate response to sexual harassment and retaliation. The settlement resulted in monetary damages for our clients, and the establishment of a model Title IX program specifically focused on curbing the type of sexual harassment that’s common in research labs. These changes helped 2,800+ current grad students and employees, plus thousands more in years to come.

2017

  • Nation’s Strongest K-12 Sexual Harassment Policy.  ERA played a key role in developing one of the country’s most progressive K-12 public school sexual harassment policies for the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) in Oakland, California. ERA and Alliance for Girls worked directly with students at the school to develop innovative new policies, which were then passed unanimously by the Board of Education.

2016

  • A Field of Their Own.  ERA represented players on the U.C. Berkeley Women’s Field Hockey team after the school revoked their on-campus practice and competition field privileges to construct a new practice field for men’s football and lacrosse. After filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights on their behalf, we negotiated a settlement resulting in a new on-campus field and monetary relief for the student athletes.

2012

  • Access to Justice for Women in College Sports. ERA set Title IX precedent with a 9th Circuit decision and subsequent trial win in favor of women student-athletes who were removed from the wrestling team. (Mansourian v. UC Regents) The resulting decision said students who want to challenge their school’s limited female athletic opportunities do not need to provide formal notice to the school before filing a lawsuit. We settled the case for $1.35 million.

1997

  • Sexual Harassment Includes Peer-to-Peer.  ERA and the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund resolved the first case to confirm that schools can be held liable under Title IX for sexual harassment of students by other students. (Doe v. Petaluma)

1993

  • Suing Over Rape Culture.  We filed the country’s first Title IX class complaint over a “hostile environment” with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights on behalf of students and faculty at U.C. Santa Cruz, who wanted to challenge the rampant sexual assault and harassment on their campus.

1976

  • Sexual Harassment Covered by Title IX.  Our amicus brief in this groundbreaking case (Alexander v. Yale University) contributed to the court’s decision to confirm for the first time that Title IX does prohibit sexual harassment.

1975

  • Challenging “No Girls” Rule in School Sports.  On behalf of 10-year-old soccer player Amy Love, we filed a class-action lawsuit against the California Youth Soccer Association (Love v. California Youth Soccer Association), resulting in the Association repealing its ban on girls in soccer league competitions. One year later, Title IX went into effect, prompting greatly increased participation by girls and young women in student athletic programs.

Help us do more work like this

Support the movement for gender justice. Invest in our mission to end discrimination and sexual violence in our workplaces and schools with a gift to ERA.

Donate

Continue to EqualRights.org

Support gender justice

You helped us get this far, but we need your continued support more than ever for the year ahead. Please help us reach our 2019 fundraising goal!

Give

Legal Advice & Resources / Consejos y Recursos legales

Know Your Rights

Learn what your rights are so you can navigate your situation and make the best decision for you.

Your Rights at Work
Your Rights at School

Contact Us

Due to our current caseload, we are unfortunately not able to offer appointments for employment-related issues right now. Please see our Know Your Rights guides for information about your rights at work.

For issues at school, temporarily we can only help with:
- Sexual harassment or sexual assault in higher education
- Gender-based harassment or discrimination (including sexual harassment or assault) of LGBTQI+ individuals at all grade levels

Tell us about your situation

Learn More

We have trained legal advocates and lawyers on staff to guide you through your legal issue.

Note: Due to limited capacity, our staff can currently only assist new clients with select issues at school or related to education. We hope to re-open our employment-related intakes soon.

Conozca Sus Derechos

Aprende sus derechos para que puedas navegar su situación y tomar la mejor decisión para ti.

Sus Derechos en el Trabajo

Contáctenos

Por el volumen de nuestros casos, desafortunadamente no podemos ofrecer citas nuevas por cualquier problema relacionada a empleo en este momento. Favor de leer nuestro Guia de Conocer Sus Derechos para información sobre sus derechos en el trabajo.

Para problemas a su escuela, temporalmente, solo podemos ayudar con:
- Acoso sexual o agresión sexual en la universidad
- Acoso o discriminación basado en el género (incluyendo acoso sexual o agresión sexual) de personas que son LGBTQI+ de cualquier nivel de grado

EXPLIQUENOS SOBRE SU SITUACION

Nuestro servicio de asesoramiento por teléfono está cerrado por ahora

En este momento, no estamos recibiendo solicitudes dejadas por un recado de teléfono. Sin embargo, usted puede someter una solicitud para una consulta por la manera de hacer clic en el link "Explíquenos Sobre Su Situacion."

Aprender Mas
Tenemos defensores legales y abogados capacitados para guiarle por su problema legal. Nota: Por nuestra capacidad limitada, nuestros empleados solo pueden ayudar a los clientes nuevos que tienen problems specificas relaciada a la escuela. Esperamos que podemos abrir de nuevo las citas de empleo muy pronto.