Fighting for Women's Equality

ERA’s Top 10 Gender Justice Moments of 2018

December 28, 2018 | by

This year, we took to the streets, to corporate Boardrooms and corner offices, to our polling places, to the halls of Congress and the halls of the Supreme Court. If 2017 was the year of women speaking out and demanding change, 2018 was the year of claiming our power, fighting tooth and nail for a seat at every table, and creating that change.

None of the 10 historic moments below would’ve been possible without support from passionate gender justice champions like you. Help us continue to shatter glass ceilings in 2019 with a year-end gift today.


ERA’s Top 10 Gender Justice Moments of 2018

  1. Women law professors in Denver fight for equal pay and win BIG. In May, ERA client professor Lucy Marsh led the charge in an EEOC lawsuit resulting in $2.7 million settlement to make up for years of unequal pay for her and 5 female colleagues. The University also dramatically altered its pay practices in an effort to make the gender wage gap a thing of the past.
  1. Five incredible ERA clients tell their stories in a powerful short video, sharing how they overcame discrimination at work with ERA’s help, and what courage means to them now.

  1. 2018 Champion of Justice Award Winner Mónica Ramírez gives the keynote speech at our annual Luncheon in June. You could hear a pin drop in a room of more than 1,000 attendees as Mónica shared the story of a migrant worker client who had been sexually assaulted at work and disbelieved, but fought her way to justice.
  1. ERA brings robust sexual harassment policies to academic sciences and research labs. As of December, ERA is working with the Network for Women in Science to propose innovative sexual harassment policies for research and patent giant, The Scripps Research Institute. Sexual harassment is more rampant in the academic sciences than any industry other than the military. By creating the new gold standard of anti-discrimination and harassment policies at such a revered institution, we hope to influence scientific programs across the country, ending the rampant pushout of women scientists.
  1. Hollywood actresses push ERA’s sexual harassment bills. Starting with an ERA shout-out on the Oscar’s red carpet in March, actresses Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, and others lobbied hard this year for our #TakeTheLead bills in California, the boldest package of anti-sexual harassment bills in U.S.

  1. McDonald’s workers in 11 U.S. cities walked out to protest rampant sexual harassment and demand the world’s second largest employer do more to address the issue on Sept. 18. ERA provided legal support. It was the first multi-state strike over sexual harassment in 100 years.

  1. Sacramento high school students take matters into their own hands. In March, ERA sued Sacramento Unified School District on behalf of our client, student Virginia M., whose high school grossly mishandled her report of being gang raped by classmates. Students at her school staged a walkout in protest and are now working with ERA to suggest better policies for the whole district.
  1. 9th Circuit prior salary decision makes equal pay history. In April, the 9th Circuit (the largest federal appeals court in the country) ruled that an employee’s or candidate’s salary history can no longer be used to justify wage discrimination. ERA argued before the en banc panel that prior salary comes with built-in history of discrimination and allows lower pay to follow women and people of color from job to job. The court’s decision was unanimous and groundbreaking for women everywhere.
  1. California passes ERA’s historic sexual harassment laws. After months of heavy campaigning, ERA celebrated on Sept. 30 as two of our groundbreaking #TakeTheLead bills, SB 224 and SB 1300, were signed into law. The latter narrowly passed in a dramatic finish, thanks to on-the-floor lobbying from ERA and partner organizations, and direct phone calls to lawmakers from celebrity advocate Mira Sorvino. The laws will go into effect tomorrow, Jan. 1, 2019.

  1. ERA and partners sue the Trump Administration’s Department of Education and Secretary Betsy DeVos for Title IX changes that deny equal educational rights of student survivors of sexual violence. Since the start of the lawsuit in January, we’ve been working with student survivors to amplify their voices and empower them to speak out against DeVos’s devastating and harmful policies.

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