Black Women Making History: Legal Clients Who Spoke Out for Change


Aisha Chibane

This Black History Month, Equal Rights Advocates is honoring past and current clients who are making history by speaking out for change in their workplaces.

These women involved in the following 4 cases chose to speak out against pay discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and sexual harassment in their workplaces — not just for themselves, but for women workers everywhere.

1. Women Workers at Aerospace Company BAE

In our 2016 case Aviles v. BAE Systems, a group of incredible women made history when they successfully sued their employer, international defense and aerospace company BAE Systems, for gender discirmination and a very sexually hostile work environment.

Their case became the first ever Title VII gender discrimination class action lawsuit to be settled and approved in that court in Eastern Virginia. The women received $3 million in back pay, and BAE was required to significantly change its discrimination and harassment policies, helping countless women who worked there in the future.

2. Jasmine & the Women Wait Staff of Lori’s Diner

In our 2006 case Donaldson v Lori’s Diner, a group of amazing women wait staff (including Jasmine, above) successfully sued their employer, Lori’s Diner, after being subject to horrific sexual and racial harassment at work.

Hear more from Jasmine about her decision to speak out in this video. (CW: sexual harassment, racial discrimination)

3. Betty Dukes & Women Workers of WalMart

In Dukes v. Wal-Mart (2001), a group of amazing women including lead plaintiff Betty Dukes challenged the retail giant’s policies and practices of denying equal pay and promotion opportunities to its women workers. They were represented by ERA and co-counsel The impact Fund, Cohen Milstein Sellers Toll, and others. Read more about this case.

4. Ieisha Loggins

Courage is: “When you know who you are. And the respect that you deserve? Just demand it.” We love this quote from Ieisha Loggins, one of our current clients, who successfully fought pregnancy discrimination in her workplace, represented by ERA. We can’t wait to share her news with you soon.

Ieisha and a few other ERA clients speak about their experiences in our “Women of Courage” video:

For more #BlackWomenMakingHistory, follow Equal Rights Advocates on Twitter and Instagram.

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