CRT Biweekly Newsletter October 28, 2016

  • The Justice Department filed a proposed consent decree with the city of Florence, Kentucky, to resolve a pregnancy and disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the department under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  This is the department’s first lawsuit challenging a discriminatory light duty policy since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling regarding light duty policies and pregnant employees in Young v. United Parcel Service.  It is also the department’s first lawsuit challenging disability-related “no restrictions” policies in the workplace.
  • In anticipation of the upcoming general elections, the Justice Department provided information about its efforts, through the Civil Rights Division and Criminal Division, to ensure that all qualified voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots and have their votes counted free of discrimination, intimidation or fraud in the election process.
  • Head of the Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta delivered remarks at the Right to Counsel National Consortium Second Annual Meeting, where she said, “The right to counsel embodies a core truth of our justice system.  It makes real the notion of fairness under the law.  And it affirms the ideal that all people – regardless of wealth or poverty, status or stature, color or creed – deserve equal treatment and equal protection.”
  • As part of the consent decree between the Justice Department and the city of Seattle, a scientific poll conducted by national polling firm Anzalone Liszt Grove Research was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.  The poll, which was commissioned by the federal monitor, measures community attitudes towards the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and found that SPD’s performance ratings continue to improve.  According to the poll, the number of people who approve of SPD has increased to 72 percent, up from 60 percent in 2013 and 64 percent in 2015.  Much of that improvement is among African Americans (49 percent approval in 2013 to 62 percent now) and Latinos (54 percent in 2013 to 74 percent now).
  • A Wisconsin man was sentenced last Friday to 25 years in prison for using violence, threats and coercion to compel three young women suffering from heroin addiction to prostitute for his profit in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Twitter: @CivilRightsAAG | @CivilRights

Updated December 28, 2016

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