We all deserve workplaces that are safe, equitable, and free from discrimination. Legal Voice and our allies have long worked to make that a reality. But one group of workers has often been left behind in these efforts: domestic workers.
That's because people who work in private homes as nannies, home care workers, house cleaners, gardeners, and other jobs have historically been—and continue to be—excluded from basic worker protections such as overtime, workers compensation
Washington State just took a groundbreaking step toward equality for transgender and gender non-conforming folks! The state Department of Health issued a new rule that makes it easier for you to change the gender marker on your Washington birth certificate.
Even better, starting on January 27th, Washingtonians will be able to change their gender marker to male, female, or X, which represents a gender that is not exclusively male or female (such as intersex, agender, gender
This week, Legal Voice joined more than 90 organizations and 270 leaders in the movement for reproductive health, rights, and justice in D.C., where we developed a collective statement promoting reproductive justice for all. We won’t allow roll-backs on hard-won rights. We will hold firm to ensuring that all people are treated with dignity, compassion, and respect and can achieve full reproductive freedom. Together, we will work for a world where equitable access to sexual an
When Anna Juarez filed for a domestic violence protection order (DVPO) against her abusive husband, she specifically requested that the order be permanent. She believed that her husband would resume abusing her and her children after the order expired. Yet the court granted an order protecting her for only 65 days, substantially shorter than the standard minimum term of one year.
Why? The court said that Anna and her husband could "start a divorce" and that the family cour
This spring, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear its first abortion case in a decade. In Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt (formerly Whole Woman's Health v. Cole), the Court will decide whether Texas' latest abortion restrictions are an "undue burden" on the constitutional right to have an abortion. If upheld, Texas' restrictions will result in the closure of almost every abortion clinic in the state. Legal Voice has submitted an amicus brief—joined by 32 of the nation’s leadi
Legal Voice—along with our partners in The Alliance: State Advocates for Women’s Rights & Gender Equality, the National Women’s Law Center, and other nonprofit gender justice advocacy organizations—recently signed-on to an amicus brief filed by Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic arguing that a high school’s refusal to allow a transgender male to use the boys’ bathroom violates Title IX. Gavin Grimm, a 16-year-old student in Gloucester County, Virginia, chal
On behalf of Washington State organizations that serve and advocate on behalf of survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, Legal Voice submitted a letter to Senator Patty Murray in support of the Security and Financial Empowerment (SAFE) Act. The SAFE Act would help to reduce the need for survivors to choose between economic security and their safety by creating strong workplace protections, including: Enabling survivors to take up to 30 days off from work
Volunteers make Legal Voice possible. Their contributions multiply our impact to improve the lives of women and families in the Northwest—we simply couldn't do our work without them! In celebration of Pro Bono Week, we'd like to thank our cooperating counsel, pro bono attorneys, and members of our policy workgroups and research committee: Lauren Akamine • Sara Amies • Winnie Andersen • Joshua Bam • Maren Bam • Joyce Bamberger Inessa Baram-Blackwell • Kathy Barnard • Amanda
Legal Voice has long fought to end sex discrimination in housing in the Northwest. We've represented women who were sexually assaulted or harassed by their landlords. We've drafted and helped pass laws to ban housing discrimination against domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking survivors. And we've strongly supported efforts to ensure that housing discrimination against transgender and gender nonconforming people is recognized as a form of sex discrimination prohibit
Are you a current 3L or a recent law school graduate? Fired up about social justice issues like immigration, LGBTQ rights, and racial justice, and how they intersect with reproductive rights?
Looking to get hands on training in state law and policy? Interested in working with Legal Voice staff members for a whole year?? We invite you to submit an application for the Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ) 2016-17 Reproductive Justice Fellowship Program (RJFP). The RJFP
Today, Legal Voice and 14 allied national and statewide organizations joined together to submit a letter to Governor Jay Inslee, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and Secretary of Health John Wiesman, denouncing requests for harassing and unwarranted investigations into Planned Parenthood's operations and funding. The letter comes in response to a smear campaign by anti-abortion extremists—in which a series of highly edited videos are being used to vilify trusted health care pro
Today, the Washington Court of Appeals granted permission for local and national organizations to file amicus briefs that support Legal Voice’s arguments in In re Marriage of Black. In this case, Legal Voice and our cooperating attorneys from Perkins Coie are representing Rachelle Black in appealing decisions entered by a Pierce County court in her divorce. Ms. Black sought a divorce from her husband after realizing that she was a lesbian. Even though Ms. Black had been a sta
You may not know this, but there are only five state-based legal non-profits in the country that focus on advancing women's and LGBT rights. Legal Voice is one of the oldest, but all of us have knowledge and experience of value to the others. So we decided to leverage that advantage, and we’re proud to announce that Legal Voice is convening The Alliance: State Advocates for Women's Rights and Gender Equality. The Alliance is a first-time collaboration among five regional wome
Legal Voice joined with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) to submit an amicus brief in Leavitt v. Leavitt, an appeal that challenges court practices that affect the safety of domestic violence survivors throughout Washington. The case concerns the proper interpretation of Washington’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA), which enables domestic violence survivors to obtain protection orders to stop abusers from having contact with them or th
You may remember us telling you about a horrific case in which a Montana judge issued a 31-day jail sentence to a teacher who raped a 14-year old student—while making statements that blamed the victim for the crime. We’re glad to report that the Montana Supreme Court today issued a unanimous opinion agreeing with our position that the sentence was illegal under Montana law, which requires a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 4 years for such crimes. The Court also agreed with
Legal Voice joined with other organizations serving sexual assault survivors to file an amicus brief urging the Washington Supreme Court to reject imposing additional requirements of proof in rape cases. This issue was presented to the Court in the case of State v. W.R., which was argued today. The defendant was convicted of second-degree rape by forcible compulsion. One question raised in the case is whether the State must not only prove forcible compulsion by the defendant,
On February 19, 2014, the Washington Court of Appeals for Division II heard arguments in State and A.W. v. Finch, a case in which a court ordered a sexual assault survivor to take a polygraph examination. Legal Voice filed an amicus brief in the case to argue that courts should never order sexual assault survivors to undergo polygraph exams. We argued that forcing sexual assault survivors to take polygraph exams treats survivors like suspects and discourages crime reporting.
In Washington State, the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) prohibits employers from discriminating against someone based on age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, national origin, veteran status, or disability—but the statute exempts religious nonprofit employers from its requirements not to discriminate. On February 6, 2014, the Washington Supreme Court decided a case that challenged this exemption as unconstitutional, holding that a hos