On November 4, 2009, the Law Center filed a complaint on behalf of longtime nurse Melinda Reynolds against Pennsylvania and the State Board of Nursing for illegally suspending her nursing license after discover that she was undergoing methadone treatment to overcome her drug dependency.
In 2007 the Law Center began representing six black-owned Pennsylvania bus companies, including Major Tours, Inc., charging New Jersey transportation officials with racial profiling. Plaintiffs alleged bus inspectors had targeted their buses at Atlantic City casinos for abusive inspections because of their race and conspired with a tow truck operator to illegally impound one of their buses.
In June of 2011, we filed a class action complaint against Integrity Staffing Solutions and Amazon.com, challenging a blanket policy of refusing to hire workers with certain criminal convictions for jobs in an Amazon.com warehouse — the policy that excluded Mr. Dunn from employment.
Following our work fighting employment discrimination in the Philadelphia Police Department, we pursued similar litigation against the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, again bringing cases challenging both race and gender discrimination.
Through the 1970s and 1980s, the Law Center partnered with the Guardian Civic League in efforts to reform the Philadelphia Police Department, and ending discriminatory hiring practices on the force for minorities and female applicants was one of our primary goals. As a result of our work, the percentage of African Americans in Philadelphia’s force increased from 12% to 35%, and the percentage of women increased to 25%.
New civil rights legislation in the 1960s provided new legal tools for minorities seeking equality in the workplace, but it soon became clear that change would not come on its own.
A complaint alleged that UPS had illegally denied deaf employee Michael MacDonald reasonable accommodations for equal access to the workplace. The complaint alleged that UPS, a $58 billion company, denied Mr. MacDonald the accommodations of an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter on numerous occasions for over a year. In August 2016, this matter was resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.
Taheera Heard is a 38-year-old African-American woman who was sought out by a recruiter and offered a job as a Senior IT Auditor at the administrative offices of Genesis. Our lawsuit alleged that after making an initial job offer, and setting a conditional start date, Genesis never got back to Ms. Heard to finalize the start date, and it was only months later that Ms. Heard received notice that she was not being hired because of the results of a background check. The complaint alleged that Genesis based its decision not to hire on unrelated criminal charges, even though Ms. Heard had previously disclosed her record to the company. In anticipation of her new position, Ms. Heard had already quit her previous job, and so became unemployed. In August 2016, the lawsuit was resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.