Aetna Is Accused of Discriminating Against LGBTQ People Seeking Fertility Treatments

Health insurance company Aetna has been sued for allegedly discriminating against LGBT people in a case in which a claimant says they were required to pay more out of pocket for fertility treatment coverage than straight couples.

Plaintiff Emma Goidel filed a class-action lawsuit in Manhattan in which she claimed that she and her spouse had to pay $45,000 for fertility treatments due to the fact that Aetna requires same-sex couples to pay for treatment out of pocket before they are eligible for coverage.

While straight couples who are trying to conceive through intercourse can receive coverage from Aetna simply by saying that they have tried for six or 12 months, couples of other sexual orientations or genders who cannot conceive through intercourse must initially pay out of pocket for six or 12 months of intrauterine insemination (IUI), according to the complaint.

Read the source article at The Hill

Advocates File a Federal Lawsuit to Close Nevada’s Legal Brothels

A national advocacy group and a Nevada lawyer have filed a sweeping federal lawsuit aimed at convincing a judge the nation’s only legal brothels are dens of illegal sex trafficking and unconstitutional slavery.

The case filed Friday in Las Vegas by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation names the governor, state attorney general and city and county officials as defendants, along with a brothel in Nye County and hip-hop music figure Jamal “Mally Mall” Rashid.

Rashid, 46, is serving a 33-month federal prison term after pleading guilty to operating a prostitution business disguised as a Las Vegas escort enterprise. Attorneys who represented him in that case did not immediately respond to a message about the lawsuit.

Read the source article at Associated Press News

A Prostitution and Money Laundering Case Against the Founders of Is Declared a Mistrial

A federal judge on Tuesday declared a mistrial in the case involving prostitution and money laundering charges against founders of the classified site, noting that none of the defendants have been charged with child sex trafficking, despite it being mentioned several times by prosecutors during the trial. 

Judge Susan Brnovich for the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona said that repeated references to child sex trafficking by both prosecutors and witnesses brought by the government “is something that I can’t overlook and will not overlook,” according to The Associated Press. 

Brnovich had said before the start of the trial that while she would permit evidence indicating that individuals were trafficked on the website, prosecutors could not focus on specific details of alleged abuse. 

Read the source article at The Hill

A New Jersey Teacher Files a Second Lawsuit Against Her School Board

A Nutley teacher is suing the school district a second time, claiming the Board of Education and administrators are retaliating against her for the previous lawsuit in 2016.

Jeannette Andreula, who has been an elementary school teacher since 1986, filed the new lawsuit in Superior Court on Sept. 3, saying the district has defamed her and has violated the New Jersey Civil Rights Act, the Open Public Records Act and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

“The court needs to act decisively to send the message to this public entity that such retaliation against a public employee will not be tolerated,” the lawsuit reads.

Read the source article at NJ news from Bergen, Passaic

A Lawsuit Alleges That Home Depot Doesn’t Provide Workers With Enough Breaks

Home Depot stores in Washington don’t give its hourly employees their legally-required breaks, alleges a lawsuit filed late last month against the company.

The potential class action suit, filed in Snohomish County Superior Court, could cover at least 10,000 employees across the home improvement retailer’s 45 locations in Washington.

State regulations require employees be allowed a 30-minute meal break between the second and fifth hours of their shift. Employers are also mandated to give workers rest breaks of at least 10 minutes every four hours. Home Depots, like the one in Everett, did not comply with these requirements, the 10-page complaint claims. The lawsuit says this occurs because Home Depot stores are “intentionally staffed at minimal levels,” causing chronic understaffing.

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Sexual Abuse Victims Sue the University of Michigan Over Its Public Speech Limit

Ten sexual assault victims sued the University of Michigan on Thursday over a policy that limits the number of people who can offer public comment at meetings of the school’s governing board.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of nine men and a woman who said they were molested by Dr. Robert Anderson during his decades as a campus physician. They said they were denied an opportunity to address the Board of Regents in July, in violation of Michigan’s open meetings law.

The university caps the number of speakers and limits the number of people who can talk about a specific topic at five.

Regents have been meeting by video conference during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2017, The number of speakers was increased to as many as 17, under certain conditions, from 10.

Read the source article at Associated Press News

Black Farmers Accuse Their Former Employer of Hiring White Immigrants Over Black US Workers

Six Black farmworkers in Mississippi say in a new lawsuit that their former employer brought white laborers from South Africa to do the same jobs they were doing, and that the farm has been violating federal law by paying the white immigrants more for the same type of work.

Mississippi Center for Justice and Southern Migrant Legal Services filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of the six workers against Pitts Farm Partnership, which grows cotton, soybeans and corn in the Mississippi Delta’s Sunflower County.

The lawsuit said the farm violated regulations of a foreign worker visa program, which requires equal treatment of U.S. workers and their immigrant counterparts. It seeks an unspecified amount in damages, including money the U.S. workers say they were shorted because of the uneven pay scale.

The Associated Press left messages by phone and email with Pitts Farms seeking comment about the lawsuit. There was no immediate response by Thursday afternoon.

Read the source article at Associated Press News

A 27-Year Police Promotion Discrimination Lawsuit Ends in Worcester

The city of Worcester has agreed to settle a decades-old lawsuit brought by two Black police officers over racial discrimination in police promotions, according to court records.

The officers, Andrew Harris and Spencer Tatum, sued the city in 1994, saying white officers were given promotions for positions in the department Harris and Tatum were qualified for. Tatum has retired, and Harris died before the suit was resolved.

Worcester will pay $1.5 million and will follow an affirmative action plan to ensure discrimination in promotions does not occur in the future, according to court records and published reports.

Read the source article at Patch

One of the Largest Confederate Monuments Is Being Deconstructed

Crews using a crane and other heavy equipment on Wednesday hoisted an enormous statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee off the giant pedestal where it has towered over Virginia’s capital city for more than a century.

The piece, one of America’s largest monuments to the Confederacy, was lifted away to boisterous cheers from a crowd of hundreds. Some chanted “whose streets? Our streets!” and “Hey hey hey, goodbye.”

The statue was lowered to the ground where it was expected to be cut into pieces so that it can be brought to a secure location, where it will be stored until its final disposition is determined.

Read the source article at Associated Press News

A Group of Judges Reach a Split Decision on a Student’s Appeal to Uphold a Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against Her School

 The full panel of 15 appellate judges in Richmond has narrowly upheld a former northern Virginia high school student’s appeal to have her lawsuit against the school system reinstated after an alleged sexual assault on a band trip.

The narrow 9-6 decision from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Monday prompted a pair of rare, written dissents from two judges who say the decision vastly expands the liability that school systems face under Title IX, the law that bans sex discrimination in public education.

Dissenting judge J. Harvie Wilkinson wrote that reinstating the lawsuit “will only further contribute to the dramatic loss of control that states and localities are able to exercise over their own school systems.”

Judges dissent all the time when they hear cases, but it is rare to dissent on what’s called an en banc petition, in which the losing side on a ruling from a normal three-judge panel asks the entire circuit to take up the case.

Read the source article at Associated Press News