Altshuler Berzon LLP has filed charges on behalf of workers at McDonald’s who have come forward in the wake of the #MeToo movement to allege they have been sexually harassed at work. Together with co-counsel, and with the financial support of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund™, the firm has filed EEOC and state-level charges on behalf of eleven women and is continuing to investigate additional reported incidents of harassment at McDonald’s. The workers Altshuler Berzon represents are asking the EEOC to investigate not only the individual franchises where they work, but also McDonald’s Corporate, and to do so on a nationwide systemic level. On September 18, 2018, McDonald’s workers in ten cities – including some of the workers Altshuler Berzon represents – participated in strikes organized by the Fight for $15 that demanded that McDonald’s take steps necessary to end pervasive sexual harassment of its employees, including by providing adequate training and a safe and confidential reporting mechanism and by strengthening and enforcing their existing policies, among other demands.
On November 8, 2018, the Ninth Circuit issued a decision affirming a preliminary injunction issued by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California requiring the Trump administration to accept renewal applications from individuals previously granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. The Trump administration had sought to end the DACA program through a September 2017 memorandum rescinding DACA. The Ninth Circuit majority held that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed in arguing that the rescission memorandum violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) because it was based on an erroneous legal premise – that DACA was unlawful. The Ninth Circuit further held that neither the APA nor the Immigration and Nationality Act barred federal court review of the rescission, and that the federal district court had properly refused to dismiss the plaintiffs’ equal protection challenge to the DACA rescission, based on evidence of racial animus, procedural irregularities, and disproportionate racial impact, and due process challenge to the Trump administration’s apparent backsliding on assurances given to DACA recipients that the information they provided in applying for DACA would not be used for immigration enforcement purposes.
One member of the panel would have upheld the preliminary injunction based on the plaintiffs’ equal protection claim, but concluded that the rescission memorandum could not be challenged under the APA because deferred action was a decision conferred to the federal agency’s discretion. The panel upheld the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ due process and procedural APA challenges to the DACA rescission.
Altshuler Berzon LLP represents the plaintiffs in one of the five cases that were before the Ninth Circuit: the County of Santa Clara, also represented by Santa Clara County Counsel, and Service Employees International Union Local 521. The Ninth Circuit decision can be found here.
On November 5, 2018, the federal court for the Northern District of Florida issued an order granting an emergency motion filed on Sunday, November 4, 2018, requiring the Florida Secretary of State to ensure compliance with the Court’s September 10 Preliminary Injunction Order by ensuring that Spanish-language facsimile ballots are made available to voters protected by Section 4(e) of the Voting Rights Act at all polling sites in 32 Florida counties on Election Day, November 6, 2018.
On August 16, 2018, Altshuler Berzon LLP, along with co-counsel at Demos, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and SEIU, filed a class-action complaint on behalf of more than 30,000 Spanish-speaking Puerto Ricans in the 32 counties, as well as several civic engagement organizations, and sought a preliminary injunction to allow Spanish-speaking Puerto Ricans the ability to cast a meaningful vote in the upcoming and future elections. The case is Marta Valentina Rivera Madera, et al. v. Ken Detzner, et al., N.D. Fla. Case No. 1:18-cv-00152.
On September 7, 2018, the federal court for the Northern District of Florida issued a preliminary injunction (with a corrected order issued September 10, 2018) requiring Florida’s Secretary of State to direct the Supervisors of Elections in the 32 Florida counties to make available a facsimile sample ballot in Spanish to voters protected by Section 4(e) of the Voting Rights Act, and to publish the sample ballot in advance of the election along with instructions in Spanish for how to use it to help cast a vote.
On Sunday, November 4, 2018, plaintiffs learned that the Supervisor of Elections for Duval County (one of the 32 counties at issue in the lawsuit) was not making Spanish-language facsimile ballots available at early voting locations, in violation of the district court’s preliminary injunction order. Plaintiffs immediately filed an emergency motion requesting an order ensuring compliance with the preliminary injunction. The court granted the requested order in material part. The court denied relief with respect to early voting because early voting has already ended in most counties including Duval, but granted the emergency motion with respect to Election Day and ordered the Secretary of State to “ensure compliance with th[e] Court’s order on preliminary injunction” by ensuring that “facsimile sample ballots in Spanish shall be available to all voters who fall within the ambit of Section 4(e) of the Voting Rights Act” at all polling sites in the 32 counties on Election Day.
You can read the Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiffs’ Emergency Motion for Immediate Relief here.