AHF Files Brief Against CVS at the US Supreme Court OutBuro lgbt professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer bisexual nonbinary

AHF Files Brief Against CVS at the U.S. Supreme Court

9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier that HIV patients may make a discrimination claim under the Affordable Care Act against CVS for requiring HIV patients to use mail-order pharmacies or to go to a few of CVS’s selected specialty pharmacies, where patients say they are not getting full service

In 2018, AHF warned the U.S. Department of Justice that the then-proposed CVS merger with Aetna would create a monopoly-like behemoth that would harm patients, which appears to be the case here with pharmacy choice

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, filed a brief of amicus curiae with the Supreme Court of the United States earlier today in CVS Pharmacy, Inc. vs. Doe, a case set to be heard and decided by summer 2022.

In December 2020, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Doe vs. CVS Pharmacy, Inc. that people living with HIV can state a discrimination claim under the Affordable Care Act against CVS Pharmacy, Inc., for requiring them to use mail-order pharmacies to obtain HIV/AIDS medications or to go to one of a few designated “specialty” pharmacies that are little more than pick-up stations, as part of in-network pharmacy services for private insurance plans. CVS appealed the ruling and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. In its brief, AHF asks the Supreme Court to affirm the earlier judgement of the Ninth Circuit.

“For people living with HIV/AIDS, real specialty pharmacies and pharmacists that focus on HIV/AIDS and in-person treatment provide demonstrably superior care than do mail-order pharmacies and retail pharmacies. We believe that CVS’s denial of choice in pharmacy services for HIV/AIDS patients is both wrong and discriminatory,” said Jonathan M. Eisenberg, Deputy General Counsel — Litigation for AHF.

AHF’s amicus curiae brief focuses on three primary arguments:

  1. That U.S. Statutory Law Requires Courts to Protect People Living with HIV/AIDS from Disability Discrimination by Healthcare Providers,
  2. That Coerced Use of Mail-Order Pharmacies Is Highly Detrimental to People Living with HIV/AIDS, and
  3. That Coercing People Living with HIV/AIDS to Use Mail-Order Pharmacies Is a Disability-Rights Violation, by Both Intent and Impact.

“CVS said to people living with HIV that they can only go to a few of its selected pharmacies and/or be compelled to utilize its PBM’s mail order pharmacies. Patients asserted they weren’t getting full service there, which discriminated against them. They wanted to keep their current pharmacies which provide more comprehensive and specialty services,” said Tom Myers, Chief of Public Affairs and General Counsel for AHF. “We filed this amicus brief to support HIV/AIDS patients’ legal arguments in the case before the Supreme Court and to defend patients’ rights and choice in their pharmacy services.”

The December 2020 9th Circuit Court ruling validated AHF’s earlier warning of the CVS threat to the HIV response back in 2018. See AHF press statement (Nov. 28, 2018) “CVS-Aetna Merger is Bad for HIV Patients.”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.6 million individuals in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us @aidshealthcare.

Contacts

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Jonathan M. Eisenberg, Deputy General Counsel–Litigation for AHF +1.323.860.5361 w Jonathan.esienberg@ahf.org
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications, AHF +1.323.791.5526 [cell] +.323.308.1833 [work] gedk@aidshealth.org
John Hassell, National Director of Advocacy, AHF +1.202.774.4854 [cell] John.hassell@aidshealth.org

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Class-Action Settlement Reached to Resolve University Pay Equity Allegations

NEW YORK, Oct. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Outten & Golden LLP and Syracuse University announced a class-action settlement to resolve allegations of compensation discrimination raised by five female faculty members. Under the settlement agreement, the University will pay $3,713,000 to resolve the claims. This settlement does not represent an admission of any liability on the part of Syracuse University.

In a class action complaint filed today, the five female faculty members allege that the university-wide compensation and promotion policies and practices had an adverse impact on them and other female colleagues.

“We are pleased that Syracuse has agreed to resolve the claims, and the settlement will provide meaningful relief to our clients and other female faculty,” said Deirdre A. Aaron of Outten & Golden.

Syracuse University is committed – at all levels, across all faculty and staff positions – to providing an equitable and supportive work environment,” says Senior Vice President for Academic Operations Steve Bennett. “We continue to work closely with academic leadership to ensure salaries are commensurate with every faculty member’s job responsibilities, efforts and accomplishments, regardless of gender.”

CONTACTS: Adam T. Klein or Deirdre A. Aaron, Outten & Golden, 516.261.6080 or 320381@email4pr.com.

About Outten & Golden LLP

Outten & Golden LLP focuses on advising and representing individuals in employment, partnership, and related workplace matters both domestically and internationally. The firm counsels individuals on employment and severance agreements; handles complex compensation and benefits issues (including bonuses, equity agreements, and partnership interests); and advises professionals (including doctors and lawyers) on contractual issues. It also represents employees with a wide variety of claims, including discrimination and harassment based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, disability, national origin, religion, and age, as well as retaliation, whistleblower, and contract claims. The firm handles class actions involving a wide range of employment issues, including economic exploitation, gender- and race-based discrimination, wage-and-hour violations, violations of the WARN Act, and other systemic workers’ rights issues. 

Outten & Golden has nine practice groups: Executives & Professionals, Financial Services, Sexual Harassment & Sex Discrimination, Family Responsibilities & Disability Discrimination, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ) Workplace Rights, Discrimination & Retaliation, Whistleblower Retaliation, Class & Collective Actions, and WARN Act. 

Outten & Golden has offices in New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

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Outten & Golden LLP: Former U.S. Department of Justice Employee Wins Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A Washington, D.C. federal-court jury awarded a longtime U.S. Department of Justice employee $445,000 in her gender discrimination lawsuit against the government, the law firm Outten & Golden LLP announced today.

After a five-day trial, the jury sided with Debra Stoe, who worked for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), a DOJ agency, for 20 years. Stoe alleged she repeatedly was passed over for promotions in favor of less qualified and less accomplished men.

Stoe’s professional achievements included development of standards and testing required to ensure that law enforcement equipment and technology such as bulletproof vests is safe and effective.

In evidence presented at trial, Stoe’s supervisors recognized that she “revolutionized” the standards and testing program, and that she was “singularly responsible” for “moving it into the modern era.” Stoe was credited with saving the government “millions” of dollars and saving “countless lives” of law enforcement officers.

Outten & Golden Partner Susan E. Huhta said, “This case involved blatant gender discrimination by the federal government. We are grateful the jury rejected the government’s specious defense. The verdict is a complete vindication of an exemplary employee.”

Outten & Golden Partner Cassandra W. Lenning said, “The trial made clear the impact of Ms. Stoe’s work. On the final day of the trial, a former supervisor of Ms. Stoe’s thanked her from the stand and credited her with saving his police officer son’s life. His son was hit by a speeding car, and the bulletproof vest he was wearing saved his life.”

Debra Stoe said, “My career meant the world to me. The work I did was important. I hoped the DOJ hiring system would be fair, but the evidence showed it was not. I felt strongly that we had to take a stand against how the DOJ too often disregards women. The importance of the #MeToo movement really hits home when you see people like me whose hard work, superior qualifications, and experience were so casually and consistently overlooked. We showed that people and the DOJ hiring system were manipulated by the discriminator. I’m grateful for the jury’s findings.”

Huhta added, “Debra Stoe’s courage should serve as an inspiration to all women in the workplace. This verdict sends a message to all employers that discrimination in the workplace will not be tolerated, especially in the federal government.”

The case is “Stoe v. Garland,” Case 1:16-cv-01618-JDB in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

CONTACTS: Susan E. Huhta and Cassandra W. Lenning, Outten & Golden, 516.261.6080 or og@outtengolden.com.

About Outten & Golden LLP
Outten & Golden LLP focuses on advising and representing individuals in employment, partnership, and related workplace matters both domestically and internationally. The firm counsels individuals on employment and severance agreements; handles complex compensation and benefits issues (including bonuses, equity agreements, and partnership interests); and advises professionals (including doctors and lawyers) on contractual issues. It also represents employees with a wide variety of claims, including discrimination and harassment based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, disability, national origin, religion, and age, as well as retaliation, whistleblower, and contract claims. The firm handles class actions involving a wide range of employment issues, including economic exploitation, gender- and race-based discrimination, wage-and-hour violations, violations of the WARN Act, and other systemic workers’ rights issues.

Outten & Golden has nine practice groups: Executives & Professionals, Financial Services, Sexual Harassment & Sex Discrimination, Family Responsibilities & Disability Discrimination, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ) Workplace Rights, Discrimination & Retaliation, Whistleblower Retaliation, Class & Collective Actions, and WARN Act.

Outten & Golden has offices in New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

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Twenty-Five Year Vanderbilt University Employee Files Federal Discrimination Lawsuit

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A 25-year, dedicated and honored Vanderbilt University employee represented by Rubenfeld Law has filed a Federal discrimination and retaliation lawsuit (link here) against her employer, after a two year pattern of harassment and hostile behavior toward her following her medically-necessary transition from male to female. The suit notes the “stunning hypocrisy” by Vanderbilt which presents itself as a leader in support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and students.

Olivia Hill, a US Navy combat veteran, was an exemplary employee of the Vanderbilt Power Plant for a quarter of a century, never receiving disciplinary action or negative reviews, and during that time held nearly every job in the Plant; created all of the control graphics for it; helped write the  Procedures for each piece of equipment; and received numerous awards including the ‘Vanderbilt Chancellor Heart and Soul Award,’ for “going far beyond her job expectations while carrying out the spirit and mission of Vanderbilt in all they do.”

Miss Hill is the first and only employee of Vanderbilt to transition while working there.

Following Ms. Hill’s acknowledgement to her supervisors in 2018 of the medical need to transition, Ms. Hill was subjected to numerous instances of hateful, vulgar and egregious harassment.  Although she properly followed all ‘University channels,’ ultimately her plea for help was ignored – and SHE was put on involuntary leave, while none of the harassers were punished and she was subjected to continued retaliation.  

“Although it is clear Ms. Hill continues to love Vanderbilt, she was left with no option but to seek legal protection and restitution for all she has suffered and lost,” explained Abby Rubenfeld, Ms. Hill’s attorney. “The way Olivia was treated violates federal and state law – and is consistent with Vanderbilt’s own policies and public presentation as allegedly being a model of LGBTQI tolerance and inclusion — and is simply the height of hypocrisy as well as illegal under numerous laws and statutes cited in the lawsuit.”

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SOURCE Rubenfeld Law Office PC

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NLLG Attorney Helps Win Landmark Appellate Decision on Employment Rights

Ruling protects the rights of transgender employees against discrimination in the workplace

OKLAHOMA CITY, Sept. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A federal court of appeals recently directed that a professor who was denied tenure and lost her job at a state university in Oklahoma due to her transgender status must be reinstated, with tenure, at the university. Brittany M. Novotny, an attorney at National Litigation Law Group (NLLG) in Oklahoma City, played a key role in the successful trial and appeal.

National Litigation Law Group - NLLG offers experienced and committed representation to consumers across the U.S. who need to defend legal actions brought against them by credit card and financial services companies. With in-house attorneys licensed in more than thirty-five states, and our network of legal affiliates, we are equipped to protect consumer rights in any jurisdiction. NLLG is committed to providing other innovative legal services to individuals and businesses. https://www.nationlit. (PRNewsfoto/National Litigation Law Group)

Novotny was a member of the trial team that helped win a jury verdict in 2017 for the professor, Dr. Rachel Tudor, and she also was instrumental in drafting the briefs to the Court of Appeals, along with attorneys Ezra Young from New York, and Marie Galindo from Texas. At the 2017 trial, a federal court jury in Oklahoma City found that Southeastern Oklahoma State University had discriminated against Dr. Tudor on the basis of her transgender status when they denied her tenure, which then resulted in Dr. Tudor losing her job at the University. Although the jury had found in Dr. Tudor’s favor and had awarded money damages, the trial judge denied her request to be reinstated with tenure at the University. The damages award was appealed by the University, and Dr. Tudor appealed the trial judge’s refusal to reinstate her with tenure.

The appellate decision in Dr. Tudor’s case was delayed while the U.S. Supreme Court considered a separate case, Bostock v. Clayton County , and whether discrimination against a transgender employee constituted discrimination on the basis of sex, which is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Last year the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the transgender employee on that question, setting the stage for a decision on Dr. Tudor’s appeal. On September 13, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit found in favor of Dr. Tudor, and further directed the trial judge to reinstate Dr. Tudor to her former position, with tenure, as Dr. Tudor had requested.

“It was a true team effort to help Dr. Tudor find justice in our federal court system,” Novotny stated. “I am honored to have played a role in affirming the rights of transgender Americans to have employment decisions made free from discrimination. Dr. Tudor won a tremendous victory at trial, but it was not complete with her being denied reinstatement. Even after the Supreme Court’s later decision in Bostock, Dr. Tudor’s reinstatement was not assured, so I was thrilled with the Court of Appeals’ unanimous decision in her favor.”

In ruling for Dr. Tudor, the Court of Appeals stated emphatically that, “it is established—and we cannot now question—that Dr. Tudor would have been granted tenure in 2009-10 absent the discrimination.”  In directing that Dr. Tudor should be reinstated with tenure, the Court of Appeals said they were “restoring Dr. Tudor to the position she would have been in had Southeastern not engaged in prohibited discrimination against her.”

National Litigation Law Group, the firm that employs Novotny, was founded in 2014, and has focused on representing consumer debtors against credit card companies and other unsecured creditors.  NLLG also represents clients in other types of litigation matters.  For more information about the recent appeal decision in favor of Dr. Tudor, you can contact Brittany Novotny at bnovotny@nationlit.com, or Mark Grossman, the chief executive officer of NLLG, at mgrossman@nationlit.com.

SOURCE National Litigation Law Group

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