NELA Amicus Briefs

NWLC NELA Amicus Brief_Parker v. Reema Consulting_4th Cir_053018 

06-03-2018 05:59 PM

On Wednesday, May 30, 2018, NELA was proud to join with a coalition of women’s, employee, and civil rights groups led by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) in filing an amicus brief in support of the Plaintiff-Appellant Evangeline Parker in Parker v. Reema Consulting Services, Inc., pending currently in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In the course of rising in the ranks while working at the defendant firm, the Plaintiff was subjected to a false and repugnant rumor that her professional advancement was due to her having a sexual relationship with a male manager. The rumor’s spreading resulted in Ms. Parker facing harassment and discrimination, and when she tried to stop the rumor and complained about the harassment she was facing, the company retaliated against her and ultimately terminated her employment. The district court relied on a number of inappropriate grounds in dismissing her claims, including erroneously holding that the type of rumor to which she was subjected could not support a claim for gender discrimination because it could be made about either a male or female employee. The amicus brief marshals a wide array of legal and social science evidence in demonstrating that such rumors are deployed against women specifically to undermine their professional advancement, and tend to harm female employees in ways they do not harm men, thereby making them a quintessential form of gender-based harassment and discrimination. The brief was drafted by colleagues from the NWLC and co-counsel from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.

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