Relman, Dane & Colfax has extensive experience litigating cases on behalf of employees who have suffered discrimination in the workplace. The Firm has litigated both individual cases and class actions and represented employees of private companies and government employees. Our litigation experience includes representation of those who have suffered adverse employment actions (such as failure to hire or promote and termination), harassment (including sexual and racial), and retaliation. Our attorneys provide representation at every stage of a discrimination complaint, including counseling employees on their rights, negotiating with employers, representing employees in the administrative process, and litigating in federal or state court. The Firm represents clients who have been discriminated against on any basis protected under the law, including race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, disability, age, and marital status.
Jury Awards $687,000 in Race Discrimination Case
Relman, Dane & Colfax Settles Race Discrimination Class Action Against the Secret Service for $24 Million and Reform of Promotions System
Court of Appeals Upholds Class Certification in Race Discrimination Case Against Secret Service
Relman, Dane & Colfax Submits Comments on Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Class Certified in Firm’s Long-Running Race Discrimination Case against Secret Service
Garza v. San Juan Abstract & Title Co.
Jury Awards $164,737 in Damages and Back Pay for Sexual Harassment
On Wednesday, July 22, 2009, Judge Legg of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland awarded $678,326 in damages to seven Complainants who endured egregious sexual harassment while employed at Defendant Worthington, Moore, and Jacobs. The award represents the full statutory cap for compensatory and punitive damages and full back-pay for all Complainants. Read more.
On January 20, 2016, a jury in D.C. federal court found that Plaintiff Briggitta Hardin was unlawfully denied a bartending position at a Chinatown bar because she is African-American, and awarded her $175,000 in compensatory damages and an additional $512,000 in punitive damages. Click here to read more.
On January 17, 2017, Relman, Dane & Colfax reached a historic settlement in its oldest case – a class action on behalf of more than 100 Special Agents of the United States Secret Service. Filed in 2000, the case alleged that African American Secret Service Agents had been subjected to a racially discriminatory promotion system that denied them a fair opportunity for promotion. For 16 years and through three administrations, Relman, Dane & Colfax, along with Hogan Lovells, fought in both trial and appellate courts to win relief for members of the class. In addition to substantial monetary relief, the settlement requires the Secret Service to make significant changes to its promotion system to ensure greater transparency and accountability in decision making. To read more and review the Settlement click here.
On August 1, 2014, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held unanimously that race discrimination claims against the U.S. Secret Service may proceed as a class action. Judge Douglas Ginsburg, writing for the appeals court, rejected various attempts by the Secret Service to challenge the District Court’s 2013 opinion granting class certification. Click here to read more.
The Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules is poised to decide whether to recommend a set of proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that would reduce critical discovery tools like depositions and interrogatories, constrict the scope of discoverable evidence by inserting a proportionality balancing test unfairly weighted against low damages claims, and restrict a court’s ability to impose sanctions and remedies when a party destroys evidence it was under an obligation to preserve. These measures will unquestionably make it more difficult to prove civil rights violations. To read more click here.
On February 25, 2013, U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts certified a class of 120 current and former African-American Secret Service Agents, ruling that their claims of pattern or practice disparate treatment and disparate impact in promotions to supervisory levels may proceed as a class action. In its opinion, the Court not only rejected all of Defendant’s arguments against class certification, but also rejected Defendant’s challenge to Plaintiffs’ statistical evidence of discrimination, instead holding that Plaintiffs’ expert offered “relevant” and “reliable” evidence of discrimination that was corroborated by the sworn testimony of over 60 current and former African-American Agents. The Court’s rulings mark the latest victories in the Firm’s long-running Moore, et al. v. Napolitano litigation that began in 2000, and has included several sanctions against Defendants for discovery misconduct.
On February 23, 2010, Relman, Dane & Colfax filed a lawsuit on behalf of Jessica Garza in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico against San Juan Abstract & Title Company alleging discrimination on the basis of sex and pregnancy. The complaint alleged that Ms. Garza was terminated within hours after informing her employer that she was pregnant. The employer stated at the time that he was closing the branch location where Ms. Garza was the sole employee and that she could not transfer to the main office, located only 15 minutes away, because the main office was overstaffed. However, San Juan Title hired a woman who was not pregnant to replace Ms. Garza and another employee in the main office had already informed the company that she planned to resign her position. The complaint brought claims under Title VII, the New Mexico Human Rights Act, and New Mexico common law. The case was resolved in October 2010. For a copy of the complaint, click here.