May 12, 2015
Kerrie Riggs and Cathy Harris of Kator, Parks, Weiser & Harris, PLLC proudly represented Dr. Patricia Kinne, a lesbian psychiatrist at the VA, in her complaints before the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the EEOC. The case was recently settled with the help of the Office of Special Counsel, with Dr. Kinne receiving essentially full relief, including compensatory damages and attorneys fees. Dr. Kinne was discriminated against when she was threatened with removal after patients complained that she had disclosed she was a lesbian or referred to her wife. The patients cited Dr. Kinne’s sexual orientation as a basis for discontinuing their treatment with her. VA management at the Louisville VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Kentucky stated that Dr. Kinne’s disclosure of “personal information” was harmful to the doctor-patient relationship and warned she might be terminated. OSC investigated and found that while there were several hundred change-of-provider requests from patients against psychiatrists during the relevant time period, only two requests – the ones related to Dr. Kinne’s sexual orientation– were treated as potential corrective or disciplinary issues. In their OSC interviews, VA management officials were unable to distinguish their treatment of Dr. Kinne’s conduct from others who had received complaints, and provided inconsistent reasoning to support their actions. Dr. Kinne is a well-regarded psychiatrist with no other reported performance or conduct issues, and was complimented by the VA in 2013 for having relatively few patient complaints. The case settled just before an EEOC hearing on Dr. Kinne’s discrimination claims.
August 27, 2014
The EEOC has confirmed the finding of class-wide discrimination against female DEA special agents. The process for individual awards to Class Members has begun, and Claim Forms should be submitted immediately. For more information about the case, please click here.
May 19, 2014
Cathy Harris was interviewed by ABC This Week about sexual assaults on college campuses. Ms. Harris has fought to bring attention to this issue, and to fight for victims’ rights, for decades.
Click here to see the ABC This Week segment on college sexual assaults.
If you have been the victim of a sexual assault at college or at work, click here to contact KPWH to discuss your legal options.
June 26, 2013
The Supreme Court today ruled in United States v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. Kator, Parks & Weiser, PLLC is proud to be part of the legal effort that helped overturn DOMA. KPW attorneys Cathy Harris and Andrea Goplerud have assisted GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) for several years in the federal-sector employment law aspects at the MSPB and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in DOMA litigation. The Court’s decision results in same-sex federal employees being eligible for spousal benefits that had been denied under DOMA. For information about how you can secure these and other benefits now available, please visit http://www.glad.org/uploads/docs/publications/post-doma-fact-sheets/post-doma-federal-employees-spouses.pdf. If you have questions, or if you feel that you have faced any discrimination or harassment due to your applications for same-sex partner benefits, you can contact KPW for a free consultation to discussion your legal options.
June 11, 2013
A June 2013 order from the EEOC found that the Drug Enforcement Administration engaged in class-wide discrimination against female DEA Special Agents. The EEOC ordered that separate hearings be conducted to determine the extent of monetary damages due to class members, damages that are expected to be in the tens of millions of dollars. KPW has proudly represented the class of female DEA Special Agents for decades. To learn more about the case, click here.