Kator, Parks, Weiser & Harris, PLLC

A Washington, D.C. based law firm with a civil practice in employment law

Category: Sexual Orientation

KPWH Successfully Resolves Transgender Claim Against DC Restaurant

Kator, Parks, Weiser & Harris is proud to announce that Cathy Harris and David Hart represented Charlotte Clymer in the just resolution of her charge of discrimination regarding an incident at a DC-based restaurant.  The District of Columbia is one of only a few jurisdictions that protect transgender persons in public accommodations.  This matter demonstrates not only the strength of the District’s protections, but also the need for further legal reforms to protect gender minorities.

More information about this resolution and the parties’ joint statement is available here.

KPWH Files Claim Against Restaurant for Harassing Transgender Woman

KPWH is proud to represent Charlotte Clymer in her civil rights claim against Cuba Libre Restaurant. She was illegally harassed when told to show her ID before using the restroom.

See media coverage of the matter by clicking here.

KPWH Settles Sexual Orientation Case

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.

See OSC’s Press Release about the case by clicking here.

See Government Executive coverage of the case by clicking here.

Other coverage on settlement available by clicking here.

Same-sex spousal benefits made available to federal employees

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.

KPW Fights DOMA

Kator, Parks & Weiser, PLLC is proud to be part of the legal effort to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (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 United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit associated with GLAD’s landmark case, Gill v. OPMGill is being held pending the Supreme Court’s ruling in Windsor. For more information about the case, and DOMA, please visit http://www.glad.org/doma.

Federal government focuses on sexual orientation discrimination

The federal government has focused on stopping discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) federal employees and applicants.  The Office of Special Counsel recently invited Kator, Parks & Weiser to a meeting to explore the federal government’s focus on this area.  The U.S. Office of Personnel Management recently published a helpful guide for LGBT employees and applicants who are experiencing discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.  The attorneys of Kator, Parks & Weiser have been at the forefront of the fight to end discrimination against LGBT employees in the federal workplace.  To learn more about this issue and how Kator, Parks & Weiser may be able to help you, please click here.