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Valarie Hogan, Fellow

Valarie Hogan is the Margaret Fund Fellow at the National Women's Law Center, where she focuses on issues related to education and employment. During law school, Valarie worked on various issues related to education, including special education and school discipline, as an intern at the EdLaw Project in Boston, the Education Law Center in Philadelphia, the U.S. Department of Justice Educational Opportunities Section in Washington, D.C., and Justice for Children and Youth in Toronto. Most recently, Valarie was an associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. in Washington, D.C. Valarie is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Harvard Law School.

My Take

Congress to SCOTUS: What’s POWADA With You?

Posted by Valarie Hogan, Fellow | Posted on: August 02, 2013 at 03:57 pm

On July 30, George Miller, the senior Democratic member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, introduced the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, or POWADA, which would restore vital civil rights protections for older workers by reversing the Supreme Court’s 2009 decision in Gross v. FBL Financial. POWADA reestablishes that once a victim shows discrimination was a “motivating factor” behind a decision, the burden is properly on the employer to show it complied with the law.

The Gross decision made it nearly impossible to prove age discrimination by requiring that victims prove that age was not only a factor in an employer’s decision but was the decisive factor (this is also known as “but-for causation” meaning that but-for the age discrimination, the employer would have made a different decision). The Gross decision has had wide-reaching effects: just this year, the Supreme Court applied the higher standard of proof to claims of retaliation in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar (applying but-for causation test to claims of retaliation under Title VII), and, as in Gross, expressed skepticism at the intelligence of jurors and lower court judges in Vance v. Ball State University (restricting the definition of ‘supervisor’ under Title VII).

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Praise-worthy: HELP Committee Passes Employment Non-Discrimination Act with Bipartisan Support

Posted by Valarie Hogan, Fellow | Posted on: July 10, 2013 at 05:05 pm

Equality finally seems to be catching on – after decades of fighting. The Supreme Court struck down the 1996 law banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage, and today the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed out of Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee with bipartisan support. ENDA prohibits discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In a 15-7 vote, all 12 Democrats on the committee supported the bill along with 3 Republicans.

The bill has been introduced in almost every Congress since 1994. During this same time period, 16 states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and 88 percent of Fortune 500 Companies have implemented non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation while 57 percent include gender identity

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Leveling the Playing Field: NWLC Files Title IX Athletics Complaint against D.C. Public Schools

Posted by Valarie Hogan, Fellow | Posted on: June 28, 2013 at 03:45 pm

Faces of Title IXGirls in the District of Columbia are being shortchanged when it comes to opportunities to play sports and benefits such as coaching, facilities and equipment, in violation of Title IX. That's what we said in a complaint filed yesterday with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR). 

Information provided by DCPS pursuant to a FOIA request shows disparities of over 10 percentage points and as high as 26 percentage points between girls' enrollment and the share of athletic participation opportunities provided to them in the majority of the district's 15 public high schools. These gaps mean that DCPS would need to provide almost 700 additional athletic opportunities to girls to provide parity. The Center's complaint requests that OCR investigate all District public high schools and require them to treat girls fairly. 

Check out the following snippets from the Washington Post, which published a story about the NWLC complaint: 

  • Daja Dorsey, who graduated from Ballou in June and played basketball, volleyball, softball and ran track, said the boys' football and basketball teams got more intensive coaching, more attention from recruiters and scouts and more college scholarships than the girls' teams. "It was a whole different approach for the boys," she said. "I wouldn't have minded that." 
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Accolades: Department of Education Releases New Guidance for Pregnant and Parenting Students

Posted by Valarie Hogan, Fellow | Posted on: June 25, 2013 at 03:24 pm

Pregnant and parenting students

Schools around the country are gearing up for summer vacation, and — just in time to make all of your summer reading lists — the Department of Education has issued new Title IX guidance for school administrators, teachers and counselors: Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

It has been 40 years since the passage of Title IX and 22 years since the Department of Education last released guidance related to pregnant and parenting students. While pregnant and parenting students are protected by the non-discrimination provisions of Title IX, many students and school administrators need a strong reminder of what is required by Title IX.

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Montana Governor Creates Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force to Address State’s Wage Gap

Posted by Valarie Hogan, Fellow | Posted on: June 18, 2013 at 09:28 am
Governor Steve Bullock discussing Montana's new Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force
Image source:Beartooth NBC

There are a lot of different metrics used to rank the states and the District of Columbia. Geographic size, population, and various economic measures are particularly popular. Naturally, I’m sure you’ve wondered how Montana, or “The Treasure State,” compares to all of the other states. Well, Montana is big: it is ranked 4th in geographic size. It doesn’t have too many people, though, and it ranks near the bottom on population metrics: it is 44th in population and 48th in population density. Unfortunately, Montana also ranks near the bottom of all the states, and the District of Columbia, based on its wage gap. Data compiled by the National Women’s Law Center places Montana 43rd in the wage gap rankings: women in the state earn 74.6 cents for every dollar earned by their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts.

On the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, Montana Governor Steve Bullock decided to tackle the wage gap problem head on by creating the Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force to determine whether there is inequality in pay for women. Montana has an impressive history of advocating for women: Montana women earned the right to vote in 1914, six years before the Nineteenth Amendment was passed, and the first woman ever elected to Congress, Jeannette Rankin, hailed from “Big Sky Country.”

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