2014 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Christine Tschiderer

Christine Tschiderer

City, State: Washington, District of Columbia
Issue area: Workers' Rights, Women's Rights
Sponsors: Crowell & Moring LLP

The Project

Christine protected the rights of low-income mothers in the District of Columbia to be free from workplace discrimination related to pregnancy and family responsibilities through direct representation, outreach, and policy reform.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
Working women provide crucial financial and emotional support to their families. Indeed, women are the sole or co-breadwinner in two-thirds of American families, yet too often they are targeted for harassment and poor treatment at work due to their pregnancy or caregiving obligations. State and federal laws prohibit such discrimination, but enforcing these laws can be costly and time-consuming. Consequently, it is difficult for low-income women to challenge even the most egregious practices, yet these are the women who can least afford to lose their jobs.
Fellowship Highlights: 
In the past two years, Christine has:
• Provided legal advice or representation to 54 women and caregivers
• Worked on 5 high-impact cases that have, or are likely to, create positive legal precedents for pregnant women and caregivers
• Successfully tried a pregnancy discrimination case to a favorable jury verdict in federal court
• Given 10 “know your rights” presentations in the community, training nearly 150 DC workers about their rights related to pregnancy, breastfeeding, and family and medical leave
• Testified before the D.C. Council three times to advocate for local legislation that benefits low-wage workers and caregivers
• Built and strengthened relationships with other organizations, both local and national, that advocate for the rights of women, caregivers, and low-wage workers
Where are they now?: 
Now that the Fellowship is complete, Christine plans to:
• Continue her work as a Staff Attorney at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
• Advance innovative solutions, through both litigation and policy, to the issues that pregnant workers and caregivers continue to face in the workplace

© 2017 Equal Justice Works - 1730 M Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036-4511