2015 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Andrea Johnson

Andrea Johnson

Name of Host Organization: National Women's Law Center
City, State: Washington, District of Columbia
Issue area: Women's Rights, Workers' Rights
Sponsors: Anonymous

The Project

Andrea will deploy legal and policy advocacy and outreach to break down the main discriminatory barriers to women’s full and equal workforce participation, including sexual harassment, pregnancy and caregiver discrimination, and pay inequity.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
In the fifty years since Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, women have made substantial advances towards gender equality in the workplace. But discriminatory policies and practices continue to bar women’s full and equal participation in the workforce. Women still encounter sexual harassment at alarming rates; they are too often forced out of jobs because employers refuse to provide pregnancy accommodations or adopt scheduling practices that are incompatible with caregiving responsibilities; or they are retaliated against for challenging gender-based inequity. These barriers are present across the income spectrum, but women in low-wage jobs are hit hardest. Systemic discrimination in the form of sexual harassment, pregnancy and caregiver discrimination, and pay discrimination has come to shape women’s employment opportunities and, ultimately, their economic opportunities and society’s ability to achieve gender equality.
The Right Person For This Project: 
Andrea is the right person for the project because:
• She is committed to a career fighting against employment discrimination and for gender equality
• She has experience working with and for low-income women and developing know-your-rights materials and workshops
• She has experience in both legal and policy advocacy, working on employment discrimination litigation at the Department of Justice during law school and advocating for gender equality policy at Congress prior to law school
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship: 
In the first six months, Andrea will:
• Collaborate with workers’ rights groups to identify main challenges women workers are facing and the legal, policy, and advocacy assistance they most need
• Conduct research and analysis of the existing legal, policy, and regulatory landscape for pregnancy and caregiver discrimination, pay discrimination, and sexual harassment laws
• Develop advocacy networks in select states of state legislators and advocates committed to workplace equality
• Monitor court of appeals and Supreme Court cases for opportunities to submit amicus briefs or serve as co-counsel on high impact cases and begin assessing potential litigation claims through the National Women’s Law Center’s intake process

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