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Legal Advocacy Fund

LAF Chair:  Marcine Humphrey,  845-485-7697               

The Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) works to challenge sex discrimination in higher education and the workplace. Sex discrimination today takes a variety of forms: unfair pay, pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 can affect both women and men. LAF addresses these barriers by informing people of their rights and using the legal system to seek justice and change.  At the local level, AAUW branches provide programs to raise awareness of sexual harassment and sexual assault on campus, equal pay, salary negotiation and Title IX. 

The Poughkeepsie Branch makes an annual contribution to AAUW's Legal Advocacy Fund, which is part of the AAUW national organization. On a national level, LAF provides case support, education about your rights on campus or in the workplace, and provides grants for those branches who wish to offer programs on these subjects.
For more information>>

If you would like to make a contribution to the Legal Advocacy Fund, please click


 Updates on LAF Cases

For the recent updates on the work of the Legal Advocacy Fund, please visit Legal Advocacy Fund cases at LAF Cases or visit AAUW's blog.


Article from "The Branch," September 2018, Aileen Rizo's case>>

by Marcine Humphrey


Aileen Rizo’s Case Continues

Yovino v. Rizo (Formerly Rizo v. Fresno County Office of Education)

On August 30, 2018, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools filed a petition for appeal with the Supreme Court of the United States to challenge the decision reached by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which found in favor of Aileen holding that using prior salary alone, as a “factor other than sex,” or in combination with other factors cannot justify a wage differential under the Equal Pay Act.  Pay equity is a matter of simple fairness.  This case highlights a significant underlying factor that contributes to the pay gap: employers’ practice of relying on an employee’s salary history to set new salary levels.

On February 25, 2019, the Supreme Court vacated and remanded the Ninth Circuit’s decision, which means that they determined that the Ninth Circuit’s decision was flawed and must be sent back to the appellate court for additional review.  The Court arrived at this conclusion without reviewing the merits of the equal pay case, focusing solely on the second issue presented before the Court, which was whether a federal court can count the vote of a judge who dies before the decision is issued.  AAUW has been fighting for Aileen and others by advocating for pay equity and fairness in compensation and benefits as a means to achieve economic self-sufficiency for all women.  We will continue to support her case through our legal case support program.

The Story behind the Rizo Case:

In 2012, Rizo says, a male colleague who had recently been hired mentioned that he had been placed at step nine on the county’s 10-step pay scale.  Rizo was shocked — she had been placed at step one on the scale when she began her job, even though she understood that she had more experience and seniority than her male colleague.  Rizo says that after filing an internal complaint, she was told that the FCOE based new employees’ salaries on just one factor: the employee’s salary history.  On the basis of the county’s policy it seemed that Rizo’s less-experienced colleague was given a higher salary only because he had been paid more at his previous job than she had been paid at her previous job.

This is just one way that women, historically paid 80 cents to the dollar a man earns are victimized by pay inequality.

On April 9, 2018, the Ninth Circuit held that using prior salary alone, as a “factor other than sex,” or in combination with other factors cannot justify a wage differential, further reasoning that this would allow employers to profit on this inequity and perpetuate a gender wage gap in direct contrast with the intent of the Equal Pay Act of 1963.


Evvie Currie Giving Circle

Evvie Currie Giving Circle

The Evvie Currie Campus Outreach Giving Circle supports local branches in their efforts to provide programs on college campuses that further the work of the Legal Advocacy Fund. All grants from this fund are used in New York State.  If you would like your contribution to go directly to this fund click here. 



Contact: Marcine Humphrey,  845-485-7697     

Check back in Summer 2019


Thanks to all the AAUW members for their continuing support of this event.

Thanks to the Highland Rotary Club for sponsoring this event for 14 years!

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Content © 2001-2019 Poughkeepsie Branch of the American Association of University Women, Inc, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
Website comments are welcome and may be directed to Mary King. This page last updated on Mar 8, 2019