Legislative Advocacy

2019 Legislative Session Testimony

Legislative Advocacy

2020 Legislative Session Testimony

Legislative Advocacy

2021 Legislative Session Testimony

Legislative Advocacy

2018 Legislative Session Testimony

Our Resources
CT Campaign for Paid Family Leave

All workers deserve access to paid family and medical leave to recover from a serious illness, welcome a child, or care for a loved one. The Campaign for Paid Family Leave is a coalition led by CWEALF that advocated for the passage of one of the strongest paid leave laws in the nation in 2019 and is now focused on the implementation of Connecticut’s new paid leave program.

Legal Advocacy

Amicus Briefs 

For the past thirty years, CWEALF has written and participated in amicus curiae briefs in order to ensure that women’s concerns are heard when laws are enacted or reformed. The following is annotated listing of those briefs related to family, education, civil rights and employment law.

Family Matters

Adoption
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  • In re Adoption of Baby Z, 1999
  • In re Adoption of CCG and ZCG, 2000
  • In re Adoption of RBF and RCF, 2000

Custody/Visitation
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  • Ireland v. Ireland, 1998
  • State of Connecticut v. Anthony Vakilzaden, 1999
  • Troxel v. Granville, 1999
  • T.B. v. L.R.M., 2001

Child Support

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  • Boris v. Blaisdell, 1985
  • Bowen v. Gilliard, 1987

Divorce and Property Distribution – Pension Plans

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  • Tirmenstein v. Tirmenstein, 1989
  • Adams v. Adams, 1989
  • Berrington v. Berrington, 1993
  • Krafick v. Krafick, 1995

Equal Education for Girls and Women
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Athletics/Title IX
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  • Cohen v. Brown University, 1996
  • Klinger v. Department of Corrections, 1997
  • Boucher v. Syracuse University, 1999
  • Curetan v. NCAA, 1999
  • Smith v. NCAA, 2001
  • Brentwood Academy v. Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, 2000
  • Communities for Equity v. Michigan High School Athletic Association, 2003
  • Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education, 2005

 

Sexual Harassment (School)
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  • Rowinsky v. Bryan Independent School District, 1996 (school – peer sexual harassment)
  • Bruneau v. South Kortright School District, 1998 (school – employer liability)
  • Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, 1999 (school – peer harassment)
  • Murrell v. School District No. 1, 1999 (school – peer harassment)
  • Reed v. Edelwich, 1996 (school – employer liability)
  • Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District, 1998 (school – employer liability)
  • Canty v. Old Rochester Regional School District, 1999 (school – § 1983 + Title IX)
  • Gleason v. Board of Trustees of Salem State College, 2000 (school – § 1983 + Title IX)
  • Litman v. George Mason University, 2004
  • Simpson v. University of Colorado, 2007
  • J.K. v. Arizona Board of Regents, 2008

Racial Discrimination

  • PICS v. Seattle School District, 2007

Workplace Issues
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Employment Discrimination

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  • Walters v. Metropolitan Educational Enterprises, Inc, 1996
  • Bryan County v. Brown, 1997
  • Atkinson v. Lafayette, 2006
  • Burlington Northern v. White, 2006
  • Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 2007

Sex Discrimination
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  • Board of Directors of Rotary International v. Rotary Club of Duarte, 1987
  • United Auto Workers (UAW) v. Johnson Controls, 1991
  • J.E.B. v. Alabama ex. rel. T.B., 1994
  • State of Connecticut v. Walker, 1994
  • Faulkner v. Jones (the Citadel case), 1995
  • United States of America v. Virginia, 1995
  • United States of America v. Virginia, 1996
  • In re: Union Pacific Railroad Employment Practices Litigation, 2008

Sexual Harassment
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  • Newsday, Inc. v. Long Island Typographical Union, No. 915, 1990
  • Comments to Proposed Guidelines on Harassment Based on Race, Color, Religion, Gender, National Origin, Age, and Disability, 1993
  • Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc., 1993
  • Gary v. Long, 1995
  • CHRO ex. rel. Bilodeau v. United Technologies, Pratt & Whitney, 1996
  • Angelsea Productions v. Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, 1996
  • Jenson v. Eleventh Taconite Co., 1997
  • Keslar v. Bartu, 2000
  • Brittell v. State of Connecticut Department of Corrections, 1998
  • Oncale v. Sundowner, 1998
  • Rocque v. Freedom of Information Commission, 2001
  • Pollard v. DuPont, 2001

Discrimination – Pregnancy
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  • In re Valerie D., 1992
  • Ferguson v. City of Charleston, 2000

Family and Medical Leave Act

  • Testimony and Comments to the Advisory Commission on     Intergovernmental Relations Regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act,     1996
  • Hibbs v. Nevada Department of Human Resources, 2003

Discrimination
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Discrimination – Language Proficiency

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  • Alexander v. Sandoval, 2000

Discrimination – Sexual Orientation
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  • Steffan v. Aspin, 1994
  • Romer v. Evans, 1996
  • Thomas v. Anchorage, 2000
  • CHRO/John-Jane Doe, 2000
  • Boy Scouts of America v. Wyman, 2003
  • Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health, 2007

Discrimination – Domestic Violence
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  • Freedom of Information Commission v. Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven, Inc., 1998
  • Doe v. Doe, 1996
  • Culberson v. Doan, 1998
  • White v. El Gabri; Bentley v. El Gabri, 1998
  • Tsitaridis v. Tsitaridis, 2007

Reproductive Health – Buffer Zones
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  • Pro-Choice Network of Western New York v. Schenck, 1995
  • Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western New York, 1997
  • United States and Connecticut v. Scott, 1999
  • Hill v. Colorado, 2000
  • People of the State of New York v. Operation Rescue National, 2001
  • McGuire v. Reilly, 2001

Reproductive Health – Other
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  • Ohio v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 1989
  • Hodgson v. Minnesota, 1989
  • Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 1989
  • Turner v. Ragsdale, 1989
  • Rust v. Sullivan together with New York v. Sullivan, 1991
  • Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 1992
  • Winters v. Costco, 1995
  • Hope v. Perales, 1995
  • Letter to EEOC on Contraceptive Coverage, 1999
  • Stenberg v. Carhart, 2000
  • Bost v. Low-Income Women of Texas, 2002
  • Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, 2006

Sexual Assault
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  • United States v. Lanier, 1997
  • Commonwealth v. Fischer, 1998
  • Letter to the FBI regarding the definition of rape for purposes of the Uniform Crime Report (UCR), 2001
  • In re Jonathan; Matthew G. v. State of Connecticut, 2002     Top of Page
Legislative Advocacy

Advocating for Women and Girls

CWEALF protects and promotes the rights of women and girls* by identifying and articulating the challenges they face and elevating their interests and voices through public policy and advocacy.

Read CWEALF’s 2021 Legislative Agenda in English or Español

*Our work supports women and girls who identify as cisgender, transgender, and non-binary as well as people of all marginalized gender identities systemically and historically oppressed by those in power.

CWEALF’s Legal Education Program helps us to understand the significant needs of women and girls throughout the state. To achieve better opportunities for women, CWEALF leads policy coalitions, offers public testimony, and collaborates with community partners.

CWEALF fights gender discrimination and advances the rights, opportunities and status of women and girls, with a focus on:

  • Economic Security and Success
  • Access to Justice
  • Workplace and Education Equity
  • Freedom from Violence and Harassment
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

In addition to legislative monitoring, CWEALF leads coalitions on critical issues of equity in Connecticut. Currently, CWEALF leads the following coalitions:

As Chair of the Campaign for Paid Family Leave, CWEALF will monitor the implementation of paid family and medical leave to ensure the program is transparent, user-friendly, and prioritizes the most underserved Connecticut residents.

The Family Law Working Group: a diverse coalition of attorneys, advocates, legal professionals, and family law practitioners convened to monitor legislative proposals and task forces, ensuring fairness in laws relating to divorce, child support, alimony, and custody.

Guiding the Family Law Working Group’s work is CWEALF’s study, “Outcomes of Marriage Dissolution in Connecticut: an Empirical Study of Divorce, Custody, and Financial Support in 2012.” This study and report reviewed divorce cases in the year 2012.  Among many findings, this study found a decrease in child support orders, increased contact between fathers and children, efficient case processing, attorney representation in only approximately half of the cases, and weak economic circumstances for both parties, with a significant disparity in women’s financial standing.  Click here to read the full report.

CT Collective for Women and Girls

The Connecticut Collective for Women and Girls is a collaborative of organizations committed to the advancement of women and girls, including those who are cisgender, transgender, and non-binary, in the state of Connecticut. The Collective is a network that brings participating organizations together to highlight and amplify their work while drawing on the collective power of collaboration and working together.

Why is the Collective important to advance women and girls?

Many organizations in the state of Connecticut are doing critical work to transform the lives of women and girls everywhere. But, too often, these organizations operate separately, leading to silos. Thus, the CCWG expands our strength as a collective force. It builds on participants’ individual assets with a community network of organizations that uplift and amplify each other’s work. The very act of coming together in this way increases each organization’s impact to advance rights and opportunities for women and girls in Connecticut.

Who is involved?

Collective participants are organizations throughout the state with expertise in fields such as girls’ leadership, entrepreneurship, violence against women, reproductive care, civic engagement, and more. They have a shared commitment to advance the rights and opportunities of women and girls, aligned with the Collective’s shared values. Collective participants drive the vision, agenda, and priorities. They also drive the solutions.

How did the Collective form?

The Connecticut Collective for Women and Girls was born from a conversation between former CWEALF Executive Director Kate Farrar and Director of Development at The Community Foundation for Women and Girls Sharon Cappetta at the 2016 United State of Women Summit. What came from an event that convened women and girls serving organizations in Connecticut was the idea to come together as a collective to further maximize impact.

Participating Members


AAUW-CT

CCADV
Commission on Women Children and Seniors
Community Renewal Team (CRT)
Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence
CT Black Women
Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO)
CT NOW
CT Women’s Consortium
CT Women’s Hall of Fame
CWEALF
Girls For Technology
Girl Scouts of CT
Girls With Impact
Interval House
Institute for Community Research
League of Women Voters CT
LiveGirl
Love146
Ms President US
NARAL CT
National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault (SCESA)
PCSW Inc. 
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England
Project Resiliency Movement LLC
Random Hacks of Kindness Junior
The Rowan Center
The United State of Women, Greater Hartford
True Colors
UConn Women and Philanthropy Network, UConn Foundation
Women Against Mass Incarceration
Women’s Business Development Council
Women and Family Life Center
Women’s Leadership Center, University of St. Joseph
Women’s March CT 
Women’s Mentoring Network
YWCA Greenwich
YWCA Hartford Region 

Funders include:

Aurora Foundation for Women and Girls
Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Women and Girls Fund
Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Community Fund for Women and Girls
Community Foundation of Middlesex County, Sari A. Rosenbaum Fund for Women & Girls
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Fund for Women & Girls
Main St. Community Foundation, Women & Girls’ Fund
Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, The Women & Girls Fund

Want to learn more CLICK HERE or take the first step to join the Connecticut Collective for Women and Girls today, just CLICK HERE.

Representing Yourself

The legal term for representing yourself is Pro Se.  Many of our clients find that they are unable to afford an attorney and do not qualify for free legal assistance.  There are many resources available to you if you are representing yourself.

CWEALF offers the assistance of our community advocate.  Our community advocate is available to meet with clients one-on-one to assist in navigation of the court system, proper forms, and provide support in an emotionally charged situation.  While CWEALF does assist clients in this way, we do not have attorneys on staff and cannot provide legal advice.  To make an appointment to meet with the advocate, call (860) 247-6090.

CWEALF and other organizations publish informational booklets on legal topics that can be helpful to clients representing themselves:

In addition to these publications, the specific steps and forms necessary to file for divorce can be found on our website here. The forms to file for custody can be found here.

Disclaimer: These booklets are intended to help individuals understand their legal rights. These booklets are not a substitute for the personalized legal advice of an attorney. CWEALF makes referrals to attorneys who specialize in these areas.