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Cornell and Syracuse Clinics Win Settlement for Client in Pregnancy Discrimination Case

The Cornell Gender Justice Clinic and the Syracuse Disability Rights Clinic settled a pregnancy discrimination case on behalf of their client, Marlo Del Toro, in August 2018, following nearly three years of litigation and negotiation.

With the support of the Gender Justice Clinic, supervised by Professor Liz Brundige and clinical teaching fellow Sharon Pia Hickey, Ms. Del Toro had filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) and New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR) arguing that her employer had refused to accommodate her pregnancy-related medical conditions and unlawfully terminated her employment because of her pregnancy and disability. Following a fact-finding hearing, the NYSDHR found probable cause of discrimination. The Gender Justice Clinic, together with Professor Michael Schwartz and his students in Syracuse Law School’s Disability Rights Clinic and attorney Larry Vozzo, who joined the case as co-counsel, then filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.

The settlement built upon these procedural developments and reflects the hard work and valuable collaboration of the Cornell and Syracuse Clinic students, including Elizabeth Denning ’19, Shelbi Vaughn ’18, Dara Brown ’18, Blair Baker ’18, Samantha Elliot ’17, Saloni Patel ’16, SeongHuon Lee ’16, Christina Kalebic SU ’19, and Vincent Esteves SU ’19.

Reflecting on her case and work with the clinics, Del Toro said, “I have so much peace after receiving this settlement. I am so grateful for my team and their dedication to my case.”

According to Cornell student Elizabeth Denning, “Working on this case was an invaluable experience. Not only was I able to use my legal skills to positively impact the life of another, but I was also able to gain first-hand legal experience and skills that I will continue to use throughout my career.” She continued, “I am so glad that Marlo has settled her case and that this long legal journey is finally over for her.”

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