LAF (#3999) is one of the sub-funds of the Economic & Security Fund.
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.
AAUW’s Legal Advocacy Fund addresses these barriers by informing people of their rights and using the legal system to seek justice and change. LAF was created in 1981 by AAUW members and has provided millions of dollars to balance the scales of justice for people working toward gender equity through the legal system.
We support brave plaintiffs seeking legal redress for equal pay, Title IX, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and tenure denial violations. We allocate $100,000 annually to help fund landmark cases, such as Wal-Mart v. Dukes and Cioca v. Rumsfeld, as well was cases with the potential to set future precedents like Rizo v. Fresno County Office of Education.
CURRENT LAF CASES
LAF challenges sex discrimination in higher education and the workplace.
AAUW has provided millions of dollars to support hundreds of cases. Learn more about current cases we are supporting.
MaChelle Joseph is the former Head Coach of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s women’s basketball team, which she successfully led for 16 years. The university’s athletic department, however, afforded Coach Joseph and her team significantly fewer benefits and resources than it provided to the men’s basketball team. Soon after Coach Joseph filed a complaint about this discriminatory treatment, the university suspended and ultimately terminated her employment. (Adopted December 2021)
Dr. Audrey K. Miller, an expert in gender violence, trauma, and forensic psychology, was a tenure-track Assistant Professor of psychology at Sam Houston State University. Despite her excellent performance reviews and nominations for university awards, Dr. Miller was denied promotion and tenure after she expressed concern to administrators about discriminatory treatment that she and other women in her department had experienced. (Adopted December 2021)
Three women, each of whom worked for USAID for more than 27 years in overseas posts, achieved the highest rank in the Senior Foreign Service (Career Minister). But in 2016, each discovered that, despite their greater seniority and higher rank, they were paid considerably less than dozens of lower ranking and less experienced male Senior Foreign Service officers. (Adopted August 2020)
Chelsey Glasson had a long history of exceptional performance at the tech companies she worked for — until she began to speak out against the pregnancy discrimination she witnessed and then began to experience herself as a Google employee. (Adopted August 2020)
Jennifer J. Freyd has been a Professor in the University of Oregon’s Psychology Department for more than 30 years and is a national leader in the field of trauma psychology. She is the most senior staff member of University of Oregon’s Psychology Department based on years in rank. Her salary, however, is substantially less than that of several of her less-senior male colleagues. (Adopted 2019)
To ensure access to education for women and girls, AAUW advocates for the full protections of Title IX. AAUW’s Legal Advocacy Fund supports this case to reform the sexual assault hearing process on campuses. Currently, alleged assailants have multiple opportunities to re-victimize survivors through the hearings process, under the guise of due process. (Adopted 2017)
Portz v. St. Cloud State University et al. is a case involving 10 female student athletes who filed a lawsuit against St. Cloud State University (SCSU) and Minnesota State College and University Systems alleging violations of Title IX. (Adopted 2017)