CREEC and allies file amicus brief on mootness question in SSA overpayment case

“Oiling the squeaky wheel should never erase the responsibility of our government to treat all of us fairly.” –Lindsay Nako, Impact Fund On June 24, 2016, CREEC, Impact Fund, and Justice in Aging, joined by a coalition of twelve other nonprofit allies, filed an amicus brief in the Fourth Circuit in a case against the Social Security Administration. The court will review SSA’s attempt to unilaterally moot the claims of potential class representatives challenging SSA’s practices for recouping alleged benefit overpayments that happened many years ago. The brief emphasizes the economic vulnerability of those affected by SSA’s ongoing policies and practices, and the importance of preserving access to class actions as a way to address these issues in a systemic fashion. To learn more about the case and the brief, check out Impact Fund’s blog...

Lauren Fontana Named one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40

CREEC Staff Attorney Lauren Fontana was selected as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 – Class of 2016 by the National LGBT Bar Association. The awardees will be recognized at a ceremony on Friday, August 5, 2016 at the 2016 Lavender Law Conference. Each year, the LGBT Bar recognizes LGBT legal professionals (practicing lawyers, law professors, corporate counsel, members of the judiciary, politicians, etc.) under the age of 40 who have distinguished themselves in their field and have demonstrated a profound commitment to LGBT equality. Big congrats to Lauren on this well-deserved...

LGBTQ Groups Call for Unity in the Wake of Orlando Shooting

From the Arcus Foundation: Collective resolve across national, racial and political lines will be required to turn the tide against anti-LGBTQ violence. We the undersigned organizations working on the front lines of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) movement share in the profound grief for those who were killed and many more who were wounded during Latin Night at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Their lives were lost or forever altered in this devastating act of violence targeting LGBTQ people. Our hearts go out to all the family and friends touched by this horrific act. We know their lives will never be the same again. This national tragedy happened against the backdrop of anti-LGBTQ legislation sweeping this country and we must not forget that in this time of grief. Unity and organized response in the face of hatred is what we owe the fallen and the grieving. Collective resolve across national, racial and political lines will be required to turn the tide against anti-LGBTQ violence. Our response to this horrific act, committed by one individual, will have deep impact on Muslim communities in this country and around the world. We as an intersectional movement cannot allow anti-Muslim sentiment to be the focal point as it distracts from the larger issue, which is the epidemic of violence that LGBTQ people, including those in the Muslim community, are facing in this country. The animus and violence toward LGBTQ people is not news to our community. It is our history, and it is our reality. In 1973, 32 LGBTQ people died in an arson fire at an LGBTQ Upstairs Lounge...

CREEC Helps Client Obtain Reimbursement for Gender-Affirming Surgery

Today, CREEC announced a resolution for client Kendrick W., a transgender employee of a Bay Area start-up company who was denied insurance coverage for transition-related surgery due to an exclusion in his employer’s health insurance plan. Kendrick contacted CREEC shortly before his planned surgery. CREEC helped Kendrick negotiate a resolution with his employer so Kendrick could have the surgery on the scheduled date and be fully reimbursed for the costs. “I was really upset when I found out my insurance company refused to cover the surgery. I’m grateful to CREEC for helping me get reimbursed, and I felt so much better going into the surgery knowing that I would not have to pay for it myself,” said Kendrick. “We’re pleased with the resolution. A transgender employee should not have to pay out of pocket for medically necessary procedures when the company’s insurance plan covers the same procedures for people who aren’t transgender,” said Julie Wilensky, Director of CREEC’s California...

Welcome, Amis!

CREEC extends a warm welcome to Amis Pan, our summer law clerk. Amis is a member of the Berkeley Law class of 2018 and is working in CREEC’s California office this summer.