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Practice Areas & Representative Cases

Employment Discrimination

PILG attorneys assist clients who are unlawfully terminated or otherwise discriminated against based on their religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, or other protected classification.

  • Represented thirty-two Somali Muslim commercial fish processors in their claims of discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, and religion, negotiating changes to the employer's religious accommodations policies and a favorable monetary settlement.

  • Obtained jury verdict for former associate attorney of large Northwest law firm who was subjected to ongoing sexual harassment at the firm.

  • Negotiated pre-trial settlement to resolve employee's claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation and retaliation for taking medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

  • Filed lawsuit on behalf of disabled veteran whose employer refused to promptly reemploy him to a full-time management position after he returned from military leave, in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and obtained a favorable pre-trial settlement.

  • Represented a management-level female employee who was paid less than her male colleagues by state agency employer, negotiating a raise and back pay to compensate her for years of unequal pay.

  • Represented seven Muslim women claiming religious discrimination and wrongful termination by two national employers, based on the companies' refusal to allow the women to wear their religious clothing. Successfully negotiated settlement on each client's behalf.

  • Obtained pre-lawsuit settlement for breast cancer survivor with claims of disability discrimination and wrongful termination against large national retail employer.

  • Intervened on behalf of disabled job applicant who was denied reasonable accommodations during application process. Obtained compensation and accommodations resulting in employment.

  • Negotiated settlement on behalf of female employee who was sexually harassed and constructively discharged by co-owner of company where she worked.

  • Obtained compensation from employer that illegally fired commercial SCUBA diver on the basis of his HIV status.

  • Negotiated removal of disciplinary actions from personnel file, job transfer, and other accommodations on behalf of public employee with psychiatric disabilities.

  • Negotiated reinstatement of janitorial employee who was fired from her position because of her limited English skills.

  • Represented female commercial fishing employee before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, obtaining favorable settlement for her claims of sexual harassment and wrongful termination.

  • Negotiated pre-trial settlement for employee who was fired from his job as an airplane fueler after he complained about anti-gay discrimination in his workplace.

  • Represented former employee of a national weight loss company, challenging the company's discriminatory actions on the basis of the client's pregnancy. Successfully negotiated a settlement on client's behalf.

  • Secured compensation, job reinstatements, and workplace policy changes for sixteen aircraft service workers who were subjected to routine harassment, discrimination, and improper suspensions from their supervisor based on their race, religion, and national origin.

  • Negotiated favorable severance package for disabled university employee who was subjected to a hostile work environment.

  • Litigated claim of racial discrimination and obtained favorable settlement on behalf of former employee of national pharmaceutical company.

Wage Claims

PILG is committed to representing both high- and low-wage workers in challenging various types of wage, overtime, and contract violations.

  • Represented a class of 80 employees against former employer, CEO, and board members for failure to pay wages after the company went into receivership, successfully negotiating a settlement on their behalves.

  • Obtained settlement on behalf of high-tech worker who was denied overtime wages by a local software company.

  • Represented eight undocumented laborers and their foreman in claims for unpaid wages, securing recovery of their wages, with interest.

  • Negotiated pre-lawsuit settlement for eight restaurant workers whose wages were withheld when employer went out of business.

  • Litigated and resolved claims by truck driver whose employer denied him legally required break periods and failed to pay him for all hours worked.

  • Represented salesperson whose employer refused to pay earned commissions until after a lawsuit was filed. Obtained judgment from the Washington Court of Appeals, awarding client full compensation and requiring the employer to pay his attorney fees and litigation expenses.

  • Obtained judgment for unpaid wages, interest, and penalties for six immigrant construction laborers whose employer failed to pay them the full wages they were owed. 

  • Negotiated settlements for ten truck drivers who challenged their former employer's erroneous classification of the drivers as "independent contractors" rather than "employees" and the company's failure to pay all wages to which the drivers were entitled.

  • Represented undocumented restaurant worker challenging employer's failure to pay wages, winning an arbitration award for more than twice the wages owed.

  • Secured compensation for former employee of national baked-goods wholesaler who was denied lawful rest and meal breaks and forced to work off the clock.

Unemployment Claims

PILG routinely represents unemployed workers who have been wrongfully denied unemployment benefits.

Civil Rights

PILG strives to uphold individuals' rights to constitutional, fair, and humane treatment from their government.
  • Provided advice, advocacy, or direct client representation to almost 150 women to ensure adequate health care for inmates at Washington's largest women's prison.

  • In partnership with the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, filed class-action lawsuit challenging religious discrimination at large county jail, securing significant policy changes to protect inmates' religious freedoms.

  • Litigated Eighth Amendment and ADA claims on behalf of prisoner who was denied necessary medical treatment related to amputated leg.  Obtained financial compensation for client, as well as court order requiring prison officials to provide medically necessary care.

  • Represented detainee and former detainee, held at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, in their claims of civil rights and international human rights violations, including claims for abusive use of physical force and sexual harassment, successfully negotiating settlements on clients' behalves, and effecting changes in conditions at the detention center.

  • Successfully appealed judgment against unrepresented prisoner who was punished with solitary confinement for exercising his First Amendment right to criticize the prison superintendent, obtaining a ruling that the prison officials' actions were unconstitutional. Subsequently prevailed before the Washington Supreme Court, which ordered defendant state officials to pay client's legal fees.

  • Secured a federal court injunction requiring prison officials to provide necessary medical care to an inmate with a painful shoulder injury.

  • Negotiated a settlement on behalf of former prisoner who challenged state officials' actions in keeping him incarcerated more than a year beyond the date he should have been released, in violation of the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution and other laws.

Other Public Interest Litigation

PILG regularly accepts cases challenging violations of laws designed to protect the public interest, as well as cases where a successful outcome will improve the law or circumstances for persons beyond the individual clients who are pursuing the claim.

  • In partnership with lawyers from Columbia Legal Services, represented female prisoners in Washington in class action seeking to reduce the risk of sexual assaults by prison guards. Negotiated substantial settlements for five individual clients who were sexually assaulted by prison staff while incarcerated and secured broad court-ordered changes to prison policies and procedures.

  • On behalf of labor union, obtained judgment against private security company for failing to give legally-required notice of a mass layoff of over 200 employees under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

  • Litigated claims on behalf of former inmate who was denied the right to inspect public records documenting his treatment in a county jail. Litigation resulted in an admission by the County that it violated the state's Public Records Act, access to requested records, and a financial settlement for the client.

  • Successfully negotiated the termination of franchise agreements, breached in violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act, and obtained compensation for immigrant client franchisees.

  • Recovered compensation for two employees of national rental car company who were fired for engaging in concerted activity protected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

  • Represented several community groups fighting large health care insurer's attempt to convert from nonprofit to for-profit status. The Washington State Insurance Commissioner denied the insurer's application to become a for-profit corporation, finding that such a conversion would harm Washington consumers. Although the insurer appealed to the Washington Supreme Court, the case settled prior to the hearing, resulting in the insurer retaining its nonprofit status.

  • Obtained judgment for several community groups challenging the constitutionality of a Tim Eyman-sponsored initiative designed to limit state and local governments' fundraising capacity. The Washington Supreme Court upheld the judgment on appeal.