HARTFORD — With recent news of the Supreme Court’s ruling that makes it harder for employees to sue their employer for job discrimination, one local law firm highlights the fact that all kinds of discrimination are practiced in Connecticut.
McCarter & English recently received the “George J. and Patricia K. Ritter Pro Bono Award” created by the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, a small, statewide civil rights law firm based in Hartford. CFHC provides legal representation and assistance for people who are victims of housing discrimination. Partner Moy Ogilvie and associates Cullen Guilmartin and Jordan Abbott were recognized on June 13 for their work with the CFHC at its 5th Annual Loving Civil Rights Award Dinner which was held at The Bond Ballroom.
Earlier this year, the attorneys, in conjunction with the CFHC, successfully resolved a housing discrimination case that they began litigating in early 2011. The case involved an elderly gentleman who was discriminated against by a landlord for indicating during the application process that he would be paying for his rent using a Section 8 voucher. A settlement was reached in which the firm’s client received one of the largest amounts that a victim of source of income discrimination in Connecticut has ever collected. The client is scheduled to move into his apartment later this fall.
“Housing discrimination deeply impacts individuals, families, neighborhoods and even entire cities,” said Moy Ogilvie, who worked on the matter and is a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee. “As residents of this community, we have a continued responsibility to help those individuals at risk of being unlawfully denied basic opportunities such as renting or purchasing a home. McCarter & English appreciates this honor and looks forward to continuing our work with the CFHC.”
McCarter’s Pro Bono Director, Emily Goldberg, added: “Source of income discrimination against Section 8 voucher recipients is a rampant issue throughout the country. We are very proud of the work this team did in vindicating our client’s rights.”
The Ritter Pro Bono Award is named for two long-time Hartford residents who were active in local politics and served as community activist, particularly around housing issues for poor and working families. The award honors the generous pro bono work of the law firms that help CFHC with difficult legal cases.
“McCarter & English has been a key supporter of the Connecticut Fair Housing Center,” said CFHC Executive Director Erin Kemple. “We truly appreciate their continued commitment to the Center, to fair housing, and to the individuals and families who benefit directly from their generous assistance.”