In 1996 a senseless act of violence ended Chet Levitt's life. Chet was an associate in the Washington DC employment law firm Cashdan Golden & Kane. In his memory several of Chet's friends and members of his family, with the cooperation of the National Employee Rights Institute, now operating as Workplace Fairness, created the Chet Levitt Fund For Employment Law to honor Chet's life and his work in pursuit of equal rights in the workplace. The Fund supports deserving employment and civil rights cases.
The Fund does this by providing interest free grant/loans. If successful, the plaintiff pledges to reimburse the Fund. Moneys awarded by the Fund may only be used towards expenses and not for attorney's fees. For more information about the Fund, or to apply for a grant, go to www.chetlevittfund.org.
Initially the Chet Levitt Fund was designed as a pilot project to service cases in the greater Washington DC metropolitan area that would also serve as an inspiration and model for the creation of similar funds in other areas of the country. Over the years the Fund has expanded its operations, awarding interest free grants/loans to cases outside of the greater Washington DC metropolitan area. It will continue to do at least so at least until similar funds are created with the encouragement of Workplace Fairness for other parts of the country.
Here are some examples of grants given:
- $2,500 in a disability discrimination case involving diabetes in Washington, DC;
- $2,000 for a whistleblower case in Delaware;
- $2,500 for an FMLA case in Northern Virginia;
- $2,400 to a minimum wage and overtime case in the District of Columbia;
- $3,000 to a sex harassment case in Florida;
- $1,500 and $3,000 for a negligent hiring, sexual abuse case in Virginia;
- $2,000 for a gender discrimination case in Atlanta, Georgia;
- $2,500 for a race discrimination and whistleblower case in Hayward, California.
Although modest in size, the loan/grants awarded by the Fund, have generated vital "staying power." In several instances our grants have provided the wherewithal for a critical deposition, the expense of an expert, or an independent medical examination that have then led to advantageous and sizeable settlements.
While the majority of the cases funded have had successful outcomes and over time the Fund has been reimbursed, the resources of the Fund are quite limited. Workplace Fairness calls upon you to continue and increase the level of your support so the Fund can grow. The Fund will then be able to make much larger grants to many deserving cases. With your help a dynamic Fund and lasting tribute to Chet will thrive.
Please make checks payable to "Workplace Fairness-Chet Levitt Fund" and send them to:
The Chet Levitt Fund
1150 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Joshua Jeremiah Morrow died unexpectedly on September 22, 2003 at the age of 32. Born in Dayton, Ohio, Josh was a partner in the Columbus firm of Marshall & Morrow, LLC, where he practiced employment and civil rights law.
In his relatively short time in practice, Josh made a huge impact in the fight for employee's rights. He briefed, argued and won significant cases in the Supreme Court of Ohio and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as litigating numerous cases in the lower courts. He was active in many legal organizations, including the National Employment Lawyers Association, the Ohio Employment Lawyers Association, the Columbus Employment Lawyers Association, the Franklin County Trial Lawyers Association, and the Franklin Inns of Court, as well as serving on the Franklin Democratic Party Executive Committee and Judicial Screening Committee. Josh also served on the Board of the Association of Developmentally Disabled, and was active in many church and community groups.
In his honor, the Ohio Employment Lawyers Association renamed the litigation fund it sponsors through Workplace Fairness as the Josh Morrow Ohio Workplace Fairness Litigation Fund. This fund provides interest-free loans to plaintiffs in worthy employment actions to pay litigation expenses when the plaintiffs themselves are unable to do so. These loans provide the necessary support for employees to continue to fight for their rights in the face of sometimes very long odds. The loan recipients must pledge to repay the loans if they are successful in their claims. The Josh Morrow Fund will forgive loans made to plaintiffs who are not successful. In this manner, Josh's work, and spirit, lives on.
The Josh Morrow Fund is dependent upon donations as well as loan repayments to remain a viable resource for employees. Please consider making a donation today. Donations may be sent to the Josh Morrow Fund treasurer:
The Josh Morrow Ohio Workplace Fairness Litigation Fund
Sheila M. Smith
Freking & Betz, LLC
525 Vine Street, 6th Floor
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Request loan applications from Sheila Smith at the address above, or from the Josh Morrow Fund co-chairs:
55 Public Square
Cleveland, OH 44113
Grant & Eisenhofer, PA
2406 Auburn Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45219