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Claudia Center is a Senior Staff Attorney and Director of the Disability Rights Program at the Legal Aid Society - Employment Law Center. She has been with the LAS-ELC since 1995. Ms. Center litigates cases that secure workplace accommodations and increase protections for disabled workers, is actively engaged in appellate and amicus work, and worked on the drafting of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. In 1999 and 2000, she played a key role in the passage of comprehensive amendments to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act that broadened protections for persons with disabilities. In Fall 2001, she argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in US Airways, Inc. v. Barnett, a case that clarified a case that clarified in a positive manner the scope of “reasonable accommodations” for disabled employees. In 1997, Ms. Center established the LIBRA Project, a special initiative to advance the employment rights of persons with mental disabilities. In 2009, Ms. Center received the Paul G. Hearne Award for Disability Rights, presented annually by the ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law.
Prior to coming to the LAS-ELC, Ms. Center received the Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship to work as an attorney at the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) in Washington, D.C. She received her J.D. from the U.C. Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law in 1992 and her B.A. in Government and African Studies from Wesleyan University in 1987.