Colorado Rights Blog


  • Cedric Watkins is a father, uncle, entrepreneur-in-training, and a vital community pillar for many others. While behind bars, he has tirelessly devoted himself to serving his peers and his community. He developed gang disaffiliation programs for other incarcerated individuals and is currently involved with Defy Ventures. He sends letters and calls his daughter as much as he can.

    Cedric is currently in prison at Sterling Correctional Facility. He was convicted of aggravated robbery, burglary, kidnapping, theft and sentenced to 80 years; no one was seriously injured or killed. For comparison, a person convicted of second-degree murder in Colorado faces a maximum sentence of 48 years. Cedric has already served 20 years and has fully rehabilitated during that time.

    It’s time to bring Cedric home: Redemption is real. Clemency is compassion.

  • On November 21, 2016, 13 Aurora police officers responded to a simple noise complaint at Alberto Torres’s home. As happens all too often, Aurora police officers escalated this minor issue into a brutal affair. They beat Mr. Torres solely because he delayed exiting his garage to ask his wife to interpret for him. With that beating, the lives of Mr. Torres and every member of his family were changed and he has yet to recover. ACLU of Colorado fought to obtain justice for Mr. Torres, and Aurora has now paid him $285,000. But money is not justice, and the brutality of the Aurora Police Department against people of color has continued unabated.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Imagine, if instead of 13 officers being dispatched to Mr. Torres’s home for a noise complaint, the City of Aurora sent a civilian-led response team to check on his welfare and ask that he and his friends lower their sound, resulting in a non-violent solution to a minor issue?

    ACLU Settles Case With Aurora After Police Brutalize and Unlawfully Arrest Alberto Torres

  • Hope is a discipline. It’s a commitment that together, we can create a more perfect union. We won’t rest until we fulfill the promise of equal rights for ALL people in the United States.

    Join us in our fight to fulfill this promise and move forward with hope by donating to the ACLU of Colorado. Your donation supports the ACLU’s strengths that make our work effective and collaborative.

    Donate now at

  • Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.

    In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

Federal Court Allows Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit Against Frontier Airlines to Continue

July 15, 2021

DENVER — A federal court yesterday denied Frontier Airlines’ request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by four flight attendants who allege the company discriminates against pregnant and breastfeeding employees. The court’s action allows the class action lawsuit, which is a companion to a related case filed by four Frontier pilots, to move forward. 

The employees have alleged that Frontier denies accommodations to pregnant or breastfeeding flight attendants that would be given to other employees with a medical condition — such as when someone is temporarily unable to fly — which has led to pregnant and breastfeeding flight attendants being forced onto leave without pay. The lawsuit also challenges the company’s “dependability” policy, which has been used to penalize flight attendants who miss or are late to work because of pregnancy. 

  1. “It’s past time for Frontier Airlines, and the airline industry as a whole, to ensure flight attendants and pilots have access to the basic, common-sense accommodations they need to continue working while they’re pregnant or breastfeeding,” said Galen Sherwin, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union Women’s Rights Project. “Pregnancy discrimination was outlawed 40 years ago and there is no reason it should still be happening today.” 

“I love my job, and it was not an easy decision to bring a lawsuit against my employer. But no one else should have to face the choices I faced,” said Melissa Hodgkins, the lead named plaintiff in the case. “I’m encouraged that the court recognized that our case is valid. My fellow flight attendants and I, along with the pilots, look forward to proving that Frontier’s policies around pregnancy and breastfeeding are not only discriminatory and harmful, they are also illegal.” 

In addition to being forced onto unpaid leave during pregnancy and when they were breastfeeding, the complaint alleges that the named plaintiffs were forced to pump breast milk in unsanitary airplane lavatories, prohibited from pumping at all while they were at work, and forced to choose between their paycheck and continuing to breastfeed. In denying the motion to dismiss the case, the court recognized that these were the kind of harms that entitled the plaintiffs to bring a lawsuit, and further, that Frontier’s conduct as described in the case could violate state and federal antidiscrimination laws, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and a Colorado law that requires employers to provide accommodations for pumping.  

“There is no reason that businesses today can’t find ways to accommodate pregnant and breastfeeding workers,” said Juno Turner, Litigation Director of Towards Justice. “Now more than ever, it is in employers’ interest to keep willing workers on the job instead of forcing them onto unpaid leave. We’re glad the court recognized that failing to address the basic needs of pregnant and breastfeeding workers can be discriminatory, and that the airline industry does not get a pass.” 

The lawsuits were filed by the ACLU, the ACLU of Colorado, Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP, and Towards Justice. 

This statement is also online here: 


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