Michelle A. Caiola

Michelle Caiola Headshot

Position: Director of Litigation
Email: mcaiola@dralegal.org

Michelle Caiola is the Director of Litigation in Disability Rights Advocate’s New York Office. Prior to joining DRA in 2015, Michelle served as the Legal Director at the San Francisco based Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) and the Litigation Director at Legal Momentum in New York City, formerly the NOW Legal Defense Fund. In both positions, she managed an active employment discrimination docket and engaged in advocacy and policy work related to sex discrimination. One particular area of her focus was expanding the intersection of disability and pregnancy discrimination laws to protect women working in low-wage and non-traditional jobs.

Before entering the arena of non-profit organizations, Ms. Caiola acquired extensive federal class litigation experience as a Senior Trial Attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for over 10 years, working in the field offices in St. Louis, Minneapolis, Chicago and New York. In the Chicago office, Ms. Caiola worked on a ground-breaking pattern or practice sexual harassment case, EEOC v. Mitsubishi. She was also the lead attorney on EEOC v. Morgan Stanley, a class case alleging sex discrimination in pay and promotion that eventually settled for $54 million dollars. Prior to her departure from EEOC, she was litigating a cutting edge pattern or practice case of pregnancy and caregiver discrimination against Bloomberg, L.P. She was awarded the Chair’s Organizational Award, EEOC’s highest honor, on three occasions.

Ms. Caiola began her legal career at a plaintiff’s side employment firm and also volunteered on behalf of battered women seeking protective orders. Ms. Caiola earned her J.D., with distinction, from the University of Iowa College of Law and graduated cum laude from Kent State University.

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