Position: Managing Director, Litigation
Attorneys, Staff Leadership
Michelle Caiola is Managing Director of Litigation at Disability Rights Advocates. Joining DRA in 2015, Ms. Caiola helped grow DRA’s New York office. In the last several years she has filed and litigated more than a dozen class-wide disability discrimination cases alleging violations of federal and state disability law. These lawsuits include several challenging the MTA’s lack of elevator access in the New York City subway system, the treatment of children with disabilities in New York City’s public schools, and the pervasive inaccessible paths of travel found at the City’s street corners.
Prior to joining DRA, Ms. Caiola acquired extensive federal class litigation experience as a Senior Trial Attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) working on disability discrimination in employment as well as ground-breaking pattern or practice cases related to sexual harassment and glass-ceiling pay and promotion discrimination.
Ms. Caiola also served as the Litigation Director at several non-profit organizations: Legal Momentum in New York City, formerly the NOW Legal Defense Fund, and the San Francisco-based Equal Rights Advocates (ERA). In both positions, 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.
Hailing originally from the Midwest, Ms. Caiola earned her J.D. with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law, spent a year at Washington University in St. Louis Law School, and graduated cum laude from Kent State University in Ohio.
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