At Levy Ratner, Dana Lossia takes on racism and sexism by representing plaintiffs in both individual and class action employment discrimination litigation that can reshape the environment – like a $78.2 million recovery against the City of New York for discrimination against black firefighters. “Working with the firefighter plaintiffs was just incredible – this group of plaintiffs is so smart and savvy and tenacious,” Dana says. “They’d known forever that the FDNY had set up barriers to employing black firefighters, but they couldn’t find lawyers willing to take on this massive case. They kept documenting disparities and collecting data and building this amazing case,” says Dana. “Levy Ratner, along with the Center for Constitutional Rights, helped them kick the doors open. The way the FDNY hires firefighters for New York City is forever changed, and several hundred new black firefighters are on the job.”
Dana also negotiates on behalf of clients to secure advantageous hiring packages and to craft separation agreements that bring peace to the end of an employment relationship. “Losing a job is an incredibly painful and searing experience for a client,” Dana observes. “Even when a client leaves a job voluntarily, there can be fears surrounding that decision. It’s satisfying to take clients beyond the emotion of the moment and work with them to arrive at a fair and reasonable separation package that can launch them toward the next step in a career.”
In addition, Dana represents New York and New Jersey unions and union members in labor arbitrations, federal and state court litigation, collective bargaining and administrative trials.
As the grandchild of Iraqi immigrants, Dana knows well how ethnicity, race, color and religion shape people’s experiences in America. She encountered discrimination early, when the suburban grade school she attended placed all Middle Eastern children into a remedial English program, whether they needed it or not. Later, 9/11 and its aftermath intensified mistreatment of Middle Eastern and South Asian Americans, including imposing unjustified barriers to employment. “Every group has its own experience with American racism,” Dana says. “For me, learning about the black Civil Rights Movement was what inspired me to become a civil rights lawyer. It’s great to be at a law firm that is unapologetic about combatting racism and takes on cases that will help make sure my children don’t experience what I did.”
Dana is a member of the Board of Editors of the Employment Discrimination Law treatise and has given presentations at the AFL-CIO’s Lawyers Coordinating Committee, as well as the Impact Fund conference. Dana received the Center for Constitutional Rights’ 2010 President’s Award. She is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association of New York, the American Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section’s Equal Employment Opportunity Committee and National Lawyers Guild. Dana also serves as the comptroller of her daughters’ preschool, the Butler Street Coop, which provides early childhood education and parenting workshops.
Harvard Law School, JD, 2005
“Right to Health” Campaign Organizer for Ghana Legal Resources Centre (Accra, Ghana); Family Law Clinical Student, Hale & Dorr Legal Services Center, (Jamaica Plains, MA); HIV/AIDS Unit Student Attorney, East Bay Community Law Center (Berkeley, CA); Teaching Fellow, Community Action for Economic Justice; Public Service Fellowship Award, Harvard Law School (HLS) Alumni Association of Northern California; President, HLS National Lawyers Guild Chapter; Chair, Middle Eastern Law Students Association
Northwestern University, BA, Linguistics, 2001, summa cum laude
Admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey