Iris Rivera

Iris Rivera (born 1942) was employed by the Illinois Appellate Defender’s Office as a legal secretary. In January 1977 she received a memo from her boss requiring that the female secretaries make coffee for the male attorneys (whose time was thought to be too valuable to make their own coffee). Rivera refused arguing that beverage preparation was not included in her job description. She was fired. Rivera did not consider herself a “women’s libber” but her action got the attention of the women’s rights group Women Employed who protested outside of her office building handing out packets of coffee grounds and coffee-making instructions to men entering the building. Her sister secretaries showed the attorneys how to press buttons on the coffee machines. Rivera filed a suit with the Illinois Fair Employment Practice Commission. She was rehired. Her boss left the Appellate Defender’s Office and returned to private law practice.

Why this stop? The Illinois Appellate Defender’s Office where Rivera worked was a few minutes walk from Clark/Lake stop (Green/Brown/Blue/Orange/Pink/Purple Lines)

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