D.C. District Court Holds French Embassy Not Immune

In a decision issued by United States District Court Judge James E. Boasberg (D.D.C.), the court clarified the scope of activities and the types of employees that fall outside of the virtual blanket immunity foreign embassies enjoy under the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (FSIA), finding that Plaintiff, Saima Ashraf-Hassan, may proceed in her employment discrimination case against the French Embassy.
 
Judge Boasberg found that the employment contract between Ashraf-Hassan and the Embassy relies on local (U.S.) law for its application, thereby rendering U.S. law as controlling in any choice of law analysis and subjecting the French Embassy to suit in the U.S. under the waiver and commercial activity exceptions of the FSIA.  
 
Ari Wilkenfeld, of the Wilkenfeld Law Group, said: “This is a great decision not only for Ms. Ashraf-Hassan but also for the scores of other embassy employees who suffer from blatant acts of discrimination and employment abuse here in our capitol city, and who have long had no remedy under U.S. law.  This will not provide all such embassy employees with causes of actions, but the rules of the game have been greatly clarified.”
 
Wilkenfeld is co-counseling the case with Zach Wright of the Law Offices of Gary M. Gilbert and Associates, and Rosalind Herendeen who is a co-founder of The Wilkenfeld Law Group.

Documents attached to this post:
Judge Boasberg's Memorandum Opinion Denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss