Elaine L. Fitch is a fierce advocate for civil rights in the workplace. She has spent her career fighting for federal and private sector employees confronted with a variety of issues including security clearance matters, disability issues, including failure to accommodate, all types of discrimination and harassment, and federal disciplinary matters.
Elaine is part of KCNF’s security clearance practice, representing federal employees and contractors whose clearances have been threatened or suspended, or whose suitability for federal employment has been challenged. Together with Mary Kuntz, in 2018, she co-authored the fourth edition of the firm’s long-running book, Security Clearance Law and Procedure (Dewey 2018).
Elaine’s commitment to and advocacy on behalf of individuals with disabilities has led to numerous successful outcomes for her clients. For example, Elaine represented an individual who suffered irreparable damage to her health solely because her employing federal agency refused to provide a reasonable accommodation. Following extensive litigation, in the midst of an EEOC hearing, the agency settled her claim for seven figures. In another case, a federal agency proposed an employee for removal. The employee then requested a reasonable accommodation, but the Agency refused to provide what she needed to continue working. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, of the U.S. District Court for D.C., rejected the Agency’s argument that the employee’s request for accommodation was untimely and held that because she was still at an employee at the time she made the request, the agency was still in a position to accommodate her.
Elaine has been rated an AV Preeminent attorney by her peers. Since 2013, she has been selected as a Washington, DC Super Lawyer and one of the District’s “Top Lawyers,” in the Employment area. In addition, Ms. Fitch was elected a member of The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, an honorary organization of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars, who have demonstrated outstanding achievements and dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession. Membership in The Fellows is limited to one third of one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction.
Elaine joined KCNF in 2002 and became a partner in January 2006; she has been the firm’s Managing Partner since approximately 2013.
Elaine received her education from the University of California at Berkeley (B.S., 1989) and Hastings College of the Law, University of California (J.D. 1996), where she was Executive Articles Editor for the Hastings Women’s Law Journal, was a Board Member for the Hastings Public Interest Law Foundation, received recognition for Outstanding Service and Achievement from the 1066 Foundation, and was awarded the George R. Moscone Scholarship based on academic standing and public service.
- Security Clearance Law and Procedure, Dewey Publications Inc., 4th Ed., 2018
- Security Clearance Law and Procedure, Dewey Publications Inc., 3rd Ed., 2014
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Women’s Bar Association, District of Columbia, Board Member
- Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association
- National Employment Lawyers’ Association
- American Bar Association
- The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation
- Lowell School, Board of Trustees
- California (1996) and District of Columbia (2001)