At Schaefer Halleen, we take pride in advocating for clients who have been treated unjustly in the workplace. A long time ally to the LGBTQ community, our firm is dedicated to providing the highest quality legal representation to help our LGBTQ clients triumph when affected by illegal conduct by corporate or government entities.
Our staff and attorneys are working with OutFront MN to enhance a deeper understanding of the complexities and concerns faced by LGBTQ individuals in the workplace. Schaefer Halleen has also had the pleasure of working with and supporting Gender Justice, a non-profit that “addresses the causes and consequences of gender inequality, both locally and nationally.” When it comes to employment discrimination, Schaefer Halleen is the definitive resource for members of the LGBTQ community
Client: Transgender College Professor
Problem: Denied tenure amidst many negative comments about accommodation requests and other subjective impressions revealing discomfort with client’s status as a transgender professor.
Approach: In letter protesting tenure denial decision, stressed client’s tremendous accomplishments as non-tenured professor, popularity with vast bulk of student population, and clear evidence of bias which infected decisions. Proposed robust transition package as professor no longer wanted to continue career in that environment.
Solution: After extensive and unproductive initial direct negotiations with outside counsel, college agreed to mediation and matter was resolved at mediation for severance approaching two years of compensation and other terms which allowed client to transition to other employment opportunities without tenure denial on record.
Client: Openly Gay Executive
Problem: Client faced imminent termination for baseless reasons after strong 20 year career.
Approach: Developed evidence that President/CEO of organization had sexual orientation bias. Presented this evidence in detailed proposal letter, along with client’s well-established exceptional past reviews and pretextual reasons for potential termination, before termination decision had been communicated to client. The client received both homophobic comments and hate mail at the workplace.
Solution: In direct negotiations with Senior in-House counsel, was able to secure severance package which provided well in excess of one year of transition compensation, accelerated vesting of past options, and favorable reference letter.
Client: Openly Gay Male at Advertising Agency
Problem: Manager in office party had made disparaging comments regarding Gay Pride celebration and had made frequent comments directly to client regarding his “effeminate” manner, among other disparaging statements. Client was denied training and advancement opportunities provided to others, and was ultimately terminated in RIF affecting only two other employees, after being passed over for promotions for four years.
Approach: When pre-litigation negotiations failed, prosecuted case with local advocacy organization, through extensive discovery (including depositions). Summary judgment denied and case was positioned for one-week trial.
Solution: Before pre-trial submissions were filed, were able to secure significant compensation, well over 10X what had been offered client pre-litigation.
To discuss your case with a knowledgeable lawyer, please call 612-294-2600.
What Our Clients Say
Both Larry and Peter took the time to learn my pronouns and exhibited unwavering positive regard. They listened carefully and thoroughly to my work experiences, conducted exhaustive legal research, and partnered with me to develop an accurate, comprehensive, and winning defense. Ultimately, I was able to move on with a settlement that gave me the time to land a more secure position. I highly recommend this law firm to other transgender and gender nonconforming people. You will be treated w...
Recent Blog Posts
By Nora Huxtable, Law Clerk | LGBT workers’ rights are under attack (again), and this time it’s the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) weighing in against LGBT employees. Last week, the DOJ filed an amicus curiae brief in a 2nd Circuit case called Zarda v. Altitude Express, urging the court not to read sexual orientation […]Read More
By Peter G. Christian | President Trump issued via Twitter yesterday a ban on transgender people serving in the military. The abrupt proclamation both reversed the Pentagon’s announcement last year that transgender people could serve openly in the military and potentially set an entirely new precedent of banning such people regardless of their “out” status. […]
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a landmark decision on the rights of LGBT employees, recognizing that the 1964 Civil Rights Act (Title VII) prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Title VII specifically prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, color, sex and national origin, but it does not have express […]
By Lawrence P. Schaefer | President-elect Donald Trump will assume office in January 2017, after the most divisive, contentious and disturbing Presidential campaign, followed by the most surprising result, in our history. We’ve never been more divided as Americans. We who value diversity, tolerance, gender equity, and truly equal employment opportunities have never felt more threatened. […]
By Lawrence P. Schaefer | The inflammatory and divisive rhetoric in the current Presidential campaign is hard for much of the electorate to process, but should serve to heighten our awareness of how gender, race and religious bias continues to manifest itself in the modern American workplace. As much as we are making progress in […]