The case is called Jenson versus Eveleth Mines. It was also made into a movie called North Country starring Woody Harrelson and Charlize Theron. Gene Bowler and I were privileged for years to represent a courageous group of women who were integrating the mines in northern Minnesota, and as a result of being the first women hired into those mines, they were abused like you cannot believe by the men who felt they were taking the men’s jobs. These were the best paying jobs in that community, and as a result, they were subject to terrible sexual harassment over a course of years that the mines and the unions did nothing to control. We stood up for those women. We convinced a judge that the harassment wasn’t individualized but was affecting the entire class of women.
It’s the first case in the U.S. judicial history to be certified as a class action based on sexual harassment. We not only got that class certified, we established class liability on behalf of that entire group of women and prosecuted their claims through every phase of the damage trial, ultimately getting them great relief. That prosecution lasted for over 12 years, and we stayed with it through every step of the process, established great law that’s cited to this day by individuals that practice in the field, and getting real justice for the women who were courageous enough to step up and who we were privileged to represent in that process.
About Larry Schaefer
Lawrence P. Schaefer has earned the respect of judges and other lawyers for his thorough and aggressive client advocacy in negotiation and litigation. He focuses exclusively on representing people who have been subject to employment discrimination at work. Larry serves as the firm’s President and head of litigation. Learn more >
About Toni Halleen
Toni has practiced employment law since graduating from law school in 1988. The field appeals to her because in our society, our jobs can be core to our identity and well-being. Even in her early years in the 70s and 80s, Toni remembers being drawn to ideals of justice, fairness, and social equality in attending anti-discrimination marches, participating in school activism, and admiring the political satire of the Smothers Brothers (and others). Learn more >