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Representative Cases

What follows is a sampling of hundreds of cases this firm has handled over the past two decades. Except as specified, confidentiality requirements prevent us from disclosing whether the case settled and if so, the terms of the settlement.

Gender/Sexual Harassment/Retaliation

Denial of Promotion: Logistics manager filed EEOC charges after employer denied her a promotion. Employer retaliated by excluding her from business meetings and denying her decision-making authority, and then terminated her. No. 07 C 4146, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

Denial of Promotion: Our client, a long term, high performing female was passed over for senior management position in favor of less qualified male co-worker. Through depositions and other evidence, we painstakingly refuted the reasons the employer gave for its promotion decision. No. 06 C 3443, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

Hostile Environment/Battery: We litigated claims filed against a local government agency and its executive director for ongoing, physical and verbal sexual harassment under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The court entered judgment in favor of our client and awarded $314,000 in damages, fees and costs. No. 04 C 7493, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

Hostile Environment/Retaliation: Our client worked in a male-dominated environment at a distribution facility of an international corporation, where she was subjected to ongoing sexual comments, sexually explicit graffiti, whistles and name-calling. The employer terminated her after she complained of being harassed and took an FMLA leave. Shortly before trial, the district court judge entered a consent decree requiring the employer to pay our client $400,000 in compensatory damages, back pay, and attorney’s fees. Case No. 03 C 6576, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

Termination/Retaliation: Our client complained to management that her male supervisor made demeaning and lewd comments to her because of her gender, including “women don’t belong in the warehouse.” After her employer ignored her complaints, she informed the employer of her intent to file formal charges of discrimination. The employer retaliated swiftly by transferring her to a shift that conflicted with her child care responsibilities and then terminated her. Case No. 03 C 8247, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

Pay Discrimination / Hostile Environment: The employer paid our client, the only female supervisor at her warehouse, less than her male peers, even though management subjected her to higher standards and more demanding responsibilities. The employer permitted a hostile environment for women, including sexual comments and graffiti, and ignored women’s complaints about the hostile environment. No. 02 C 9187, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

Boys’ Club Environment: Negotiated successful resolution for our client based on a "boys’ club" environment of a national retailer where our client and other female employees were excluded from higher-level positions, held to higher standards, and subjected to sexist comments.

Pregnancy Discrimination: Negotiated successful resolution for a law firm receptionist who was fired within two weeks after she gave notice to her employer of her pregnancy.

Retaliation for complaining of sexual harassment: Negotiated successful resolution for employee who threatened to file a criminal complaint against her manager the next time he tried to kiss her. Employer terminated employee after she filed a police report and EEOC charges of sexual harassment.

Retaliation for objecting to sexual harassment of co-workers: Negotiated successful resolution for male employee who was terminated after he reported his observations of male supervisors repeatedly groping female employees.

Whistleblower Retaliation

Employee fired after he reported and refused to engage in unsound banking practices, in violation of public policy under Illinois common law and the Illinois Whistleblower Act. No. 06 L 008283, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.

Employee fired after he reported shredding of financial records and mishandling of funds. Company claimed employee was fired for sexually harassing another employee. During the trial, the matter resolved. No. 2004 SOX 0066, U.S. Dept. of Labor.

Long-term employee of trucking company alleged that his employer terminated him after he refused to falsify trucking and transportation records. No. 04 C 6038, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

Meat packing company terminated quality control director soon after he threatened to report sanitation concerns. Court denied Employer’s Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Summary Judgment. No. 96C0732, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

International pharmaceutical corporation terminated high performing executive shortly after he reported suspected illegal activities to general counsel. Negotiated successful resolution.

Negotiated successful resolution for accountant who was fired after she reported that her manager ordered her to engage in improper financial accounting practices.

Negotiated successful resolution for VP of an international company who was fired after he reported to CEO that his manager was engaged in improper financial reporting in violation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

After a high performing attorney reported improprieties, law firm put her on a performance improvement plan and threatened to terminate her if she refused to resign.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination/Retaliation

Manager ridiculed our client, a gay man, with derogatory names and subjected him to less favorable treatment than his heterosexual peers. After our client complained of the harassment and hostile work environment, the employer terminated him. Negotiated successful resolution.

Manager subjected lesbian senior manager of international corporation to harassment and higher standards than her male and non-lesbian peers. Negotiated successful resolution.

Race/National Origin Discrimination

After African-American assistant vice-president complained she was passed over for a promotion because if her race, employer took away her managerial responsibilities. The court denied the employer’s motion for summary judgment on the retaliation claim. No. 01 C 2290, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

The employer, a nursing home facility, accused plaintiff of performance problems and terminated her after she complained of race discrimination. No. 03 C 1186, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

Pakistani manager was passed over for promotions in favor of less qualified American-born and Caucasian peers. Jury verdict for employee was upheld on appeal. No. 96 C 3329, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

Employer passed over African American manager for promotion in favor of less qualified newly hired Hispanic employee. The claim was resolved shortly before trial. No. 07 C 6257, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

Employer passed over high-performing Pakistani in favor of less-qualified Caucasian and American-born peers. Claims were resolved during discovery. No. 05 C 0838 U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

Employer subjected African American employees to different terms and conditions of employment by monitoring their attendance more closely, holding them to higher standards and disciplining them more harshly. After employee complained of race discrimination, employer terminated her. Negotiated successful resolution

Disability Discrimination

Employer put employee on performance improvement plan and refused to accommodate his disabilities after he was hospitalized for manic depression. Negotiated successful resolution

Employer refused to accommodate employee's disability (MS) by allowing her flex time. Negotiated successful resolution.

Common Law Retaliatory Discharge

Employee was denied light duty work and terminated after he suffered an on the job injury. No. 00 C 1922, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. Case resolved before trial.

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Law Offices of Fern Trevino - Chicago Employment Law Attorney
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