LGBTQI+ Discrimination

Medina Orthwein represents LGBTQI+ individuals in employment matters and other civil rights cases.  Founded by two queer persons and staffed by lawyers and legal assistants who have dedicated their practices to supporting the community, our team is uniquely positioned to translate experiences of discrimination and harassment to decision-makers who may otherwise be unfamiliar with the nuances of gender identity, the importance of proper pronouns, or when a person chooses to come out, whether about their sexuality or gender identity.

Litigation Victories

  • Smith v. Tootell, et al. a novel Affordable Care Act case on behalf of a transgender prisoner of color housed at San Quentin State Prison.

  • Jespersen v. CDCR, et al. a complicated whistleblower case on behalf of a lesbian prison psychologist who advocated for gay and transgender prisoners.  Read more here.

  • Crowder v. Fox, et al. a discrimination and failure to protect case on behalf of a transgender woman of color formerly housed at California Medical Facility. Read more here.

  • McQueen v. Brown, et al. a medical indifference and equal protection case for a transgender woman requesting gender reassignment surgery while in CDCR custody.

In addition to litigation victories, Medina Orthwein has successfully settled a number of confidential cases in presuit negotiations including:

  • A transgender scientist claiming discrimination based on race and gender identity.

  • A lesbian woman who was discriminatorily and retaliatorily terminated.

  • A transgender woman terminated a few days after coming out to her managers.

  • A gay man who was retaliated against for whistleblowing.

  • A transgender man who was brutalized by policy officers.

If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your sexuality and/or gender identity, or if you are in the process of navigating a transition in the workplace, contact us to see whether we can help.