Start your free consultation

We’re trial lawyers. Our core competency – above everything else – is trying cases to juries. And we specialize in beating giants.

RETALIATION

Madia Law Represents Victims of Employment Retaliation

You are protected from retaliation by your employer if you report discrimination. It is illegal under Wisconsin, Minnesota, and federal statutes for an employer to terminate you or otherwise change the conditions of your employment because of your decision to report discrimination. It takes guts to tell an employer that something is not right at work, and Title VII, the Minnesota Human Rights Act, and Wisconsin law protect you from retaliation for your complaints. Employers cannot change any condition of your employment or discipline you in any way because of your good faith reports of discrimination.

Representative Cases

Retaliation for race discrimination complaint results in $1.2 million jury verdict.

Dr. Robert Roswick worked as a family practice physician at Mid Dakota Clinic in Bismarck, North Dakota.  He felt that Mid Dakota’s CEO and Board of Directors were racially discriminating against an Indian-American colleague of his by pushing forward with termination without allowing the colleague the same due process rights afforded to other shareholders at the Clinic.

So Dr. Roswick took action.  He emailed his fellow shareholders, gave them the factual basis as to why he believed the bylaws weren’t being followed, and told them he believed that their colleague was a victim of racism.  Mid Dakota’s CEO and Board promptly retaliated: they suspended Dr. Roswick’s employment and moved for his termination.  At his termination meeting, Board members openly told shareholders that “The reason we are here today is that Dr. Roswick raised this complaint of discrimination and made that known.”  The shareholders approved Dr. Roswick’s termination from Mid Dakota.

We took this case to trial and won a $1.2 million verdict. Read more here.

Retaliation for race discrimination complaint results in $486,000 settlement. 

We represented an African American line worker, “John,” who endured a hostile work environment based on his race for almost a year.  His coworkers called him race based slurs, played pranks on him, and even punched him.  When John complained about it to HR, he was fired.

The case settled early in litigation for nearly half a million dollars.

Retaliation for race discrimination complaint settles for $186,000. 

One of “Kyle’s” co-workers used a racial slur when referring to African Americans.  Kyle reported it to HR via an email, and was terminated 2 days later.

The case settled early in litigation for $186,000.

Retaliation for complaints about anti-Semitic slurs settles for $130,000. 

“Sam” worked as a salesman for several years at the same company. On occasion, he heard his supervisor and colleagues use anti-Semitic slurs in the workplace. Sam sent a very polite email stating that he had family members who had died in the Holocaust and would like it if the comments stopped. All of a sudden, Sam’s employer began targeting him at work. He was disciplined six times within the next eight weeks, even though he had not been disciplined a single time over six years of employment before his complaint. Ultimately, Sam’s employer fired him.

Madia Law represented Sam in an action for retaliation under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. After nearly a year and a half of litigation, Sam’s employer settled for $130,000.

North Dakota retaliation case settles for $170,000. 

We also represented a male and female couple who both worked for an oilfield services company in North Dakota. A manager at the company was sexually harassing the female. When the couple both reported the conduct to senior management, the company responded by terminating the couple instead of terminating the offending manager. Madia Law represented the couple and secured a settlement of $170,000.

Please note that every case is different, with its own unique facts. Just because these cases settled in a particular way does not mean that your case will be the same. You should contact Madia Law to discuss your retaliation case in detail and get an accurate assessment of its value.

Unemployed woman sits alone heartbroken at a coffee shop

You May Be Entitled to Lost Wages, Punitive Damages, Emotional Distress Compensation, and Even Your Old Job Back

If you have been the victim of retaliation, you may be entitled to back pay and front pay damages, reinstatement to your job, emotional distress compensation, treble damages under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, punitive damages under Title VII, and your attorney fees and costs.

Contact Our Minnesota and Wisconsin Employment Retaliation Lawyers Today

You must act quickly when it comes to filing a claim for retaliation. There are very strict statutes of limitation that will bar you from filing your claim if you wait too long. Call Madia Law today to discuss your case. All consultations are free.

THE MADIA LAW WAY

We have a process that works in getting exceptional results for our clients. 

We are trial lawyers who prepare every case for trial from Day 1. Investigation and legal research are the first things we do, and we spend a lot of time on them. Because we haven’t filed the case yet, we have complete control – the defendant has no say and we want to use this time wisely.  We interview witnesses that can help us prove the case.  We’ll ask you for all relevant documents in your possession and review those carefully as well.  We also will spend some time conducting legal research about unique issues in the case.  We pull the jury instructions that the judge will ultimately charge the jury with after closing arguments at trial.

Our next step is typically to send a demand letter to the defendant. In the letter, we thoroughly lay out: the facts surrounding the defendant’s misconduct; the applicable law (including statutory and case citations) that make clear that the defendant broke the law; an analysis of your damages and the defendant’s monetary exposure; a demand for a monetary amount to settle the claim; and an instruction to preserve all relevant evidence, including electronic evidence. The point of this letter is to give the defendant a chance to do the right thing and pay a fair amount before litigation, and to give the defendant an opportunity to present any defenses or evidence it wants us to consider before moving forward.  Sometimes we skip the demand letter if there are strategic reasons to move straight to filing, but we typically give defendants a chance to do the right thing.

If early negotiations fail, great – we file a Complaint and serve the defendant with it. A Complaint is a legal document that states the facts of what happened and alleges how the defendant broke the law. It formally starts the lawsuit.  Many lawyers draft complaints in a general and relatively vague way, just to get it done and filed – because that’s all that’s really required.  We take a different view. We view the Complaint as our first chance to tell your story to the judge, and we take it seriously. So we draft detailed complaints and include legal citations to statutory and judicial authority on unique points.  Sometimes we’ll include a number of exhibits, diagrams, or other demonstrative aids to help the Court understand our claims.  A secondary benefit of this approach is that defense lawyers reading the Complaint can become educated on the problems of their case and the state of the law – sometimes this leads them to reach out to us shortly after service of the Complaint to re-initiate settlement negotiations.  Of course, by that time, the price for settlement has gone up.

Some lawyers view written discovery as a necessary evil – something to get done and out of the way before depositions.  Not us.  Written discovery is a gift and an opportunity.  We spend a great deal of time crafting requests for documents and interrogatories (questions for the defendant to answer in writing) that are specific, detailed, and tailored to get what we need to prove our case.  Many lawyers – even great ones – think written discovery is a waste of time because defense lawyers typically answer them on behalf of their clients and can try to stonewall with legalese and objections.  We view this as a wonderful opportunity.  In our experience, most defense lawyers can’t help themselves when answering discovery: they over-state their defenses and make assertions that their clients will not be able to support in testimony. So we get to commit the defendant to defenses that they can’t back up, leading to contradictions, confusion, and chaos in their depositions later on.  We also use Requests for Admission – which many lawyers don’t.  The Federal Rules and Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure allow us to ask defendants to “admit” certain facts.  We send them RFAs that are very difficult for them to deny.  Of course, they do it anyway, but that sets them up later for cost and fee-shifting, which the Rules mandate for defendants that deny RFAs that are later proven true.  And usually, we can get the defendants’ own witnesses to admit facts that their defense lawyers denied in RFA.  That’s a great situation that leads to more chaos and confusion on the defense side.

One last point on written discovery – we send multiple waves of it throughout discovery.  We typically send 3 or 4 sets of written discovery requests to defendants throughout discovery.  This compounds the problems for them, because the defense lawyers continue to overstate their defenses, but now run into contradictions from not just the defendant witnesses’ deposition testimony, but also their own previous discovery responses.  This makes for a great record that we can present to the judge at dispositive motions, and use for impeachment at trial.

This is our chance to question relevant witnesses, on the record with a court reporter (we typically videotape important depositions as well). We get to confront the defense witnesses with all of the evidence we’ve developed through written discovery and document production. By this time, the defendant put its witnesses in an impossible position through its written defenses, which are often untrue and indefensible.  So the witness has to either lie to support the defense, or admit it’s not true.  That’s a dilemma that works for our clients either way, no matter which option the witness takes.  We use depositions to expose contradictions, create a record for dispositive motions, lock witnesses into their stories so that we can impeach them later at trial, and sometimes, to show defense lawyers how hopeless their case is.  We often calls from defense counsel shortly after depositions of their clients, seeking to re-start settlement negotiations.

The defendant will usually make a motion for summary judgment after discovery, asking the Court to throw out the case without having a jury trial. Because we’ve hit discovery so hard – both through written discovery and depositions – this is a tough motion for defense counsel to write in our cases.  We draft our response for the Court and now get to bring everything together: the admissions, contradictions, nonsense, and obvious fact disputes that we’ve uncovered through discovery.  We tell a compelling story that wraps everything together for the Court and makes clear that the defense motion has to be denied, and the defendant needs to face a jury for its conduct.

Sometimes, we’ll even make an affirmative motion for summary judgment, asking the Court to grant judgment in favor of our client without a trial. These motions are generally rare for plaintiffs to make, because the defendant can usually point to some fact dispute on its intent or some other factor that necessitates a trial. But we make affirmative summary judgment motions significantly more than is typical for plaintiffs, and that’s because the work we put in during discovery helps build a fantastic record to do so.

After the Court denies the defense motion for summary judgment, the defendant has only 2 options: 1) do the right thing and pay you a fair amount to our client to settle your claim (usually much, much more at this point than the defendant could have paid at the beginning of the case to settle); or 2) face a jury for its conduct and risk an enormous verdict. This is the dilemma that we have been creating and forcing the defendant into for the entire case. We’ll engage in settlement negotiations at this point from a position of extreme strength, mainly because most defendants are (rightly) terrified of facing a jury to defend their conduct.

This is, candidly, our favorite part of the case – why we went to law school: to hold the powerful accountable before juries.  We prepare heavily for trial, including: detailed witness preparation, focus groups, and mock trials.  At this point, the potential outcomes and consequences for the defendant are much more severe than if it simply did the right thing at the beginning of the case and paid a fair amount to compensate our client for its misconduct.  As we advocate to the jury for our client, we’re also mindful of protecting the record so that defendants will be unsuccessful in attacking the verdict in post-trial motions or appeal.

What Our Clients Say