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Iris Halpern

Phone: 303-578-4400

Fax: 303-578-4401

Email: ih@rmlawyers.com

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

Iris Halpern is a partner at Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC. Iris has been pas­sion­ately fight­ing for plain­tiffs and their civil rights for her entire legal career.

Before coming to Rathod Mohamedbhai, Iris worked as a trial attorney for over seven years, ultimately serving as the Senior Trial Attorney and an Acting Supervisory Attorney in the Denver Field Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. At the EEOC, Iris’ work focused on seeking relief for victims, frequently in systemic and large class cases, under federal antidiscrimination statutes including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. She was the lead trial attorney for the EEOC on several lengthy trials, including a three-week jury trial in the case EEOC v. JetStream Ground Services, Civ. No. 1:13-cv-02340 (D. Colo.), a failure-to-hire religious discrimination and accommodation case, and a one-month bench trial in EEOC v. JBS Swift & Co., Civ. No. 1:10-cv-02103 (D. Colo.), a case involving hundreds of Somali, Muslim refugees who were denied religious accommodation and were suspended or terminated from work because of their accommodation requests. Iris has also worked on many large class sexual harassment cases, including several involving fifteen or more victims, and was awarded the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Case of the Year Award in 2016 for the sexual harassment and national origin discrimination case EEOC and Baltazar et al. v. Vail Run Community Resort Association, Civ. No. 1:15-cv-01592 (D. Colo.).

Iris has been active in seeking to have the LGBTQ community’s rights recognized under federal antidiscrimination laws. At the EEOC, she participated in some of the Commission’s first lawsuits requesting that courts recognize transgender status as falling within the meaning of “sex” under Title VII, including serving as lead attorney on the case EEOC v. Deluxe FinancialCorp., Civ. No. 15-cv-02646 (D. Minn.), a case which resulted in a consent decree recognizing the right of transgender employees to use a restroom commensurate with their gender identity. Iris also filed the EEOC’s first federal lawsuit on behalf of a transgender applicant in Colorado in the case EEOC v. A&E Tire, Co., Civ. No. 1:17-cv-02362 (D. Colo.). For her dedication, passion, and work at the EEOC, Iris received the 2016 Chair’s Honor Award.

Iris has published widely on various legal topics, particularly in electronic discovery in employment discrimination cases. She co-authored the chapter on a plaintiff’s perspective on e-discovery in the American Bar Association (ABA) & Bloomberg BNA treatise WORKPLACE DATA: LAW AND LITIGATION. She is frequently asked by state bar associations and law schools to lecture about sexual harassment and has published articles about various facets of sexual harassment litigation, including how to protect sexual harassment victims from abusive litigation tactics. In the past, Iris was a Fulbright Scholar in Toronto, Canada, comparing Canadian and U.S. legal regimes governing domestic workers, including employment, criminal, and immigration laws. Before law school she worked as a union organizer for the Service Employees International Union.

 

REPRESENTATIVE CASES

  • Chavez et al. v. Board of County Commissioners of Lake County, et al., No. 18-cv-03249 (D. Colo. 2020) (Sexual Harassment and Retaliation) – $875,000 settlement.
  • Flores et al. v. Victory Preparatory Academy et al., 18-cv-02916 (D. Colo. 2018) (represented five students and two parents against charter school and administration for violation of First and Fourteenth Amendment Constitutional rights to freedom of speech and the press) – $425,000 settlement.
  • C&P Family Farms Restaurants LLC d/b/a The White Fence Farms et al. v. Katina Gatchis, Case No. 2018cv30797 (Denver Dist. Court 2018) (Race, National Origin, and Religious discrimination in the lease of commercial property) – $675,000 settlement.
  • EEOC et al. v. A&E Tire, Co., Civ. No. 1:17-cv-02362 (D. Colo. 2017) (Transgender Sex Discrimination, Failure to Hire) – $60,000 settlement.
  • EEOC v. Montrose Memorial Hospital, Civ. No. 1:16-cv-02277 (D. Colo. 2016) (Class-based Age Discrimination in Discharge) – $400,000 settlement with a consent decree.
  • EEOC v. The Coleman Co., Civ. No. 1:16-mc-00001 (D. Colo. 2016) (Agency Subpoena Enforcement Action under the ADA and for Nationwide Use of Suspect Separation Agreement).
  • EEOC v. Columbine Health Systems et al., Civ. No. 1:15-cv-01597 (D. Colo. 2015) (Class-based National Origin and Race Discrimination in Discharge, including Disparate Impact (Testing) and Disparate Treatment) – $330,000 settlement with a consent decree.
  • EEOC et al. v. Deluxe Financial, Corp., Civ. No. 15-cv-02646 (D. Minn. 2015) (Transgender Sex Discrimination, Hostile Work Environment and Disparate Treatment) – $115,000 settlement with a consent decree.
  • EEOC and Baltazar et al. v. Vail Run Community Resort Association, Civ. No. 1:15-cv-01592 (D. Colo. 2015) (Class-based Sexual Harassment, National Origin Discrimination and Retaliation) – $1,020,000 settlement with a five-year consent decree, including a bilingual outside monitor.
  • EEOC et al. v. Smokin’ Spuds, Inc. d/b/a MountainKing Potatoes, Civ. No. 1:14-02206 (D. Colo. 2014) (Class-based Sexual Harassment) – $450,000 settlement with a consent decree, including a bilingual outside monitor.
  • EEOC v. Dish Network, LLC, Civ. No. 1:13-cv-03294 (D. Colo. 2013) (Agency Subpoena Enforcement Action in Nationwide Investigation Under the ADA) – $1,250,000 publicly conciliated settlement.
  • EEOC et al. v. BOK Financial Corp. d/b/a Bank of Albuquerque, Civ. No. 11-cv-01132 (D.N.M. 2012) (Sex and Age Discrimination in Discharge) – $230,000 settlement with a consent decree.
  • EEOC et al. v. The Original HoneyBaked Ham Company of Georgia, Inc., Civ. No. 1:14-02560 (D. Colo. 2011) (Class-based Sexual Harassment) – $370,000 settlement with consent decree.
  • EEOC et al. v. the Spud Seller, Inc., Civ. No. 10-cv-02381 (D. Colo. 2010) (Class-based sexual harassment) – $255,000 settlement with consent decree.
  • EEOC et al. v. Maverik County Stores, Civ. No. 10-cv-00212 (D. Wyo. 2010) (ADA discrimination because of HIV-status, including Discharge)– $115,000 settlement with consent decree.

AWARDS

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair’s Honor Award (2016)
  • Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA) Case of the Year, EEOC and Baltazar et al. v. Vail Run Resorts (2016)
  • Award of Service to the Government of the United States of America (2015)
  • United States-Canada Fulbright Scholar, United States Fulbright Commission (2009-2010)

SELECT PUBLICATIONS

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS

  • Adjunct Faculty, University of Colorado School of Law,
    Boulder, Employment Discrimination (2020)
  • One Col­orado, Board Mem­ber & C4 Chair
  • Col­orado Wage Theft Task Force, Executive Committee
  • Col­orado Bar Asso­ci­a­tion Civil Rights Sec­tion (Formerly Leg­isla­tive Liaison, 2018-2019)
  • Col­orado Bar Asso­ci­a­tion Labor & Employ­ment Section
  • Col­orado Women’s Bar Association
  • Col­orado LGBT Bar Association
  • Col­orado Trial Lawyers Association
  • Lawyers’ Civil Rights Coalition
  • Colorado Plaintiff Employment Lawyers Association

SELECT ACADEMIC LECTURING AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

  • Advocating for Employees in the Workplace During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Lawline Online Course, (Sept. 18, 2020)
  • The Meaning of Sex – Sexual Orientation & Transgender Status Under Title VII, Labor and Employment Relations Association, Rocky Mountain Chapter (September 15, 2020)
  • Employee Rights During COVID-19, University of Denver Webinar (June 22, 2020)
  • Electronically Stored Information, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (June 18, 2020)
  • Small Law Firm Accessibility and Civil Rights Compliance: ADA, CADA, and More, Solo-Small Firm Institute, Solo-Small Firm Section of the Colorado Bar Association (June 12, 2020)
  • Electronically Stored Information in Civil Rights Cases, Civil Rights Section of the Colorado Bar Association (March 12, 2020)
  • Employment Discrimination Law: Supreme Court and Circuit Court Update, Civil Rights and Labor & Employment Sections of the Colorado Bar Association (November 12, 2019)
  • Federal Employment Discrimination Laws (LGBTQ Employees and Title VII), Colorado LGBT Bar Association (October 15, 2019)
  • Investigation and Discovery in Sexual Assault and Harassment Cases, in Civil Justice for Victims of Sexual Harassment & Assault in the #MeToo Era, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (September 13, 2019)
  • Broader Per­spec­tives on #MeToo – Thoughts on Hos­tile Work Envi­ron­ments from Inside and Out­side the EEOC, Employ­ment Law Con­fer­ence, Col­orado Bar Asso­ci­a­tion (Sep­tem­ber 2018)
  • Sex­ual His­tory Ques­tions Under FRE 412, PELA Brown Bag CLE (Feb­ru­ary 2017) · Hot Top­ics in Employ­ment Law, EEOC Updates, Col­orado Bar Asso­ci­a­tion CLE (Decem­ber 2016)
  • Cit­i­zens Acad­emy, Employ­ment Dis­crim­i­na­tion, Town of Vail Police Depart­ment Com­mu­nity Train­ing (2016)
  • Employ­ment Dis­crim­i­na­tion Law and Human Traf­fick­ing, 7th Annual Human Traf­fick­ing Sym­po­sium, Human Traf­fick­ing Task Force of South­ern Col­orado (Octo­ber 2014)
  • LGBTQ Employ­ment Dis­crim­i­na­tion, Train­ing for the City and County of Den­ver (2013)

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE

  • University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Juris Doctorate (2008)
  • Tufts University, Massachusetts, Bachelor of Arts, English & Women’s Studies (2002)

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • Colorado
  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York

LANGUAGES

  • Spanish (proficient)
  • Hebrew