Willenson Law, LLC

Welcome to Willenson Law, LLC

Marni Willenson

Willenson Law represents plaintiffs in class action, civil rights, wage theft, workplace rights, and other complex civil cases. We use the legal system to enforce the rights of people who have suffered discrimination, wage theft, retaliation, and other unfair and unlawful treatment.

Marni Willenson has represented plaintiffs in civil rights and other lawsuits for more than twenty years. She has been named an Illinois Super Lawyer in employment law each year from 2012-2016.

In the firm’s latest news, on October 28, 2016, we filed suit on behalf of 12 women — all qualified, experienced paramedics — who passed the City of Chicago’s pre-hire “Paramedic Physical Abilities Test” and entered the Fire Department’s training academy. The suit alleges that the City did not permit any of these qualified women to graduate or go into the field. Instead, according to the lawsuit, the City instituted newly invented physical tests, including going up and down an 18-inch box to the beat of a metronome. According to the lawsuit, these tests are yet another obstacle to equal opportunity for qualified, female first responders. We are co-counseling the lawsuit with Joshua Karsh of Hughes, Socol, Piers, Resnick & Dym.

The new lawsuit follows our victory, on September 19, 2016, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which struck down a physical test that the City of Chicago used to hire paramedics for more than a decade. The court found that the test discriminated against experienced female paramedics applying for these coveted jobs and had no legitimate purpose. This is a victory for all women who have been rejected for first responder and other “non-traditional” positions on the basis of invalid tests and gender stereotyping — and for all job applicants seeking fairness in the hiring process. This victory is one in a long line — spanning decades — of successful cases filed against the city of Chicago to end discrimination in Fire Department hiring. To read the unanimous decision of the court of appeals, click here.

The test video also demonstrates how disconnected this discriminatory and unlawful test was to what paramedics actually do.

Willenson Law is committed to continuing to litigate cases involving discriminatory employment tests so all job applicants are treated fairly. The public benefits when people are hired based upon their actual capabilities and not gender or racial stereotypes.

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