“ONE OF 50 PEOPLE WHO MAKE CHICAGO A BETTER PLACE”

The Chicago Sun-Times

Practice Areas

The Law Firm of Tamara N. Holder, LLC is a boutique practice, founded in 2005 by Chicago-based attorney Tamara Holder. Having practiced law for over 15 years, Tamara and her team are focused on ending institutional abuse – from reforming the prison industry to ending sexual abuse inside of healthcare institutions and the workplace alike.

Patient Sexual Assault Lawyer

Tamara Holder is a patient sexual assault lawyer who has worked tirelessly for victims for 17 years. Tamara works to ensure that hospital systems that harbor abusers are held accountable, victims are acknowledged and compensated, and offenders are removed from their position of trust.

The doctor-patient relationship is supposed to be one of the most sacred, and trusted relationships. But, unfortunately, some doctors violate that trust. Doctor sexual abuse can have devastating consequences to victims.

As a patient rights lawyer, Tamara Holder is currently litigating the largest known case of doctor-patient sexual abuse in the State of Illinois’s history. The defendants, Northshore University Health System and Swedish Hospital, are large health care providers accused of harboring gynecologist Fabio Ortega – a convicted sex offender – who used his position of trust to groom female patients to disguise his sexual assaults during gynecological exams.

Prominent cases across the country make it clear that doctor-patient sexual abuse may be more common than previously believed. Many victims are afraid to come forward or have suppressed their memory of abuse from years prior. An accusation of sexual assault against a medical professional is profoundly serious; if proven, the allegation can end a career. Victims are often afraid of being disbelieved or subjected to counteraccusations and lawsuits. In the event they decide to come forward, patients must feel that they are protected by a lawyer.

If you believe you are the victim of doctor sexual abuse, know that you can contact Attorney Tamara Holder to discuss your case in absolute confidence. Privacy and confidentiality are central values of the legal profession and of Tamara Holder’s law practice. As a sexual assault lawyer, Holder can explain what’s at stake when bringing a case against an abuser or a healthcare system believed to have facilitated, ignored, or covered up a doctor’s history of sexual abuse of patients. As a patient sexual assault lawyer, Holder can assess the case and determine a recommended course of action to end the alleged abuse and take steps to ensure it would never happen again.

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Wrongful Termination Lawyer

Your employer cannot punish you for complaining about discrimination in the workplace. If, after you have complained, your hours were cut, you were given extra work, or your pay was docked, you may have a case for retaliation. Tamara Holder can help you determine if you have experienced retaliation.

Sometimes, an employer doesn’t outright fire an employee. Instead, they make working conditions so intolerable that they force the employee to quit, or the employer does not fire the employee but takes them off the schedule. This is called “constructive discharge.”

Constructive discharge can occur when an employer tolerates a discriminatory environment. Employees subjected to unrelenting racial or sexual harassment, age discrimination, or failure to provide reasonable accommodations for a disability may feel they have no choice but to quit.

Other kinds of unfair dismissal include firings that violate public policies, like terminating employment because someone takes legally mandated medical leave under the Families and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), discharging someone because they reported wrongdoing (whistleblowing), or terminating employment because an employee refuses to commit an illegal act (like “cooking the books”).

A wrongful termination lawyer can help you determine if you can make a case that you were fired illegally. Talk with an unfair dismissal lawyer about what happened to you, and what remedy you are seeking. Do you really want your job back? Or do you want compensation for lost wages or for the damage the termination did to your career and your finances?

Tamara Holder is an experienced wrongful termination lawyer, serving as an employment dispute lawyer in cases involving sexual harassment, hostile work environments, racism, ageism, and contractual disputes. Contact the Law Firm of Tamara N. Holder, LLC, for legal advice regarding wrongful termination and possible legal remedies for your situation.

Wrongful termination means getting fired from a job for an illegal reason. The dismissal could violate the terms of a legally binding contract, or it may have been due to unlawful discrimination based on race or color, sex, religion, age, national origin, pregnancy, or disability. Some states have added additional protected categories, like sexual orientation.

Most states are so-called “at-will” employment states, where an employer can fire an employee or an employee can quit for any reason or no reason at all. But the law limits the reach of at-will employment to make firing someone due to discrimination based on a protected category illegal. Companies that fail to comply with their own employment policies when terminating employment may also have committed wrongful termination.

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Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Tamara Holder is a sexual harassment lawyer who has represented employees against large companies including Twin Peaks Restaurants, Church’s Chicken, GFL Environmental, and Allied Universal Security, for permitting sexual harassment in the workplace, imposing sexualized dress codes, ranking employees for preferential treatment based on their perceived sexual attractiveness, and ignoring complaints of sexual harassment.

Unwelcome sexual comments and advances in the workplace are illegal, even if you are not physically touched. While physical assault or inappropriate touching are certainly forms of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct in the workplace can take the form of unwelcome comments that are sexual in nature, inappropriate or offensive displays of sexually explicit images or materials in the workplace, or unfair treatment based on the refusal to succumb to sexual advances.

In the most severe cases of sexual harassment, workers are subjected to unwanted sexual advances, physical assaults, or violations of privacy (such as hidden cameras in restrooms) that create hostile work environments based on gender.

In work environments where a person in power feels safe harassing employees, it is not unusual to discover that multiple employees have been subjected to inappropriately sexualized workplace behavior or harassment. Where unwanted sexual advances, remarks, or pornographic visual images are common, those who feel free in creating such a toxic working atmosphere may find themselves accused by several highly credible current or former employees who collectively have witnessed inappropriate and legally actionable behavior.

If you and your coworkers feel that your working conditions are intolerable due to sexual harassment, or if you have been the victim of a workplace sexual assault, contact an experienced sexual harassment lawyer like Tamara Holder.

As a sexual misconduct lawyer, Tamara Holder can help employees determine if they have a viable case against a current or former employer. Tamara can create a path toward legal action that could hold the accused employer accountable. If you and your coworkers have had enough of sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace, contact the Law Firm of Tamara N. Holder, LLC, for representation.

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Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawyer

In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that is illegal for an employer to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in the workplace can take many forms, from hiring, promotions, demotions, pay, sexual harassment, or even vague microaggressions.

Bullying, circulating humiliating and stereotypical gifs or memes are common forms of discrimination against LGBTQ+ workers. Tamara Holder holds employers accountable for ignoring, condoning, or even encouraging these forms of discrimination. As a sexual orientation discrimination lawyer, she’ll fight back when an employer denies raises or promotions, unfairly places LGBTQ employees on performance improvement plans (PIPs), or assigns extra work that isn’t required of other employees.

In 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County that the prohibition against discrimination based on sex, included in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, includes discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity when firing an employee.

Because the court’s decision was narrowly limited to termination of employment, battles over things like access to restrooms corresponding to a person’s gender identity rage on in the states. Nevertheless, Bostock remains the law of the land, and employers are prohibited from discharging employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

With a sexual orientation lawyer on your side, we will investigate whether your employer has violated state, local and federal laws, and fight for justice on your behalf.

The toll of working in a hostile environment that subjects LGBTQ employees to taunts, threats, or retaliation for seeking recourse by filing complaints can be steep. Employees have suffered symptoms of PTSD and other forms of emotional distress, financial damage, loss of benefits, and harm to their careers because of unlawful employer discrimination.

Gay, lesbian, transgender, queer, nonbinary, and other LGBTQ individuals who have been victims of discrimination based on their sexuality or gender identity should contact the Law Office of Tamara Holder for representation by an experienced and aggressive LGBTQ discrimination lawyer.

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Equal Pay Discrimination Lawyer

If you are a woman, The Equal Pay Act protects you from being paid less than a man who performs a job of substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility. Tamara Holder can help you determine if your employer is engaging in gender-based pay discrimnation

The Equal Pay Act requires that women are paid the same amount as men for equal work. But in 2020, men were still paid 17 cents more than women per hour for the same work. Although the Equal Pay Act of 1963 established equal pay for equal work as the law of the land, employers have used loopholes in the law to justify paying women less than men.

And although Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on sex, which includes discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity, LGBTQ workers may still get paid less than heterosexual cisgender people doing the same kinds of jobs.

Equal pay lawyers know all the excuses for unequal pay for substantially similar work: seniority, “merit,” a claimed difference in the quality or the quantity of work, or “any factor other than sex,” including discriminatory working conditions. It’s remarkable, when a manager is questioned under oath, how porous these excuses for failing to provide equal pay for equal work can be. Tamara Holder loves to punch holes in the lame excuses for pay discrimination employers make when their true motivation is outright bias based on sex, including sexual orientation or gender identity.

The house of cards employers have built to excuse wage discrimination is starting to fall. Members of the US Women’s Soccer Team secured a multi-million-dollar settlement in their pay discrimination suit. Large companies like KPMG and Google have also paid millions in settlements, while lawsuits against Goldman Sachs and Sony Entertainment are ongoing.

This is good news for high-visibility women in large organizations, but the reality is that women are still paid an average of 82 cents for every dollar paid to a man. Low-wage workers who are dependent on their jobs and fearful of retaliation can feel too powerless to demand fair pay.

If you and your coworkers are enduring wage discrimination, contact the Law Office of Tamara Holder, LLC, to discuss potential courses of action.

Employers that impose discriminatory working conditions, like disparities in temperature, ventilation, break rooms, uniforms, or parental leave as an excuse to pay less based on sex, may be breaking the law. If you are female or an LGBTQ person, and you are doing substantially similar work, requiring the same skills, with the same responsibilities, and in the same workplace as cisgender males but getting paid less for it, you may have a case for pay discrimination. Contact equal pay lawyer Tamara Holder today.

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Race Discrimination Lawyer

Racial injustice is common in the workplace, which can have a psychological impact on workers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, workers reported feeling heightened anxiety, frustration, and stress because of unfair treatment in the workplace. Tamara Holder is a race discrimination lawyer with an impressive record of defending civil rights in areas of employment, housing, and criminal justice reform.

It is illegal to be treated differently in the workplace because of your race, ethnicity, color, or national origin. Unfortunately, race discrimination is still common, and even pervasive, in the workplace. Some employers create an employee handbook or a “diversity and inclusion” department but still, consciously or unconsciously, engage in race discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of race. Unfortunately, race discrimination is still common, and even pervasive, in the today’s workplace. Some employers create an employee handbook or a “diversity and inclusion” department  but still, consciously or unconsciously, engage in race discrimination in the workplace.

Often times, employees are passed over for promotions, placed on probation or performance improvement plans without cause, demoted, excluded, or ridiculed in the workplace because of their race.

Still, even today, employers tolerate or ignore racial discrimination in their workplaces. Employers often condone threats; name-calling; physical and emotional abuse; the distribution of offensive images, memes, or GIFs; and humiliating work assignments. “It’s just a joke” isn’t an excuse for illegal, discriminatory treatment.

More subtle forms of racial discrimination are also common. Passing on qualified candidates for promotions, allowing pay disparities, providing unequal working conditions based on race, and ignoring complaints are common forms of discrimination.

Pervasive racial disparities in the workplace take a financial, emotional, and psychological toll. Victims of racial discrimination often experience PTSD or extreme stress, anxiety, or depression.

If you believe you have been discriminated against at work based on your race, contact The Law Firm of Tamara N. Holder, LLC. Tamara Holder is a race discrimination lawyer who goes after employers who violate the law in their treatment of workers, and seeks compensation in the form of back pay, reinstatement, and payment for infliction of emotional distress. Call us to discuss your case today.

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Age Discrimination Lawyer

Age discrimination can include a reduction in responsibilities, being passed-over for hiring or a promotion, or being laid-off/fired. Age-based harassment is also common, including coworkers making "jokes" about a colleague's age or excluding an older employee from social events. Tamara Holder is an experienced age discrimination lawyer who will help with any workplace discrimination you may encounter.

Age discrimination can begin as early as 40, and it takes many forms: being devalued, demoted, pushed into retirement, or fired. Many times, companies that engage in flagrant age discrimination are careful not to put their unlawful intentions in writing. Instead, they employ one of the oldest tricks in the book by assigning excess work to older workers or giving them projects for which they haven’t been trained so that the employer can claim the performance improvement plan (“PIP”) or termination is due to a decline in performance. Another tactic is to transfer older employees into roles with far fewer responsibilities, challenges, or opportunities in the hopes the employees will become discouraged and leave.

Flagrant age discrimination is sometimes a business strategy. For example, allegedly, tech-giant IBM called older workers “dinobabies” that must be turned into “an extinct species.” Prior to this revelation, employees had accused the company of age discrimination for years. Yet the company is still denying it adopted an explicit strategy of purging older workers from its ranks to replace them with “early professionals” and millennial-generation workers.

As an age discrimination attorney, Tamara Holder goes after employers who commit unlawful age discrimination. Tamara Holder knows the tricks, the loopholes, and the excuses employers try to hide behind. She can advise older workers about what to look for, what to document, and whether they have a compelling case.

If you’ve noticed age discrimination in the workplace, such as changes in work assignments, demotion without cause, transfers to lower-paying roles with little opportunity for growth, or termination in favor of a younger hire with less experience and fewer skills, contact an age discrimination lawyer today.

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Gender Discrimination Lawyer

Gender discrimination can take many forms, from adverse job actions, including: demotion, termination, unequal pay, unequal working conditions, lewd images, “jokes,” sexual harassment, sexualized dress codes, and ranking employees based on their perceived sexual attractiveness. Tamara Holder is an experienced gender discrimination lawyer. She and her team recently settled a 54-person gender discrimination lawsuit.

An employer cannot treat you unfairly due to your gender (male, female, or TGQN), or subject you to sexual harassment or pregnancy discrimination. Gender discrimination takes many forms, from adverse job actions like demotions or terminations and unequal pay or working conditions to soul-searing taunts, lewd images, jokes, and physical assaults. The Supreme Court and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have established that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is sex discrimination. Here’s language straight from the EEOC about the extent of protection from sex discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964:

“Discrimination against an individual because of gender identity, including transgender status, or because of sexual orientation is discrimination because of sex in violation of Title VII.”

And yet gender discrimination lawyer Tamara Holder has found workplaces where employers ignore, tolerate, or fail to provide recourse or remedies for sex discrimination. Unequal treatment, harassment, taunts, threats, lewd images, assaults, name-calling, and “jokes” directed at individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity are still pervasive in many workplaces.

Female workers allege they have been forced to wear highly sexualized uniforms or have been “graded” based on their physical appearance. Gay, lesbian, transgender, queer, non-binary, and any other workers who are perceived to be different based on their sexuality or gender identity are supposed to be protected from exclusion from opportunity, unequal pay, demotion, unfair disciplinary proceedings, and termination because of who they are. Sexual discrimination lawyers know what it takes to prove sex discrimination and how to show that employers are breaking the law.

Some of the most flagrant examples of gender discrimination have the imposition of sexual quid pro quos (“sleep with me for a promotion, don’t and you’ll get demoted”), juvenile and demeaning invasions of privacy (like hidden cameras in restrooms), and failure to accommodate pregnant or nursing workers.

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Hostile Work Environment Lawyer

Tamara Holder has represented employees of major corporations including iHeart Radio,  Twin Peaks Restaurants, Republic Waste Services, Church’s Chicken, GFL Environmental, Allied Security, and Total Traffic and Weather. As a hostile work environment lawyer, Tamara Holder helps her clients obtain legal remedies when an employer tolerates, ignores, or fails to address—through policy enforcement and disciplinary action—conditions that create a hostile work environment for employees in protected classes for this type of workplace discrimination.

Severe or pervasive conduct in the workplace that is intimidating, hostile, or offensive is illegal. Interference with work performance, microaggressions, and gaslighting are all examples of hostile conduct. A hostile work environment requires proving that the employer is engaging in discriminatory conduct that is “severe” or “pervasive” due to the employee’s race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, or disability are victims of illegal discrimination. A combination of federal laws prohibits discrimination based on these protected categories, and workers who are subjected to hostile conditions may have a cause of action under one or more of the following:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and/or the Americans with Disability Act Amendments Act of 2008 

Tamara Holder is a hostile work environment lawyer who won’t let your employer get away with dismissing hostile work environment complaints by gaslighting you or claiming that the perpetrators of discriminatory acts in the workplace were “just joking around” or acting “all in good fun.” The truth is, if an employee feels uncomfortable at work because of their status as a member of a protected class, and the words and actions that make them uncomfortable are pervasive and long lasting, then those employees are being subjected to an unlawful hostile work environment.

As an experienced hostile work environment attorney, Tamara Holder helps workers identify incidents and practices to document and determine if pursuing legal remedies is a reasonable course of action. Employers who tolerate discriminatory practices, language, and actions must be made to change. They should compensate employees who have suffered and take action to ensure that none of their employees are ever subjected to an abusive environment based on their membership in a protected class again.

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Title IX Lawyer

Tamara Holder represents female and LGBTQI+ students against rape, as well as discrimination due to pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity in education programs or activities under Title IX.

Title IX protects female students against rape and discrimination due to pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity in education programs or activities. The protection of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is best known as the law that enabled gender equality in school sports programs. But its protections go much further than sports. It protects people from sexual assault and rape, classifying those criminal offenses as forms of discrimination on the basis of sex. Title IX declares the following:

“No person in the United States should, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

That’s a very broad prohibition that covers a wide variety of sex discrimination in schools, colleges, universities, and other federally funded programs. The “participation in” section has gotten the most attention because of its links to high-profile cases where women have sought equity in sports in schools and on college campuses.

But the “denied the benefits of” section can apply to campuses and activities that subject people to sexual harassment, stalking, campus rape and other forms of sexual violence, exposure to pornography, or other actions that make it impossible for victims to gain the benefit of the education or activity they are trying to pursue.

Title IX also protects students from crimes including sexual assault and rape. Tamara represents students who have been raped on college campuses, from the reporting through the investigation and the Title IX hearing. In recent years, colleges and universities have been known to bungle investigations, dismiss complaints, and issue meek punishments that let rapists remain on campus. Tamara Holder will ensure that institutions are held accountable and that they follow all necessary steps to ensure that sexual predators are removed from campus environments.

Sometimes victims of Title IX discrimination may not realize that the program they are trying to participate in receives federal funds. In other situations, they may not recognize the benefits they’re being denied by educational environments or programs that don’t afford them full participation or that make full participation impossible because of hostility, threats, assaults, or harassment. Contact the Law Office of Tamara Holder for help from a Title IX defense lawyer to understand if your situation falls under the protection of Title IX and, if so, what can be done about it.

As a Title IX lawyer, Tamara Holder represents female and LGBTQI+ students who allege they have been denied the benefit of federally funded educational programs or activities by obtaining injunctive relief, which is a court order compelling the school or program to comply with Title IX, and sometimes compensation.

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Pardons / Clemency Lawyer

If you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, you may need a Governor’s pardon to clear your record. The Law Firm of Tamara N. Holder, LLC is a boutique law firm that has helped people clear their criminal records - through the expungement, sealing, or Governor’s pardon – for 17 years.

Tamara Holder founded xpunged.com in 2015, and has since gained extensive knowledge on how to properly prepare and file petition for pardon. We know the proper procedure for how to write your petition and then present your petition at your hearing before Governor Pritzker’s advisory board, named the Prisoner Review Board. Note: Even if you were not sentenced to prison (for example, you were sentenced to felony probation), the Board will still hear your petition.

If you were ever convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime in Illinois, you are forever a convicted, no matter how many years have passed…unless Governor J.B. Pritzker pardons you. Additionally, if you have a DUI, even if you were granted supervision, you will need a pardon to remove it from your record.

There is an exception to this rule: Some felonies are now expungeable. Additionally, most felonies and misdemeanors are now sealable; sealing your record only hides it from public view.

We are not a faceless company that will simply sell you already publicly available information and then leave you to figure out the process on your own. Just like you would hire a divorce attorney to represent you in your divorce, we recommend you hire an attorney who focuses on pardons to prepare a petition for pardon/clemency and present your case to the Board.

Illinois Pardon Procedure

  1. File your petition for pardon/clemency: If your record is not expungeable or sealable, you must seek a pardon if you want the case cleared from your record, even if you didn’t serve prison or jail time. The petition must be filed with the Governor’s advisory board, the Prisoner Review Board, that includes detailed information about your case and why you are a strong candidate for a Governor’s pardon. We gather all of the required information, write your entire petition, and then file it with the Board.
  2. Hearing before the Board: After your petition is filed, you have the opportunity for a hearing before the Board. We appear at your hearing with you and present your case. With years of experience before the Board, we know exactly how to present your case and what they do (and do not) want to hear.
  3. Board’s recommendation to Governor Pritzker: After your hearing, the Prisoner Review Board sends the petition to the Governor, along with their confidential opinion as to whether you should be pardoned. Their opinion is not binding on the Governor.
  4. The Governor’s final decision: Your petition is now on Governor Pritzker’s desk for his decision on your pardon/clemency. By law, the Governor is not required to make a decision within any period of time; you must simply wait for his decision. You cannot submit another petition unless you have been formally denied. If the Governor grants your pardon with authorization to also expunge the record, you must then file the petition to expunge with the court. If the Governor denies your petition, you can re-file 1-year after denial.

We Are Often Asked: What Area My Chances of Receiving a Governor’s Pardon?

Your chances of a pardon are as good as the petition you submit. There is no guarantee that your pardon will be granted because the final decision is left up to one person: Governor Pritzker. But, we do guarantee that we will prepare a detailed and convincing petition on your behalf.

If a pardon is your only option, then you should petition for one; otherwise, the (felony) conviction is on your record forever.*

The better you present yourself and your petition to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board and the Governor, the better your chances of receiving the pardon.

* Disclaimer: This information is not legal advice. Illinois sealing and expungement laws are constantly changing. Please do not solely rely on this information. If you have any questions, please email or call us. Thank you!

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