We want to take a moment to thank all our special clients. So many of them become close like family and life long friends. Williams Oinonen LLC appreciates each one of you who entrusts us with your important case.
Recently, we were able to represent our life-long client, Mr. Lukas Faber who moved us deeply when he named his first born child after Ms. Oinonen. Stated Mr. Faber:
“My gratitude is endless: my daughter Julie 5 years of age is named after you, and I hope she also will be willing to help others in true distress, and will be interested in restoring the nobility in teaching among those who were unjustly beaten down by a broken public school system in GA. You are on my mind as long I teach. I never thought that miracles and hope can be restored by one person. I met Julie Oinonen on the most devastating case in my career, which I thought would finish my employment as a teacher due to lies, distortions and illegal practices. I sat in Julie’s office sharing the most unbelievable story, which took place in a public school system in GA when Julie very swiftly uncovered the wrong doings, put a legal name to them and was able to gradually refute every lie, defamatory statement and question every unethical practice I witnessed in school. Short after her involvement intimidations and threats from admin at school suddenly stopped. I was able to change school districts and have been a happy educator for more than a decade, with good TKES evaluations and no issues. Julie would not only solve the legal issues, her strength was the promptness and speed with her communication during some extremely intense and time-sensitive exchanges where her immediate attention was needed. Her prompt calls returned and very realistic assessment of possible attacks by admin was, what truly gave me hope and kept my sanity.. It is no doubt that she saved my career. She cleared my name and made me more aware of pitfalls lurking in education and the public school system. I became a GAE member since working with her and would recommend to every teacher to have some protection. A “thank you“ and legal fees do not even remotely compensate such an outstanding legal mind who fought like a lioness while nursing an inexperienced novice teacher with so much warmth and kindness that I thought I had a “super mom”. Thank you Julie for guiding me so effectively through so much mess in the past and for giving me strength to fight the wrong in the public school system and continue to remain in education and serve my students.”
Shahnaz Uddin is a civil rights Associate Attorney at the law office of Williams Oinonen LLC. She is currently licensed to practice law in Florida and is going to take the Georgia Bar Exam in February. Prior to her work at Williams Oinonen LLC, she worked as an Assistant Public Defender in Broward County, Florida and was a John Due Fellow with the Florida NAACP. At the NAACP she researched issues affecting marginalized populations in the United States including issues regarding discrimination in property taxes and juvenile justice in the education system. She also has worked as a Judicial Intern for the Southern District of Florida where she researched and presented findings on “Compassionate Release” under the First Step Act and the “Qualified Immunity” doctrine in relation to § 1983 claims.
Don’t jinx our winning streak! Good Georgia Lawyer obtains yet another win in the State Board of Education.
If you are a victim of sexual harassment, sexual assault, discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, civil rights violations, or injury/wrongful death to a family member, call us today at 404-654-0288!
Sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace are serious issues that can have a devastating impact on victims. It’s important for employers to take proactive steps to prevent these incidents and to provide support for employees who experience them.
First, employers should establish clear policies and procedures for addressing sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. This includes providing training for all employees on what constitutes sexual harassment and assault, how to report incidents, and what steps will be taken to investigate and address reports.
Second, employers should take all reports of sexual harassment and assault seriously and conduct prompt and thorough investigations. This includes providing support for the victim, such as offering counseling services and time off work if needed.
Winning a Georgia Super Lawyer award is a significant accomplishment that only a select few attorneys achieve. In fact, only 5% of attorneys in the state of Georgia are recognized as Super Lawyers. This fact highlights the exceptional skill and dedication required to be named a Super Lawyer.
The selection process for Super Lawyers is rigorous and involves both peer nominations and evaluations, as well as independent research. Attorneys are evaluated based on a variety of factors, including their professional achievements, peer recognition, and community involvement. This process ensures that only the most outstanding attorneys are recognized as Super Lawyers.
Being named a Super Lawyer is not only a personal achievement, but it also reflects on the law firms entire team and the service we are dedicated to providing our clients. It’s a recognition of our firm’s commitment to excellence and the trust that clients have in the firm’s services.
Esther Moody Graff Radford led oral argument with extremely compelling arguments to her brief. The Court ruled from the bench denying summary judgment on all counts and our client will be now proceeding to trial after this victory.
The Georgia Whistleblower’s Act 45-1-4 is a powerful tool for public employees who report illegal activity in the workplace. Under this law, employees who report or testify about such activity are protected from retaliation by their employers. This means that an employer cannot fire, demote, or otherwise punish an employee for speaking up about illegal activity, as long as the employee has a good-faith belief that the activity is occurring.
The link to the 2022 issue of Super Lawyers 2022 can be found here.
For a eighth year in a row, Julie Oinonen, Managing Partner of Williams Oinonen LLC, was an Honoree for her work in the Georgia legal community this 2022 year and named as a Georgia 2022 Super Lawyer. Only 5 percent of the lawyers in each state are named to Super Lawyers each year.
Ms. Oinonen’s practice encompasses all plaintiff’s side work including wrongful death, employment, civil rights, education, personal injury and business litigation matters. She is an active board member of National Employment Lawyer’s Association of Georgia, a civil rights organization made up of Employment Litigation lawyers who advocate for employee rights. A proud Emory Law alumna, she is on the Alumni Board of Emory Law School, an Executive Committee member of the Emory Inn of Court, and is a faculty instructor at Emory University School of Law’s Trial Techniques program.
A race discrimination case’s new developments were featured on the six o’clock evening news. For more information, you can view this breaking news story here. Ms. Oinonen was quoted stating:
“Race discrimination is a systemic issue facing African American educators all over Georgia who are being subjected to overt and explicit discrimination. In Dr. Madison’s case, he was threatened with lynching and was told that Board members were coming after his job after he spoke out against racial injustice in a positive affirming way. This is illegal for any employer to do against anyone, regardless of their race. Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating and retaliating against those who speak out against discrimination.
The reality is that Dr. Madison was a well-loved educator who nobly served the school district for decades. He graduated from his hometown school district as a star football athlete and successfully worked his way up to school principal. In fact, a petition signed by numerous educators and employees who worked at that school was submitted to the administration in support of Dr. Madison. It wasn’t until he spoke out against racism that he first encountered retaliation by the District. And that is an illegal violation of the Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits employers from discriminating and retaliating against workers in Georgia.
Dr. Madison, former Principal at Colquitt County Schools is alleging race discrimination and retaliation having lost his job after he spoke out against racial injustice in an email to his staff shortly after the murder of George Floyd. The EEOC is concurrently investigating this matter.
Dr. Madison was a hometown hero in Colquitt County, graduating as a star football athlete, then working his way up for nearly two decades from a paraprofessional all the way to Principal. For the past 17 years of his entire career, Dr. Madison received good performance evaluations. All of that changed after Dr. Madison sent an email to his teachers and staff Cox Elementary after the murder of George Floyd. In his email, Dr. Madison encouraged the staff to be supportive of students, as well as speaking out against racial injustice in a positive affirming way. The superintendent summoned Dr. Madison to his office. The superintendent informed Dr. Madison that several school board members were upset at his email and called for his job. Emboldened, a teacher told Dr. Madison, “We’re going to lynch you.” Dr. Madison reported this hate crime to the central office only to be told he could write the teacher up. Three days later, the board decided to terminate Dr. Madison’s employment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in addition to other federal civil rights laws prohibiting race discrimination and retaliation.