A Decade of Change

A Decade of Change

2010: Breaking Gender Barriers

Gender Justice is co-founded in June 2010 by attorneys Jill Gaulding and Lisa Stratton.

2011: Taking on the Crown Prince

Starting with a public protest and day of action, Gender Justice takes on a Saudi crown prince who fired three Rochester women fired from their jobs as chauffeurs because of their gender. 

Read their story

2012: Settling Our First Case

Gender Justice and client, Leticia Zuniga, reach a settlement in our first major case – filed in 2009 against SMS Holdings – in which the company agrees to make major changes to its sexual harassment trainings, reporting and enforcement policies.


“Thank you – because you believed so much in me, in what I lived through, and in what happened to me.”Leticia Zuniga


Read Leticia’s story


2012: Pivotal Moment

Gender Justice assembles its first board of directors with support from the Minnesota Women’s Foundation.

2013: Client Spotlight

Leticia Zuniga and her husband are honored with a Courageous Plaintiff’s Award by the National Employment Lawyers Association.

2014: When women thrive, so do communities.

Gender Justice expands into policy advocacy with a bold – and successful! – initiative to shape and pass the Women’s Economic Security Act.

2014: Brought to light sexual harassment in housing through two cases

“We clearly need to do a better job of protecting renters from privacy violations and sexual harassment at home,”Jill Gaulding


Learn More

2015: Setting National Precedents for Trans Rights

In a historic decision issued in March 2015 — the first in the nation — a federal court in Minnesota ruled that Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act’s ban on sex discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of transgender status.

Learn about the case

2015: Gender equity in the workplace

Gender Justice files a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit on behalf of Erica Davidson after she was fired from her job as a restaurant server.

Gender Justice and Deputy Sheriff Amee Pribyl take on Wright County for gender discrimination when Amee was passed over for a promotion in favor of a less-qualified male candidate.  

2016: Removing barriers for trans folks

Gender Justice and client Alice James file a discrimination charge against CSL Plasma with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights after she is rejected from donating because she is a transgender woman.

David and Hannah Edwards join Gender Justice in filing a charge of discrimination with the City of Saint Paul Human Rights Department on behalf of their transgender daughter, alleging the school failed to protect her from persistent gender-based bullying and hostility

2016: Building coalitions

Gender Justice is honored with the 2016 Lavender Community Award

“Winners demonstrate clear dedication and leadership by being either out or an ally and working for the advancement of the community that is comprised of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied people.”Lavender Magazine

Along with coalition partners, Gender Justice launches Minnesotans for Trust, Respect, Access, a statewide campaign to ensure Minnesotans are able to get the reproductive health care they need without harassment, shame or intimidation.

2016: Fighting for Earned Sick and Safe Time

Co-Founder Lisa Stratton served on the task force to help bring Earned Sick & Safe Time to St. Paul workers.

Click here to read about this effort

2016: Welcome Megan Peterson - our new executive director! 👏

Meet Megan

2018: Fighting for gender-affirming health care

The U.S. District Court for Minnesota issues a ruling on behalf of Gender Justice client Brittany Tovar and her son Reid Olson, affirming the ACA’s provision banning discrimination in health care based on sex extends to transgender and gender non-conforming people.

2018: Hands off My BC

Gender Justice joins the Keep Birth Control Co-Pay Free campaign as a state partner in the national fight to protect access to affordable birth control. Throughout the campaign we travelled across the state to talk with folks about the barriers they’ve experienced to accessing birth control. 

2018: Justice for Rae


“He seemed to confess to the crime, twice to his ex-girlfriend, once to police. But prosecutors never charged him. The reasons why show how rape myths continue to influence how justice is meted out in America.”

Listen to our client, Rae Florek’s, story on this episode of Revealed, in partnership with propublica 

2019: Bringing our work together

Gender Justice and ACLU of Minnesota file a lawsuit against the Anoka-Hennepin School District for discriminating against transgender student N.H. and failing to provide him with equal protection and due process under the state constitution and the Minnesota Human Rights Act. 

In a new filing with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Gender Justice asserts that USA Powerlifting illegally discriminated against athlete JayCee Cooper based on her gender identity. 

2019: Growing the Team

Gender Justice welcomes our first ever Advocacy Director, Erin Maye Quade, and our new Legal Director,Jess Braverman!

2019: A new chapter for abortion access


Gender Justice once again makes national headlines, partnering with the Lawyering Project to file a bold new lawsuit in the Second Judicial District of Minnesota challenging medically unnecessary and unconstitutional abortion restrictions.

The UnRestrict Minnesota campaign launches, with Gender Justice helping to lead a coalition advocating for every Minnesotan’s right to make their own decision about whether or when to be a parent, and educating the public on restrictions surrounding abortion care.


2019: Combatting transphobia in sports

In a new filing with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Gender Justice asserts that USA Powerlifting illegally discriminated against athlete JayCee Cooper based on her gender identity.

“I’ve jumped through all the hoops, trying to meet USA Powerlifting’s arbitrary and subjective standards, just to have them respond with an outright ban on transgender women in competitions. At some point you have to say enough is enough. Trans rights are human rights.”Jaycee Cooper, Gender Justice Client

2020: Rallying for Reproductive Freedom


On February 19, 2020 we joined UnRestrict Minnesota and more than 20 local organizations for Reproductive Freedom Lobby Day 2020.

It was a day dedicated to ensuring our legislators become vocal champions for reproductive freedom and stand with the 72% of Minnesotans who agree that everyone should have the power to make healthy decisions about their own bodies.

2020: LEGAL WIN: Safe schools for transgender students

“It means a lot to see that courts protect transgender students like me. Today’s decision makes it very clear that segregating trans students doesn’t just dehumanize us, it violates our legal rights.”

-Gender Justice client and transgender student, N.H.

read about our fight for trans students

You Can Help.

With your financial support, Gender Justice can continue to fight hard for our clients and push the laws forward in our legislature. Be there with us as we work to bring about big, systemic change. Give today.

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