My story of discrimination
I began my career in law enforcement first in the US Army and then inside Indiana's most dangerous prisons. I had the opportunity to rise through the ranks until I was one of only twelve Majors in the State's correctional system.
I took a leave to complete my gender transition, but upon my return, I was subjected to harassment and discrimination.
I returned as a beginning level, correctional officer rather than in leadership, and the inmates abused and threatened me with assault as word spread of my gender transition and prior rank.
I tried to seek help from my supervisors, only to be ignored, disparaged and placed in harm's way. So I turned to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for help. A short time later, I was assaulted by an inmate serving 60 years to life for murdering a child. I used my training to subdue the inmate and call for back up. That night I was suspended and then fired, and I believe it was because I had sought help from the EEOC.
"Retaliation is illegal, and we are happy to help Stephanie fight back," says Leslie Barnes, part of her legal team.
My legal claim
Federal law prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee for filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
My legal team consists of Bill Groth and Karen Celestino-Horseman, part of the group challenging Indiana's ban on same sex marriage and working for same sex spouses to be listed on their child's birth certificates, and Leslie Barnes.
My lawyers have put in hundreds of hours at no charge to me, but the investigation and discovery is costly. Funds raised will NOT go to my legal fees but be used for essential investigations and discovery costs.
But, with your help, we can ensure that Hoosiers across the state are protected from retaliation.
How this case helps all Hoosiers
Barnes explained that "If Stephanie wins, the State can be required to adopt policies and training that protect all Hoosiers from discrimination on the job. This decision will serve as a legal guide for employment discrimination cases."
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