Meredith Holley is a lawyer, life coach, and bestselling author of two books: Career Defense 101: How to Stop Sexual Harassment Without Quitting Your Job and The Inclusive Leader's Guide to Healthy Workplace Culture. She helps employees stop sexual harassment and toxic work environments without quitting their jobs. One of the ways she does that is by working with businesses on harassment and discrimination prevention.
Early in her legal career, Meredith got her dream job, representing women in sexual harassment lawsuits. The problem was that she was being sexually harassed, herself, by a supervisor at the same time. She went to more experienced attorneys and heard the same thing over and over: "Things are really sexist and you just have to deal with it" or "You could quit?" Not satisfied with those answers, she kept looking. Eventually, she found tools that worked. She encountered the situation so differently that her harasser apologized, stopped touching her, and they worked together safely for years after. Now she teaches the tools that worked for her in Cultural Health IMPACT Training.
While the main focus of her practice involves helping employees resolve toxic work environments without leaving their jobs, and there are more examples of those successes here, Meredith represents employees in lawsuits when the work environment cannot be resolved. Examples of our past cases:
In Doe v. Oregon, a Lane County Sheriff's Deputy stalked and harassed a Child Protective Services investigator, telling her that he wanted to see her tied up in "sex ropes," and that she could disappear at any time. The Deputy was forced to resign, and the investigator brought her case against her employer in federal court for failing to protect her or respond effectively to the harassment. She ultimately resolved the case. Reporting on the case is here.
In Henry v. Life Care Centers of America, an end-of-life patient was hypersexualized and frequently groped nurses and other staff. Our client alleged that administration knew of the behavior and gave the harassing patient an iPad to use for watching porn. Administration told our client they could teach her to tolerate the harassment better. She sued in federal court and was ultimately able to resolve the claims. Reporting on the case is here.
In Doe v. Lussuria Salon, a massage therapist sexually assaulted a patient. After a brave witness came forward saying she had been assaulted before our client and reported it to the salon, our client was able to resolve her case. Reporting on that case is here.
In Raza v. Lane Community College, a student stalked, sexually harassed, and threatened our client, who was an instructor. When she reported the harassment, an administrator told her that procedures were out of compliance, and another administrator gave her a brochure of safety tips that was so outdated, it recommended she keep pocket change in case she urgently needed to use a payphone. Our client sued in federal court, alleging that the college failed to protect her or create a safe campus environment and ultimately resolved her claims. Reporting on that case is here.
In Fawcett et al. v. Willamette University, the university eliminated one of its only women's sports teams and a brave group of female athletes sued, resulting in a conciliation agreement intended to bring the university into compliance, offering fair opportunities to athletics for all genders.
Meredith attended undergraduate and law school at the University of Oregon. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, she developed a mentorship program between her high school students and younger girls in the local orphanage.
Meredith loves peonies, astrology podcasts, and commissioning art. She lives in Eugene, Oregon with her cat, Cressida, and her puppy, Pema.
Lindsey is our Legal Assistant/Office Manager. She is an INFJ (Myers-Briggs), and an 8 wing 7 on the Enneagram. Lindsey worked as administrative staff for a union, for years, and is a passionate advocate for social change and workers' rights. She loves supporting people in goal setting and getting. And, she shines at encouraging others to take scary but calculated risks to realize the dreams they have for themselves.
Her favorite part of working at Eris is knowing that the work we do is making a meaningful impact on our clients and the people around them.
She is also a writer who is passionate about collecting books, varieties of mint tea, and advocacy. Fun facts: road trips are her favorite; she has an irrational fear of tsunamis; her partner Eric says "she would risk life and limb to save a dog in peril"; and her favorite writer is Mary Karr, whom she highly recommends to everyone she meets.
Shiwanni is a third-year law student at the University of Oregon, School of Law. She is interested in data privacy, cybersecurity, and the different ways that technology intersects with the law. It has been so fun to have her join the team!
She spends her free time skating, riding her fixie, and reading poetry. As a Capricorn, Shiwanni is a fan of organization and efficiency. She wants to help people succeed and reach their goals. Shiwanni's favorite part about working at Eris is the team. Being taught by a group of inspiring women has given her a vision of what she can accomplish as a woman in the legal world.
She also has a super-fun podcast about law, legal education, and the legal community in Oregon: www.tomapodcast.com. Check it out!