Kathleen Peratis - Sexual Harassment Employment Attorney

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Kathleen Peratis


KATHLEEN PERATIS is a partner at Outten & Golden LLP in New York. She has practiced employment law for over 25 years including employment contracts and separation agreements. At Outten & Golden, she chairs the Public Interest Committee and Sexual Harassment Practice Group and is a member of the Executives and Professionals Practice Group. At the ACLU from 1975 to 1979 as the director of the Women's Rights Project working with, (now) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she brought lawsuits successfully challenging as unconstitutional laws that discriminated against women on account of gender, including on account of pregnancy.

In one of those cases, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that pregnant women could not, on account of pregnancy alone, be deprived of unemployment compensation. In another, the court declared that service women could not be discharged on account of pregnancy. In a third case, Ms. Peratis successfully represented a female midshipman who was being expelled for being in bed with a male colleague—while the male midshipman faced no punishment.

In private practice for the last thirty years, Ms. Peratis has continued to represent women and men who are entering or leaving executive or professional employment or are survivors of workplace discrimination and abuse. Her clients include people who are rising on the corporate and professional ladders as well as those who have lost promotions or jobs because of their race, religion, color, or LGBTQ status. She has recovered millions of dollars for these survivors, usually in settlement and sometimes at trial. Under Ms. Peratis’s leadership the Public Interest Committee at Outten & Golden has taken on the representation of people with workplace claims too small to be economically viable for most lawyers but too important to ignore.

Ms. Peratis authored a text book called Woman and the Law and is a contributor to Workplace Harassment, ed. Lindemann Kadue, BNA (2012); she has spoken and written on a wide range of issues or employment law. She was a regular columnist for The Jewish Daily Forward, with a column called "Only Human," from 2004 to 2010, writing about women's rights and human rights. She continues to be an occasional op-ed contributor. She has authored op-eds that have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other periodicals, as well as essays that have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Lilith, The Washington Times and others.

Film Appearance:

"RBG" (US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) Documentary - Kathleen Peratis segments

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Bar Admissions & Professional Activities

  • Ms. Peratis is admitted to practice law only in New York.

  • Co-chair of the Middle East North Africa division of Human Rights Watch, emerita member of HRW's board of directors, founding chair of HRW's Women's Right division; and helped to create and implement HRW's policy on officially tolerated violence against women and reproductive freedom under international human rights law.

  • Co-founder, J Street

  • Member, board of directors of The Jewish Daily Forward

  • Past member, board of the New York Civil Liberties Union for many years and was its president from 1988 to 1993.

  • Board member, New Israel Fund since 1993 and was its Vice President in North America until 1999.

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"RBG" (US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) Documentary - Kathleen Peratis segments

Outten & Golden LLP partner Kathleen Peratis was with the ACLU from 1975 to 1979 as the director of the Women’s Rights Project with (now) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, brought lawsuits successfully challenging as unconstitutional laws that discriminated against women on account of gender, including on account of pregnancy.

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Publications & Articles

Donald Trump makes us cringe, but like a stopped clock, he's right once in a while.  He says a woman who experiences workplace sexual harassment...

Two decades after Anita Hill's testimony against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, women are still punished for confronting their harassers. Outten & Golden Attorney, Kathleen Peratis.

A brief discussion of teens and sexual harassment in the workplace, by employment lawyer Kathleen Peratis.

An essay on the differences in sexual harassment in Europe and the U.S, by employment law attorney Kathleen Peratis.

A brief discussion of who transgender people are, and the differences between transgender and gay people. Employment attorney Kathleen Peratis.

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Awards & Recognition

  • Best Lawyers in America - Employment Law 2020 - 2022

  • Super Lawyers 2008-2023

  • Legal 500 United States Recommended Labor and Employment Lawyer 2019-2020

  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment Lawyers 2018-2021

  • New York Metro Super Lawyers Women 2015, 2019

  • Martin D. Ginsberg Award, presented by Ruth Bader Ginsberg, September 2018

  • New York Women Leaders in the Law - New York Magazine (2013-15)

  • New York Area’s Best Lawyers by New York Magazine

  • Awardee, J Street's 2011 Tzedek v'Shalom (Justice and Peace)

  • Awardee, A Woman of Valor by the Jewish Fund for Justice

  • Awardee, Distinguished Service by Human Rights Watch

  • Recipient of Partner In Justice Award of MFY Legal Services

  • Awardee, Medal of Honor from Veteran Feminists of America

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