SALLY ABRAHAMSON - LGBTQ discrimination and Class Action Employment Lawyer

Our job is to zealously advocate for every client. Our goal is to advance the rights of all workers.

Sally J. Abrahamson

Partner
Washington, DC Office
(202) 847-4400

About

SALLY J. ABRAHAMSON is a partner at Outten & Golden LLP in Washington, DC. She is head of the Class Action Practice Group for the DC Office, and is co-chair of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ) Workplace Rights Practice Group.  Ms. Abrahamson represents individual employees facing discrimination based on their sexual orientation and litigates nationwide collective and class actions.  Ms. Abrahamson represented plaintiffs in the Cote v. Walmart $7.5 million class action settlement on behalf of Walmart associates who were unable to obtain health insurance coverage for their same-sex spouses from Walmart from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2013.* Ms. Abrahamson was also a part of the O&G team litigating a class action against the Census Bureau that challenged the use of arrest and criminal history records as a screen for employment for 850,000 applicants.  In 2016, the parties reached a landmark settlement that requires the Census Bureau to reform its hiring practices for the 2020 decennial census as well as creating a class-member Records Assistance Project housed at the Cornell University ILR School.  In 2017, Public Justice awarded Class Counsel in the Census case with their prestigious Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.

Ms. Abrahamson has also litigated and settled class actions on behalf of restaurant and catering workers, retail employees, and skilled service technicians and repair employees.  Ms. Abrahamson speaks frequently about issues facing LGBTQ employees and low wage workers.

Prior to joining the firm in 2012, Ms. Abrahamson litigated collective action and individual wage and hour cases at the D.C. Employment Justice Center, where she won two bench trials in D.C. Superior Court on behalf of two individual low wage restaurant workers.*  After graduating from law school, Ms. Abrahamson was a law clerk to the Honorable Frank Montalvo, U.S. District Judge in the Western District of Texas, El Paso Division.  In addition to serving as Judge Montalvo’s law clerk, Ms. Abrahamson drafted speeches and papers in Spanish on topics ranging from arbitration to due process in support of Judge Montalvo’s position on the Committee on International Judicial Relations.
 
Ms. Abrahamson received her B.A. from Oberlin College and her J.D., with honors, from American University’s Washington College of Law where she received the Dean’s Award for Professional Responsibility – Outstanding Student in the Clinical Program for her work with the Domestic Violence Clinic.

Ms. Abrahamson is admitted to practice law in New York, Texas, Washington, D.C., and the United States District Courts for the District of Columbia, United States District Courts for the District of Maryland, the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, the Western District of New York, the Southern District of Texas, and Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

(*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.)

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Bar Admissions & Professional Activities

  • Ms. Abrahamson is admitted to practice law in New York, Texas, Washington, D.C., and the United States District Courts for the District of Columbia, United States District Courts for the District of Maryland, the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, the Western District of New York, the Southern District of Texas, and Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • Association Board member, The LGBT Bar Association Greater New York (LeGaL) 

  • Member, New York City Bar Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights

  • Member, National LGBT Bar Association

  • Member, NELA (National Employment Lawyers Association)

  • Member, American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section

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Speaking Engagements

2018

  • Speaker: "Navigating Individual Cases Post-Decertification or in Arbitration," American Association for Justice Annual Convention, Denver, Colorado
  • Speaker: "Devising Innovative Strategies for Arbitrating Wage & Hour Cases and Understanding the Implications of the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Class Action Waivers," American Conference Institute, Wage & Hour Claims & Class Actions, New York, NY
  • Panelist: "Workplace Issues Arising from LGBTQ Employees," Arbitration, Justice, and the Individual in the Workplace: Keeping the Human Element in View conference, A joint program of the American Arbitration Association, Cornell ILR’s Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution, and New York Law School, New York, NY

2017

  • Panelist: "Workplace Issues and Legal Developments Impacting LGBTQ Employees," South Asian Bar Association of North America Annual Conference, Washington, DC
  • Panelist: "Plaintiff as Producing Party: Best practices for handling annoying and sometimes abusive discovery requests," The New York City Fall Conference on Representing Employees, New York, NY

2016

  • Speaker: "Hybrid FLSA/NYLL Class Actions," Low-Wage Worker Task Force, April CLE, New York, NY
  • Panelist: "LGBT Discrimination Panel, OUTLaw," Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York, NY

2015

  • Chair: "Employment Law Post - Obergefell," New York City Bar Association, CLE program, New York, NY
  • Panelist: "LGBT Rights Law Panel," Columbia University, Columbia Undergraduate Law Review, New York, NY
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Publications & Articles

Trump Administration Blinks, Revises Tip-Pooling Legislation

Sally J. Abrahamson, O&G Employment Law Blog, May 7, 2018

In late March, the Trump administration backed off from a proposal that would have effectively given restaurants and other employers the legal right to pocket workers' tips. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the proposed rule change last December, saying it would give employers the "freedom to share tips between traditionally tipped and non-tipped workers." It would have rolled back regulations introduced in 2011 by the Obama administration that barred employers from redistributing tips to anyone other than the employees who would normally receive them.

Too often, however, tip-pooling with non-tipped workers becomes wage theft when employers use it as a way to redirect tips to themselves. In the case of the DOL proposal, managers, supervisors and even business owners would have been legally entitled to receive a portion of workers' tips.

Thankfully, the backlash that erupted in response to the proposed change forced the DOL to reconsider the proposal and, ultimately, put forward amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that better protect tipped workers.

Trump Tweets to Ban Transgender Service Members from Serving "In Any Capacity in the U.S. Military"

Sally Abrahamson, O&G Employment Law Blog, July 27, 2017

EEOC Rules Sexual Orientation-Based Discrimination is Sex Discrimination Under Title VII

Sally J. Abrahamson, O&G Employment Law Blog, July 23, 2015

Obergefell v. Hodges and Its Potential Impact on Employment Law

Sally J. Abrahamson, O&G Employment Law Blog, June 29, 2015

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Awards & Recognition

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