Telfer said that she hopes each of her wins, either in court or through settlement, effects some change in the workplace. “I try to take the cases that are cause-driven,” she said.
Among her significant cases over the past 18 months, Telfer took up the cause of a special agent for the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, division of law enforcement, with the Department of Justice, in a retaliation claim. Rodriguez v. Department of Justice, 34-2008-00007351, (Sacramento Super. Ct.).
The veteran agent had been denied promotion on several occasions and complained of discrimination. He attempted to resolve this internally, but his requests were ignored, Telfer said. He then sought help from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The DOJ settled with him, promising career enhancing assignments, but, she said, breached the settlement and began retaliating against him for his own complaints, and for helping other employees who had filed internal grievances for alleged discrimination.
Ultimately, he was involuntarily transferred to the Bureau of Gambling in 2008.
After a five week trial, the agent won more than $560,000 in damages and Telfer secured more than $700,000 in fees and costs.