Donna L. Harper

Donna L. Harper

Donna Harper’s legal career has been devoted to advancing the rights of employees in the workplace. She worked for more than 25 years for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, serving as a Supervisory Trial Attorney and Acting Assistant General Counsel. She led the government’s prosecution of:

  • Lockheed Martin in an age discrimination case that settled for more than $13 million,
  • an age discrimination case against Monsanto that settled for more than $18 million
  • an action for Filipino workers against Woodbine Healthcare Center that settled for $2.1 million.

While still at the EEOC, Donna teamed up with Mary Anne Sedey in two cases that remain landmark discrimination cases for our community:

  • the class action sex discrimination case against Rent-A-Center, in which they obtained a $47 million settlement and hundreds of new jobs for women.
  • the race and retaliation claim against the Adam’s Mark Hotel where the jury awarded nearly $5 million to two employees.

After leaving EEOC, Donna joined Mary Anne to form the Sedey Harper firm where she has continued trying and arbitrating cases with excellent results for her clients.

Results in recent cases include the following settlements and judgements obtained for her clients:

  • $620,000 verdict for a Springfield, IL police officer the City retaliated against
  • $273,000 settlement for a paramedic treated less well because of her sex
  • $450,000 arbitration award on an age discrimination claim
  • $200,000 settlement for a female employee paid significantly less than her male peers
  • $337,000 verdict for an Arab-American in a hostile work environment claim
  • $185,000 settlement for a client with a mental disability
  • $157,000 severance negotiation for a doctor terminated in violation of his contract

“We all face unfairness in our lives, but when unfairness deprives you of your livelihood and the dignity of work, the law gives us a weapon to fight back. It’s an honor to work with clients to help to right wrongs that do great harm to you and your families.

Contact Donna
Awards & Activities
  • Recognized in Super Lawyers for Employment Law—Individuals, 2007 – present
  • Recognized in Best Lawyers in America for Employment Law—Individuals
  • College of Labor and Employment Lawyers Fellow, 2004 – present
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly Litigation Practitioner Award, 2016
  • Keynote Speaker, University of Missouri – St. Louis Pay Equity Symposium, 2014
  • National Employment Lawyers Association – St. Louis Chapter President, 2013 – 2015
  • Washington University School of Law Access to Equal Justice Award, 2004
  • EEOC Chairman’s Award, 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2004
  • Meds and Foods for Kids, Advisory Board Member, 2014 – present
  • Member: Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, National Employment Lawyers Association – St. Louis Chapter, and Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater St. Louis
Education

B.A., Saint Louis University, cum laude, 1972

J.D., Saint Louis University, 1979

Court Admissions
  • State of Missouri
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • United States District Court, Western District of Missouri
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Illinois