Betsy Rader files defamation complaint against Jerry Cirino and Republican Senate Campaign Committee

Betsy Rader files defamation complaint against Jerry Cirino and Republican Senate Campaign Committee  
Civil rights attorney provides clear proof that TV ad run by Cirino lies about her record

GEAUGA COUNTY –  On Thursday, civil rights attorney and State Senate candidate Betsy Rader filed a defamation complaint against Jerry Cirino and the Ohio Republican Senate Campaign Committee for damages resulting from their defamatory TV ad, which is currently running on broadcast and cable networks. The ad makes patently false claims regarding Ms. Rader’s work as an attorney more than 25 years ago. It features a quote and allegations, without a single citation, to misrepresent the facts of a case and place Ms. Rader in a false light. 

Judge Ann Aldrich dismissed the case quoted in the defamatory ad, noting that none of the women worked at the company after 1992 and no complaints of harassment occurred after 1992.  Ms. Rader did not begin working at the company until 1994.  Judge Aldrich’s ruling states that during the time Ms. Rader worked at the company, women no longer complained of sexual harassment.   Ms. Rader was part of the solution, not part of the problem, at the defendant company.  Her role was to provide sexual harassment training and to ensure the company’s compliance with employment laws.  The judge’s ruling reveals that Ms. Rader’s work on behalf of women was salutary and effective.

Ms. Rader is an attorney whose profession is representing victims of discrimination and sexual harassment, and providing training to organizations regarding proper policies and procedures to prevent sexual harassment.  She is recognized locally, statewide, and nationally as a strong advocate for women in the workplace. She also serves on the Board of the Ohio Employment Lawyers Association, the bar association for civil rights attorneys representing workers in discrimination and sexual harassment cases.  

“It is despicable that my male opponent is co-opting the #MeToo movement and lying in order to smear the reputation of a woman whose career is dedicated to representing victims of sexual harassment,” Rader said.  “I became an attorney precisely so that I could empower myself and others, and I am not going to allow this illegal campaign conduct to take place without consequences for Mr. Cirino and the Republican Senate Campaign Committee.”

Ms. Rader’s extensive work advocating for women includes the following:

  • During her time at Yale Law School Ms. Rader represented women needing protective orders to protect them from domestic violence.
  • Ms. Rader was a national spokesperson for the clerical and technical workers union striking at Yale for pay equity.
  • After law school, Rader’s volunteer work included volunteering at battered women’s shelters.
  • As part of her child advocacy work beginning in 1999, Ms. Rader has represented children who have been sexually abused and who live in homes with domestic violence.
  • A significant aspect of Ms. Rader’s work as an in-house attorney was teaching companies how to properly comply with sexual harassment laws and other anti-discrimination laws.
  • Since 2015, Ms. Rader’s full-time job has been representing victims of discrimination including victims of sexual harassment, and training companies on how to be compliant with sexual harassment laws.
  • Her volunteer work includes helping low-income women at Legal Aid and working with the volunteer attorney arm of Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund supporting individuals who have experienced sexual harassment or retaliation in the workplace.
  • Ms. Rader is on the Board of the Ohio Employment Lawyers Association, which is comprised of lawyers who represent victims of sexual harassment and other discrimination.
  • Ms. Rader is a respected member of the National Employment Lawyers Association and was a founding board member of the Stand Up for Workers PAC supporting women’s rights.
  • Ms. Rader has consistently been named as one of the Best Lawyers representing individuals in employment rights cases in the Cleveland area by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ms. Rader has served as co-chair of the Women in Law Section of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and as a board member of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association. 
  • Ms. Rader has been awarded a YWCA Women of Professional Excellence Award and has published multiple pieces on workplace discrimination including a 2014 article in the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Journal.
  • Ms. Rader has been a speaker for organizations like the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association on the topic of sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement, and has been frequently quoted in the press on the issue of sexual harassment and the importance of companies taking such claims seriously.