For more than a decade, Sarah has been providing litigation and preventative employment and business advice services to corporate clients with locations in Washington and California – both large and small. Sarah has expertise as follows:
- Served as sole outside employment and business counsel to corporations with both local and national presence in construction, audio-visual, healthcare, and legal industries.
- Litigated highly contested breach of contract matter involving multi-million dollar merger agreement.
- Defended corporate employers with operations in Washington state throughout litigation in cases involving issues ranging from wage and hour (class and non-class) to discrimination, non-competition, and ERISA. Successfully negotiated favorable resolutions and execute efficient litigation strategy within litigation budgetary constraints.
- Provided counsel and advice to corporate clients regarding matters affecting life cycle of employment, including hiring, implementation and enforcement of non-competition agreements, non-solicitation agreements, bonus and severance plans, leave and accommodation, and terminations of employment. Advice focuses on limiting liability while furthering corporate business goals.
- Promptly and expediently prepared position statements in response to EEOC charges and Seattle Office for Civil Rights complaints on behalf of local and national clients. 100 percent dismissal rate.
- Managed complex e-discovery involving hundreds of gigabytes of email data on backup tapes in gender and age discrimination lawsuit on behalf of nationwide client. Supervised internal e-discovery expert as well as three vendors.
- Successfully opposed appeal before Washington State Court of Appeals, Div. One.
- Litigated gender discrimination matter involving significant electronic discovery to early resolution immediately after plaintiff’s deposition, with plaintiff agreeing to walk away from the litigation.
Sarah has the following areas of expertise:
Corporate Breach of Contract, including litigating allegations of breach of merger agreement in multi-million dollar deal;
Equal Opportunity Actions and Policies, including allegations and charges of discrimination or retaliation before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, the Washington Human Rights Commission, and policies and respectful workplace training relating to disabilities, religious accommodations, sexual harassment, and all other forms of discrimination;
Independent Contractor and Consulting Issues, including drafting and reviewing consulting agreements, performing independent contractor misclassification analyses, and responding to governmental audits;
Reductions in Force, including the Federal WARN Act, protected group termination impact analyses, separation agreements and general releases;
Wage and Hour Compliance, including issues relating to overtime and exemptions from overtime, the minimum wage, tips, the payment of and deductions from wages, wage and hour audits, recordkeeping obligations, and federal, state and municipal labor laws;
Employment Agreements and Restrictive Covenants, including drafting and reviewing employment agreements and provisions relating to bonuses, draw and commission structures, non-solicitation, non-competition, and confidentiality;
Technology and Privacy Concerns, including drafting and reviewing online social media policies, technology and e-mail usage policies, federal and state workplace privacy laws, off-duty conduct laws, drug-testing, background and credit checks; and
Human Resource and Compliance Counseling, including drafting and reviewing employee handbooks, job descriptions for overtime and ADA compliance, disability and family and medical leave compliance, vacation and PTO policies, military leave laws, meal and break requirements, jury duty and voting leave, and employment application issues.
Admitted to practice in Washington and California
Presentations and Publications
- Co-presenter at breakfast briefing for existing and potential clients, “Top Ten Reasons Why High-Tech and Life Science Companies Will Get Sued in 2006.”
- Co-presenter at breakfast briefing for existing and potential clients, “Quirky Questions in Employment Law,” April 2007.
- Co-presenter at annual SHRM conference, “Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility,” March 2007.
- Published article in AeA Techline, September 2006: “Trade Secrets & the Internet: Free Speech or Illegal Activity?”
- Co-Presenter at seminar, “Drug Testing in Washington,” February 2008.
- Co-Presenter at annual SHRM conference, “Introduction to Washington Leave Laws,” March 2008.
- Presented Sexual Harassment Prevention Training to local Puget Sound companies.
- Presenter at South Puget Sound SHRM Chapter Meeting: “Ethics and Internal Investigations,” November 2009.
- Co-Presenter at annual SHRM conference, “Cyberstalking and the ‘New’ Sexual Harassment,” March 2010.
- Co-Presenter at annual SHRM conference, “Social Media and the Law,” March & June 2010.
- “Social Media and Ethics for Attorneys,” King County Bar Association Elder Law and Guardianship Section Meeting, May 2012.
- FAQs on Spokane Sick and Safe Leave Law, March 2016