Sara concentrates her practice in employment litigation and she has significant experience representing employers in all facets of employment-related litigation. She defends businesses before administrative agencies (e.g., the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the Indianapolis Civil Rights Commission, Ohio Job and Family Services) and in federal and state courts involving employment-related claims including, but not limited to, claims arising under the FLSA, FMLA, ERISA, COBRA, ADA, the ADEA, Title VII, FCRA, the Ohio Civil Rights Act, diverse state law wrongful discharge, statutory, contract, and other discrimination, retaliation and whistleblower laws. She also represents employers, consumer reporting agencies and “furnishers” of information against claims brought under the FCRA (single plaintiff and class suits) regarding their background check procedures.
Sara is also a member of the firm's E-Discovery Practice Group and the firm's Technology and Privacy & Data Security Practice Group and regularly advises clients on the management and discovery of electronically stored information, which includes advising employers about social media issues, and other workplace privacy concerns. Sara has been in front of social media-in-litigation issue ever since she represented an employer and sued a former employee for violations of the Ohio Uniform Trade Secret Act, breach of his non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, among other claims for the former employee’s conduct on LinkedIn in Graziano v. NESCO Service Company, No. 1:09CV2661 (N.D. Ohio). It was one of the first cases in the country to allege such claims. And as the issue of social media in the law has continued to grow with Facebook, Twitter, G+, Instagram, etc., Sara continues to stay in front of all social media-in-employment-law issues, including social media background checks in hiring; use of social media in employee discipline; proper preservation of social media; social media in discovery, including extraction of social media for use in litigation; and authentication of social media for evidentiary purposes. She has written numerous blogs, presented numerous seminars on these issues and been featured on the news and in various other media publications for her work in this area.This area of Sara’s practice also extends to working with clients in responding to cybersmearing campaigns by anonymous and known sources.
As part of her extensive compliance practice, Sara has drafted company handbooks, workplace policies (e.g., social media, non-compete/non-solicitation policies, drug and alcohol testing); 50-state surveys detailing compliance standards with respect to meal/break, vacation pay, reimbursement, payroll deductions and others; severance agreements; releases; among others.
Sara has worked for companies of all sizes, from start-ups to the Fortune 100, in many different industries, including healthcare, foodservice, manufacturing, technology, professional services, consumer products, and financial services, as well as non-profit organizations and state employers.
Sara frequently presents training seminars regarding a variety of employment law issues. Her clients rely on her to guide them through difficult personnel issues prior to litigation erupting and in navigating litigation in the event it occurs. She is also a frequent writer for Porter Wright's employment blog.
Prior to joining Porter Wright, Sara was an associate at Ogletree Deakins where she also concentrated her practice on employment litigation defense.
- Sitting second chair, successfully litigated on behalf of a company to verdict in breach of a non-compete case that included an award of attorneys' fees
- Successfully defended on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion a consumer reporting agency against claims brought under Kentucky’s Consumer Protection Act and against state law claims of defamation, invasion of privacy, tortious interference with a business relationship, among others
- Successfully defended provider of mental/medical care service to incarcerated population against allegations of wrongful termination in violation of public policy, the Ohio Whistleblower Statute, among others
- Successfully defended employer against race discrimination claim brought under Section 1981 by arguing that the statute does not extend extraterritorially
- Obtained summary judgment for Fortune 50 company against claims brought under the ADA and Ohio State Law
- Obtained summary judgment for large hospital system against claims of retaliation and wrongful termination under Title VII and Ohio State law;
- Obtained summary judgment on ERISA/COBRA claims based on separation pay benefits brought against a national staffing company
- Obtained summary judgment against claims for retaliation, violations of the ADA and Title VII (national origin discrimination) in the Western District of Michigan brought against a global engineering company
- Successfully defending large computer company in misappropriation of trade secrets litigation
- Acted as primary contract for non-profit organization's labor and employment hotline and provided daily advice to its members that utilized the service