Sara is the Global Practice Group Leader for Reed Smith's Labor & Employment Group and serves as the head of U.S. Labor and Employment. Sara is result-driven and has been working with clients to solve complex employment problems for nearly 25 years. Her practice is diverse, and includes counseling employers on the scope of employment issues and litigating cases involving race, age, disability, gender discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, and individual and collective/class wage-and-hour litigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act and analogous state laws.
Sara has tried various employment-related and breach-of-contract cases in federal and state courts, and before administrative and arbitration tribunals. Sara has successfully had a number of race, retaliation, and national origin matters dismissed on summary judgment. Her most recent jury trials involved claims of race, age and disability discrimination, and retaliation that resulted in defense verdicts for our clients. Additionally, she represents employers in Sarbanes-Oxley and state law whistleblower claims, and a significant portion of her practice also involves trade secret and restrictive covenant litigation, which includes litigating preliminary and permanent injunctions in state and federal court.
Along with her litigation work, Sara drafts and negotiates employment agreements, restrictive covenant and confidentiality agreements, severance packages, other employment-related agreements and contracts, employee handbooks, and employer policies and procedures.
Sara conducts investigations for corporations where internal complaints of discrimination have been made, and also conducts global investigations for Fortune 100 clients.
Additionally, Sara is experienced in conducting management training on a variety of employment issues for corporations and government agencies, and is a frequent lecturer on the topics of discrimination, sexual harassment, ADA, FMLA, internal and EEOC investigations, and workplace privacy and social media. She is routinely asked to participate in presentations for the bar association, law school programs and human resources organizations on the topics of employment litigation and trial training, including:
- Washington Post on Social Media
- PBI (Pennsylvania Bar Institute) on Effective Use of Expert Witnesses; Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace; Retaliation in the Workplace; Age Discrimination Trial; Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets Trial; Interplay of FMLA, STD and ADA; Handling the Sexual Discrimination Case; Trial of an Age Discrimination Case; Reduction in Force – Mandatory & Best Practices; To Mediate, Or Not To Mediate; EEOC Initiatives; Cross-Examining Expert Witnesses; Retaliation Claims; Asserting Counterclaims When Defending Suits by Employees; Negotiating & Drafting Enforceable Settlement Releases; and Litigating the Non-Compete/Trade Secrets Case
- University of Pennsylvania Law School/Hope II for Haiti: A Pro Bono Project for Haiti on Corporate Social Responsibility (March 2012)
- AIG for their Employment Law Institute
- RIM (Risk Management Society) on the Deposition of HR Professionals
Sara is deeply committed to pro bono work, and dedicates significant time to Reed Smith’s ongoing pro bono and humanitarian projects to assist Haitian women victimized by sexual violence following the earthquake in 2010. In March 2012, Sara travelled to Haiti to work with our pro bono clients to help secure shelter and medical care. Sara also volunteers her time with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Sara enjoys an AV® PreeminentTM Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell and was selected by The Legal Intelligencer as one of its "Women of the Year" in 2012 and was selected as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer.