Fiercely protective of her clients’ interests, Sara combines a deep knowledge of employment law with a practical approach to the most complex issues facing national and regional employers.

Overview

A nationally recognized litigation attorney, Sara has broad experience in a wide variety of employment disputes. She defends employers against the full range of employment claims under federal and state laws, serving as lead counsel in jury trials, arbitrations and on appeal. Sara's extensive litigation experience contributes to her ability to provide employers with sound advice on day-to-day human resources issues and to serve as a proactive partner in her clients' strategic business initiatives.

Sara represents local and national companies in labor and employment law litigation with an impressive track record of success. Her practice encompasses complex class and collective action cases under state and federal law, as well as claims of discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, Family and Medical Leave Act violations, confidentiality and non-compete agreements. In addition to serving as lead counsel in litigation, Sara also has successfully represented employers in government audits and investigations and guided them toward quick and favorable resolutions.

Prior to joining the firm, Sara served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Howard F. Sachs, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

Experience

Sara’s considerable class and collective action experience includes:

  • Defense of a worldwide healthcare information technology company in multiple class and collective action lawsuits alleging violations of federal and state wage and hour laws
  • Representation of a global packaging company in a nationwide collective action alleging "off the clock" claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Defense of a wireless technology deployment company against class and collective action claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Defense of a federally qualified health center against class and collective action claims alleging misclassification of exempt employees
  • Representation of a multi-state property management firm in a class and collective action case alleging misclassification of exempt employees

Sara’s impressive roster of victories in discrimination claims includes:

  • Successful defense of a worldwide hotel company, through trial and appeal, against claims of harassment based on race, sex and age
  • Successful defense of a regional bank, at trial, against claims of gender discrimination under Missouri state law
  • Enforcement of mandatory arbitration agreements and successful defense of a professional services firm at arbitration hearing
  • Numerous summary judgment decisions and successful defense of those decisions on appeal for clients in a wide variety of industries, including a U.S.-based airline, a national bank, a Major League Baseball franchise, and one of the world's largest food companies
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a regional medical center in a case alleging violation of the FMLA and discrimination based on disability
  • Successfully defended a credit services company, through summary judgment and appeal, against claims of wrongful discharge based on an employee's whistleblowing
  • Recent reported cases include Washington v. American Airlines, Case No. 08-6121, 2011 WL 4729813 (W.D. Mo., Oct. 7, 2011); 2015 WL 1345221 (8th Cir. March 26, 2015)

News & Insights

Recognitions

Recognitions

Named one of the Kansas City Business Journal's 2013 Women Who Mean Business.

Listed in the 2013-2019 editions of The Best Lawyers in America© for Labor and Employment Law and selected as 2015 Litigation – Labor and Employment "Lawyer of the Year" in Kansas City, Mo.

Listed in the 2010-2018 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for Labor & Employment. Sources say Sara is "one of the top lawyers in town …very knowledgeable and thoughtful," with a "broad employment litigation practice." A client also attests: "She gets right to the heart of what the issues are and makes balanced recommendations as to what makes sense for our company."

Professional & Civic Activities

Professional & Civic Activities

Board of Directors for the Folly Theater, Member and 2018 Event Co-Chair

Board of Directors for Friends of the Conservatory of Music and Dance, Past Member

Board of Directors of Kansas City Young Audiences, Past Member and 2019 Event Co-Chair

Hope House, Past Board Member; Board Chairperson, 2010-2012

2004 Woman of the Year Candidate, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

American Employment Law Council, Member

Kansas Bar Association

The Missouri Bar

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association

Admissions

  • Missouri, 1993
  • Kansas, 1994

Education

Northwestern University, J.D., 1993

University of Kansas, B.A., with highest distinction, 1990

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