Sarah Morton defends employers in class and collective actions arising under the FLSA and related state wage and hour laws and in individual and multi-plaintiff actions alleging violations of federal, state, and local discrimination, harassment, and leave and accommodation laws. Sarah is a trial lawyer, having tried employment cases to verdict in both federal and state court, in private arbitration, and before administrative hearing examiners. She represents clients before administrative agencies including the Texas Workforce Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, US Department of Justice, and US Department of Labor.
To assist clients in avoiding litigation, Sarah counsels them through personnel-related decisions, conducts and directs internal investigations and compliance audits, and assists in the design and implementation of employment policies and practices.
Sarah is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and a recognized “Rising Star” by industry insiders. Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Sarah spent eight years as an associate in the Houston office of the nation’s largest labor and employment defense firm, where she managed and conducted several wage and hour compliance audits under the tutelage of the former Administrator to the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division and author of the 2004 FLSA white collar exemptions.
In law school, Sarah was a three-year member of the mock trial team, an executive officer on the Board of Advocates, and recognized for her outstanding oral advocacy skills by induction into the national Order of Barristers.
Defended a Fortune 500 gas distribution company against workman’s compensation retaliation claims filed by a former employee. As first chair trial counsel, Sarah obtained a full defense verdict following a week-long state court jury trial.
Defended a Fortune 500 oil and gas services company against allegations of race and national origin discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment asserted by twelve employees after nooses were discovered in the workplace. After first obtaining dismissal of the retaliation claims on summary judgment, Sarah defended the company as second-chair trial counsel in a five-week federal court jury trial. The jury returned a defense verdict on 17 of 18 asserted claims, but were unable to reach consensus on the remaining claim, which the parties then settled.
Represented a Fortune 500 oil and gas services company in a multi-plaintiff federal court lawsuit filed by a group of employees alleging that their department managers harassed and discriminated against them based on their race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, and age. Sarah drafted the summary judgment motion which resulted in all claims being dismissed prior to trial.
Took over representation from another firm of a Houston transportation company targeted by the US Department of Labor and US Department of Justice for alleged wage and hour and visa violations. Following nearly three years of agency investigations and litigation, the matter was successfully resolved, saving the company nearly $1 million in assessed damages and penalties.
Conducted wage and hour audits of companies in the energy, retail, healthcare, food manufacturing and distribution, insurance, and financial services industries to ensure compliance with FLSA regulations concerning exemptions and pay practices.
University of Houston Law Center, 2008, J.D.
University of Texas at Austin, 2004, B.A., English, High Honors
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
US District Court for the Southern District of Texas
US District Court for the Western District of Texas
US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
US District Court for the Northern District of Texas
Judicial Intern to Judge Gray H. Miller of the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division (Summer 2006)
Judicial Intern to Judge Reece Rondon of the 234th Judicial District Court, Harris County, Texas (Summer 2006)
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Labor & Employment, Law360 (2017)
Rising Star, Employment and Labor Law, Super Lawyers (2016–2018)
Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Houston Bar Association, Labor & Employment and Litigation Sections