Sarah Swale

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.7946 |

Areas of Practice

Sarah Swale focuses her practice on employment litigation and counseling. She defends clients against EEOC claims, discrimination, harassment, hostile work environment and wrongful termination in violation of public policy claims, and wage and hour violations. Sarah also advises employers regarding compliance with federal and state employment laws, provides sexual harassment training, assists employers responding to DOL and LNI audits, drafts employee handbooks and personnel policies, and prepares separation and release agreements. Sarah is Chair of Lane Powell’s Wage and Hour Group, and is also a member of the Firm’s Long Term Care and Seniors Housing Client Service Team.

Sarah also litigates ERISA and employee benefits issues. Sarah represents employers, employee benefit plans, insured plans, insurers and administrators in actions involving disability, life, health and stock/compensation employee claims, claims for breach of fiduciary duty, and actions seeking civil penalties under ERISA.

Admitted to Practice

  • Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Western Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern Washington


  • Willamette University (J.D., magna cum laude, 1999)
    • Willamette Law Review, Associate Editor (1997-1999)
  • University of Puget Sound (B.A., summa cum laude, 1996)
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Lane Powell Practice Group and Specialty Team Memberships

  • Chair, Wage and Hour
  • Health Care
  • Life, Health, Disability and ERISA
  • Labor and Employment
  • Long Term Care and Seniors Housing Client Service Team
  • Privacy and Data Security


  • “Avoiding Personal Liability: Don’t Forget to Budget for Employee Wages,” Puget Sound Business Journal Startups and Emerging Companies: Kick-start Your New Year Special Insert, Co-author (October 31, 2014)
  • “Staying Competitive in the LTC Industry While Avoiding Misclassification Under the FLSA,” American Health Lawyers Association’s LTC-SIR Advisor, Volume 16, Issue 2, Co-author (November 2013)
  • “How to Avoid Getting Caught in the Undertow of the Recent Class Action Tidal Wave,” Issues and Answers magazine, Washington Bankers Association, Co-author (January/February 2013)
  • “Do I Need to Pay My Employees for Training Time?” Puget Sound Business Journal ADR and Litigation Q&A Column Titled “Ask the Legal Professionals” (February 24, 2012)
  • “Ouch! Social Media Crashes into Medical Privacy Rules,” Puget Sound Business Journal, Quoted (September 2, 2011)
  • “In Wage Disputes, Compliance is the Best Defense,” Puget Sound Business Journal (October 3, 2010)

Speaking Engagements

  • “Top 10 Questions I Wish I Had Asked My Employment Lawyer,” Lane Powell’s First Annual Startups and Emerging Companies Seminar, Co-presenter, Seattle (December 4, 2014)
  • “May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor — More Tips to Avoid the Litigation Arena,” Lane Powell’s 32nd Annual Labor and Employment Seminar (September 9, 2014)
  • “Overtime Calculation Workshop,” Lane Powell’s “Auditing Compliance With Changing Overtime Laws — A Practical Workshop for Liberal Arts Majors Who Avoided Math Classes in College” Seminar, Seattle (May 29, 2014)
  • “Reaching 88 MPH in a DeLorean: Burning Questions I Wish I Had Asked My Employment Attorneys,” Lane Powell’s 31st Annual Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Co-presenter, Seattle (September 19, 2013)
  • “Wage and Hour Compliance: Exemptions Workshop,” Lane Powell’s Wage and Hour Seminar, Seattle, Co-presenter (May 16, 2013)
  • “Liability Issues Surrounding Staffing,” American Health Lawyers Association’s Long Term Care and the Law Conference, Austin, Texas (February 25, 2013)
  • “Hindsight is 20-20: What I Wish I Had Asked My Employment Attorney,” Lane Powell’s 30th Annual Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Seattle, Co-presenter (September 20, 2012)
  • “Conducting a Self-Audit of Your Wage and Hour Practices,” Lane Powell’s Wage and Hour Seminar, Seattle, Presenter (March 1, 2012)
  • “Risk Management Regarding Employees: Wage and Hour Compliance,” Washington Health Care Association Webinar (June 16, 2011)
  • “How the Grinch Stole Payday,” Washington Health Care Association Annual Convention (May 24, 2011)
  • “Employees in the Electronic Age: Best Practices for Best Employers™,” Lane Powell’s 28th Annual Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Seattle (October 2010)
  • “Tweeting, Friending, Posting, Linking … Oh My … The Legal Implications of Employee Social Networking,” and “Social Media and Employment Issues,” American Health Lawyer’s Association Annual Meeting (June 2010)
  • “The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the ADA Amendments Act – Management Strategies for Minimizing Risk” Lane Powell’s 27th Annual Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Portland (March 2010)
  • “Ask the Experts” Panel Member on Employment Law Issues, WHCA Fall Conference (September 2007)
  • “Risk Management Issues Relating to Potential Claims of Employees,” NBI Risk Management Seminar (August 2007)
  • “New Washington Legislation Affecting Employers,” Lane Powell Employment Law School for Managers Seminar (July 2007)
  • “Best Practices in Hiring, Handbooks, Performance Evaluations, Discipline and Termination” and “Practical Tips for Untangling Overlapping Employee Leave Laws,” WHCA Annual Convention (May 2007)
  • “Hiring, Personnel Documents and Record Retention,” AWB Seminar (November 2006)
  • “Hiring Basics and Employee Handbooks” and “ADA, FLMA, FCA and Alphabet Soup: What You Need to Know about State and Federal Disability and Leave Laws,” WHCA Human Resources Employment Law Conference (August 2006)
  • “Recent Developments on the Regulatory and Release Front,” Advanced FMLA Lorman Seminar (July 2006)