Sarah H. Lamar

Partner

200 East Saint Julian Street
PO Box 9848
Savannah, GA 31412-0048

Tel 912.236.0261
Fax 912.236.4936

Sarah Lamar is a partner in the Firm’s Savannah office and practices in the area of employment law. Sarah has experience representing employers in employment litigation in federal and state courts regarding discrimination and other employment laws such as Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and Fair Labor Standards Act, among others. She represents employers in breach of contract actions, including non-competes and tort claims, and in agency investigations brought by the U.S. and Georgia Departments of Labor, the EEOC, OFCCP, and U.S. ICE. She conducts in-house training for employers and advises clients on a variety of human resource issues, including their non-discrimination/harassment, wage/hour, federal affirmative action, and immigration law obligations. Sarah also performs internal investigations in response to harassment and other workplace complaints.

Sarah has been named a Georgia Super Lawyer and one of the Best Lawyers in America in Labor and Employment Law. The highly competitive Chambers USA legal directory highlighted Sarah in its Georgia Employment Law rankings. She was named Lawyer of the Year in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of employment law.

Sarah was the first female chair of ALFA International, a global legal networking organization, and continues to serve on ALFA International’s Employment Practice Group Steering Committee and in other roles. Sarah was also a long-serving chair of the Government Affairs Committee for the Georgia Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and speaks around the state on legislative and employment issues affecting the workplace.

She received her B.A. in History from Yale University in 1988 and her J.D. from Emory University in 1991. At Emory, she served as senior notes and comment editor for the Emory International Law Review. Following law school, Sarah was a law clerk from 1991 to 1992 for the Honorable Richard B. Kellam, Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia.


Experience

Representative Engagements

  • Sarah Lamar and Shawn Kachmar represented a municipality in an FLSA collective action brought by firefighters regarding the administration of its compensatory time off policy. The matter was settled for a nominal figure and the parties agreed that plaintiffs’ counsel would submit fees and costs to the court. Subsequently, when plaintiffs’ counsel sought over $200,000 in attorney’s fees and costs, Sarah and Shawn successfully argued that the fee requests and billing entries were unreasonable, excessive, vague, or otherwise inappropriate. In all, the court reduced the statutory fees and costs by almost $100,000 and granted only about 55% of what was requested. The decision can be found at Milie v. City of Savannah, No. 4:18-CV-117, 2020 WL 4041118 (S.D. Ga. July 16, 2020).
  • Sarah Lamar and Wade Herring represented a Methodist church in an ADA case brought by a former employee of the church, claiming that the church and the church conference discriminated against him on the basis of his HIV status. The former employee sued the church and the conference in federal court. Wade and Sarah filed a motion for summary judgment at the beginning of the case asking the court to dismiss the case as a matter of law. The motion was primarily based upon the “ministerial exception” to federal employment discrimination laws that arises out of the First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause. In response to the motion, the employee dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice.
  • McKee et al. v. Citi Trends, Inc. (4-CV-982, M.D. Alabama): Favorable settlement of FLSA collective action.
  • Old Town Trolley Tours of Savannah, Inc. v. Jay Womble, Old Savannah Tours, LLC, and Coastline Travel, Inc. (6-2060-KA, Superior Court of Chatham County): Enforcement of restrictive covenant through obtaining injunctive relief and settlement with favorable terms.
  • Clark v. St. Joseph’s/Candler Health Systems, Inc. & The Matthew Reardon Center, Inc.: Summary judgment granted to Matthew Reardon Center on race/sex harassment, discrimination, and retaliation claims, affirmed by the 11th Circuit 2007, cert. denied.
  • Glisson v. Global Security Services, LLC (287 Ga. App. 640 2007): Struck down restrictive covenant, which lacked adequate consideration.

Community Work

  • Visit Savannah: Board of Directors, Chair, 2015; Executive Committee; Strategic Vision Task Force, Board Development Committee
  • The Marshes of Skidaway Island: Board of Directors, Health Committee
  • Susan G. Komen Coastal Georgia: Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Past Member
  • Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce: Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Past Member
  • Leadership Southeast Georgia: Class of 2018
  • Leadership Savannah: Class of 2000-2002
  • Savannah Area Tourism Leadership Council: Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Past Member
  • Historic Savannah Foundation: Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, Past Member
  • Wesley Community Centers of Savannah: Board of Directors, Past Member
  • Georgia Chamber HR Council: Past Member
  • Yale Alumni Association: Assembly Delegate, 2016-2018

Credentials

Education

Emory University School of Law: J.D., 1991
Yale University: B.A., History, 1988

Clerkships

U.S. District Court: Eastern District of Virginia, The Honorable Richard B. Kellam

Affiliations

  • Georgia Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals: Member of the Bar
  • Middle, Northern, and Southern Districts of Georgia: Member of the Bar
  • Northern District of Florida: Member of the Bar
  • District of Maryland: Member of the Bar
  • Savannah Bar Association
  • Georgia Association for Women Lawyers
  • ALFA International: Board of Directors, Past Chair, 2009-2011; Employment Practice Group Steering Committee; Women’s Initiative Practice Group, Founding Chair
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Lawyers Foundation of Georgia
  • Emory Law Alumni Association Board: Past Member
  • State Bar of Georgia Law Journal: Editorial Board, Past Member
  • Georgia Legal Services Program: Board of Directors, Past Member
  • Society for Human Resource Management: State Government Affairs Council, Past Chair

Recognition

Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Employment Law
Chambers USA ranks the leading firms and lawyers in an extensive range of practice areas throughout America.

Best Lawyers in America: Labor and Employment Law, 2010-2023
Best Lawyers is the oldest and most highly-respected peer review guide to the legal profession worldwide. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers.

Georgia Super Lawyers: Employment & Labor, 2005 & 2018-2022
Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Lawyer of the Year: Employment Law, 2022
The Best Lawyers in America named Sarah Lamar the Lawyer of the Year for Savannah in the area of Employment Law – Management. Only one lawyer in each practice area and designated city is honored as the Lawyer of the Year. The award reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned from his peers for his abilities, professionalism, and integrity.

Georgia Trend Magazine Legal Elite: 2021
Georgia Trend Magazine’s annual listing of Georgia’s top attorneys, selected by their peers. The list includes eight practice areas: business law; personal injury litigation; criminal law; labor and employment; taxes, estates and trusts; bankruptcy and creditors’ rights; family law; and general practice/trial law.

Community STAR: 2016
The Savannah Technical College Foundation Community Council honored HunterMaclean attorney Sarah Lamar at the 2016 Tribute to Community STARS. The event recognizes individuals for their service and dedication at work or in the community.

Martindale-Hubbell: AV Rated
The Martindale-Hubbell® PEER REVIEW RATINGS™ are an objective indicator of a lawyer’s high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States and Canada.

Licensed In

District of Columbia
Georgia

Insights

Unemployment Challenges

May 4, 2020

By Sarah H. Lamar and Amy D. Mitchell, as published on the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce’s website One consequence of Governor Kemp’s announcement to incrementally reopen sectors of the…

Presentations

Ask the Attorney
Sarah Lamar spoke at this “ask me anything” session as part of the 2022 Business & Financial Conference for the American Public Power Association in Savannah, Georgia, on September 20, 2022.

COVID-19 Unplugged
Sarah Lamar was a panelist for this segment at the ALFA International 2022 Workers’ Compensation Seminar in Savannah, Georgia, on March 24, 2022.

One Size Fits None: Practical Tips for National Employers on Developing and Enforcing a National Non-Compete Program
Sarah Lamar was a panelist for this segment at the ALFA International 2022 Client Seminar in Austin, Texas, on March 5, 2022.

The Mini MBA for Attorneys
Sarah Lamar presented on employment law for this webinar sponsored by the National Business Institute on May 17, 2021.

Hold on to your hats! A new wind is blowing: New legislation from a new administration
Presented via Zoom to the Savannah Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on April 15, 2021.

Legislative/Regulatory Developments in COVID World
A webinar presented to the Golden Isles Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on November 18, 2020.

2020 U.S. Supreme Court Decisions: Implications for Employers
Presented virtually at the 2020 SHRM-Atlanta Legal Summit on October 22, 2020.

Evolving Human Resource Challenges Posed by COVID-19
A webinar presented for members of the Georgia Association of Orthopaedic Executives on October 14, 2020.

Internal Investigations: What You Need to Know Now
Presented virtually at the 2020 SHRM Georgia State Conference on October 2, 2020.

Legal 411
Presented at a virtual event for women in business hosted by Savannah SCORE on August 22, 2020.

Return to Work Guidelines and Recommendations
On May 28, 2020, Christopher Smith and Sarah Lamar joined Brett Godwin, Chief Operating Officer of Sterling Seacrest Partners, and Suzanne Kirk, owner of Employee Development Strategies, Inc., for a Zoom webinar on returning to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Preparing for the Post COVID-19 Legal Landscape
Christopher Smith and Sarah Lamar were presenters for this webinar on May 7, 2020, by Miles Mediation & Arbitration. The discussion covered key business and legal issues to consider in the future, including tort issues, workers compensation, and insurance issues.

Workforce Development Impact of COVID-19
Wade Herring and Sarah Lamar discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the workforce in this virtual session on April 2, 2020, by the Leadership Southeast Georgia program.

SHRM COVID-19 Update
Sarah Lamar and Wade Herring discussed the legal impacts of COVID-19 for employers in this webinar for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on Thursday, March 19, 2020.

Managing the Unmanageable Employee
Presented to the Savannah Dental Society in Savannah, Georgia, on October 10, 2019.

Management Training
Presented to the Assisted Living Association of Georgia at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, Georgia, on September 13, 2019.

Wage Issues
Presented at Human Resource Law From Start to Finish, a seminar by the National Business Institute, in Savannah, Georgia, on August 7, 2019.

Employee Handbooks and Policies in the 21st Century
Presented at Human Resource Law From Start to Finish, a seminar by the National Business Institute, in Savannah, Georgia, on August 7, 2019.

Successful Hiring and Recruitment Steps
Presented at Human Resource Law from Start to Finish, a seminar by the National Business Institute, in Savannah, Georgia, on August 7, 2019.

Arbitration: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?
Sarah Lamar moderated this panel at ALFA International 2019 Labor & Employment Practice Group Seminar in Bluffton, South Carolina, on June 13, 2019.

Women Who Lead
Sarah Lamar moderated a panel of women business leaders at a Georgia Association for Women Lawyers (GAWL) Savannah Chapter event at the Alida Hotel in Savannah, Georgia, on June 5, 2019.

HR Performance Management
Presented by Sarah Lamar with Suzanne Kirk at the Leadership Southeast Georgia meeting on May 3, 2019, at the Dorchester Hunt Club in Midway, Georgia.

Framing a Culture of Resolution: A Cross-Cultural Exploration of Resolving Workplace Conflict in New Zealand and the United States
Sarah Lamar served as a panelist for this presentation at the American Bar Association’s 21st Annual Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on April 12, 2019.

#MeToo: What’s Next
Presented at the 2019 SHRM-Atlanta HR Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 27, 2019.

Employment Law Legislative/Regulatory Update
Presented to the Golden Isles Chapter of SHRM in Brunswick, Georgia, on March 20, 2019.

Best Practices for Managing Employees
Presented to a town hall meeting of the Asian American Hotel  Owners Association in Savannah, Georgia, on March 4, 2019.

Workplace Investigations
Presented at the 8th Annual Southeast Financial Human Resources Conference, sponsored by the Community Bankers Association of Georgia, in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 1, 2018.

What’s Next with the #MeToo Movement? An Employer’s Evolving Obligations
Presented to the Savannah Area Chapter of SHRM on August 15, 2018.

Sexual Harassment in the Era of #MeToo: An Employer’s Evolving Obligations
Presented at SOAHR 2018, SHRM-Atlanta’s 28th Annual HR Conference, on March 28, 2018.

Preventing and Addressing Harassment in the Workplace
A webinar presented on behalf of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce on February 13, 2018.

Creating Rock Solid Documentation to Avoid a Potential Lawsuit
Presented to the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association in Savannah, Georgia, on January 18, 2018. This session highlighted the importance and best practices of documentation to minimize risks for potential lawsuits. Topics ranged from complex employment cases and typical wage and hour mistakes to managing the performance of protected classes.

Workers and Work: Who is a Worker Anyway?
Sarah Lamar presented on the classification of employees and independent contractor status at the 7th Southeast Financial Human Resource Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 2 and 3, 2017.

Reviewing Your Handbooks, Rules and Disciplinary Processes
Presented at the Coastal Georgia Center in Savannah, Georgia, on October 17, 2017.

Legislative and Regulatory Developments in Employment Law
Presented at the 2017 SHRM State Conference on HR Impact: Navigating Waves of Change in Brunswick, Georgia, on October 8, 2017.

Legislative and Regulatory Developments and the New Administration
Presented at the Pinnacle Leadership Conference, sponsored by the West GA SHRM, in LaGrange, Georgia, on March 15, 2017.

When the OFCCP Comes Calling – Challenges Facing Government Contractors
Sarah Lamar served as a moderator for this panel at the ALFA International client seminar on affirmative action matters in Miami, Florida, on March 4, 2017. The seminar has over 100 general counsel and assistant counsel attending its hallmark conference each year on a number of business legal topics.

The Political Reveal: Legislative and Regulatory Developments in Employment Law and the Impact of the 2016 Elections
Presented to the Atlanta chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on October 5, 2016.

The New DOL Overtime Exemption Rules
Sarah Lamar presented on the U.S. Department of Labor overtime exemption rules at the 2016 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Georgia State Conference in Augusta, Georgia, on September 19, 2016.

It’s a Bird. It’s a Plane. No, it’s the New FLSA Changes!
Sarah Lamar spoke about the U.S. Department of Labor overtime exemption rules at the Southeastern Warehouse Association (SWA) Annual Conference in Saint Simons Island, Georgia, on September 17, 2016.

Who is Considered a Joint Employer?
Presented at Enlightening the EPL/PL World, a seminar hosted by ALFA International in New York, New York, on June 9, 2016.

Top Trends in Employment Law
Presented at the Coastal Empire Association of Health Underwriters (CEAHU) 12th Annual Symposium & Exhibitor Fair, held at Georgia Tech’s Savannah Campus on April 29, 2016.

Preparing for an OFCCP Review
Presented at Effective OFCCP Compliance & Affirmative Action Preparation, a seminar by Economic Research Service, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on February 25, 2016.

Legislative and Regulatory Update
Presented at the Georgia SHRM Leadership Conference on employment-related legislative issues in Columbus, Georgia, on January 22, 2016.

Legal Awareness in the Workplace: From Hiring to Termination — Effective Employee Management
Presented as part of Georgia Southern University’s series on Legal Awareness in the Workplace in Statesboro, Georgia, on January 19, 2016.

I-9s, E-Verify and Immigration Compliance
Presented to the Statesboro chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in Statesboro, Georgia, on November 18, 2015.

HR Legislative and Regulatory Update
Sarah Lamar spoke to the Athens-Clarke County chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in Athens, Georgia, on November 10, 2015, about current legislative and regulatory issues in employment law.

Legislative Panel Discussion
Sarah Lamar participated in this event for the SHRM Georgia State Council Annual Conference in Savannah, Georgia, on September 1, 2015.

Legal Awareness in the Workplace: Discrimination and Hostile Work Environment – What You Need to Know
Presented in Savannah, Georgia, on August 18, 2015, as part of Georgia Southern University’s series on Legal Awareness in the Workplace.

How Do You Keep Your Employees Happy? Employment Considerations for Hospitality Industry
Presented at the Savannah Area Tourism Leadership Council (TLC) Connection Luncheon on May 21, 2015.

Legal Awareness in the Workplace: From Hiring to Termination – Effective Employee Management
Presented in Brunswick, Georgia, on May 19, 2015, as part of Georgia Southern University’s series on Legal Awareness in the Workplace.

Employment Law for Businesses of Every Size
Presented to clients of TJS Deemer Dana in its Savannah office on April 29, 2015, and in its Dublin office on May 6, 2015.

Preparing for an OFCCP Review
Presented at Effective OFCCP Compliance & Affirmative Action Preparation, a seminar by the ERS Group, on April 23 and 24, 2015.

Legal Lunch & Learn: Employment Law for Businesses of Any Size
Presented at the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce in Brunswick, Georgia, on March 5, 2015. The Lunch & Learn was presented in partnership with the Brunswick Chamber and the UGA Small Business Development Center.

Legal Awareness in the Workplace: Georgia Employment Law
Presented in Savannah, Georgia, on February 3, 2015, as part of Georgia Southern University’s series on Legal Awareness in the Workplace.

Understanding Legislative & Regulatory Initiatives
Presented at Employment LAW: 2014 Comprehensive Guide, a seminar by the National Business Institute, in Savannah, Georgia, on December 10, 2014.

Avoiding Wage and Hour Violations
Presented at Employment LAW: 2014 Comprehensive Guide, a seminar by the National Business Institute, in Savannah, Georgia, on December 10, 2014.

Brunswick Chamber Lunch and Learn: Legal Checklist for Success as You Grow Your Business
A Lunch and Learn presented by Dave Burkoff and Sarah Lamar on October 16, 2014, at the Brunswick/Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce. The event was co-sponsored with the Chamber and the UGA Small Business Development Center.

Pre-Employment Screening and Behavior Forecasting: Risk Avoidance or Exposure to New Risk?
Sarah Lamar participated as a panelist in this ALFA International webinar on June 4, 2014.

Employment Law: Beyond the Basics
A Sterling Education seminar presented by Wade Herring, Shawn Kachmar, Sarah Lamar, and Rebecca Sczepanski on June 3, 2014, in Savannah, Georgia.

Preparing for an OFCCP Review
Presented at Effective OFCCP Compliance & Affirmative Action Preparation, a seminar by the ERS Group, on March 20 and 21, 2014.

Live or Die – Summary Judgment, Motions to Dismiss, and Other Procedural Issues in Labor and Employment Litigation
Presented at Nuts and Bolts of Labor and Employment Law, a seminar by the labor and employment law section of the Georgia Bar, on November 12, 2013.

Preparing for an OFCCP Audit
Presented at the Economic Research Services Annual Affirmative Action seminar in Orlando, Florida, on April 19, 2013.

FMLA / ADA / Workers Comp / Employee Leave Issues / Internal Investigations
Presented by at the HR Issues in the Workplace: First Time Supervisors training seminar sponsored by the Liberty & Long Country Employer Committee in Walthourville, Georgia, on October 24, 2012.

Leave and Anti-Discrimination Laws/Immigration Issues
Presented at the Employment Law Update in Georgia seminar in Savannah, Georgia, on October 23, 2012.

Workplace Implications of Social Media
A seminar given at the Savannah Area Tourism and Leadership Council (TLC) in Savannah, Georgia, on September 26, 2012. Click here for PowerPoint presentation.

Georgia Southern University Continuing Education Series
Sarah Lamar participated as a presenter for this series on July 24, 2012.

Employee Leaves: How to Handle the Common Time-Off Scenarios that Come Up Again and Again
A webinar given by Sarah Lamar, sponsored by BLR (Business & Legal Resources) on June 28, 2010.

The NLRB and Labor Law: What All Employers Need to Know Now
A tele-seminar given by Sarah Lamar, sponsored by ALFA International on June 5, 2012.

Federal and Georgia Immigration Challenges for Public Employers
Presented for Clerks of Court in Richmond Hill, Georgia, on November 15, 2011.

Political Boot Camp
Presented for Georgia State SHRM conference on August 30, 2011.

ALFA International Client Seminars
Sarah Lamar spoke on the panels for sexual harassment (2000), employment litigation discovery (2006), ADEA (2007 and 2009), EPLI insurance (2008), and immigration law (2010).

Post-Layoff Dangers: Easing the Transition for Laid-Off Employees
A webinar given by Sarah Lamar, sponsored by BLR (Business & Legal Resources) on August 17, 2009.

Georgia Board of Workers’ Compensation 2002 Annual Educational Seminar
Sarah Lamar participated as a presenter at this seminar on December 31, 2002.

Video: Keeping Employee Handbooks Current

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKxSXYQ6yT4 In this video for Savannah CEO, HunterMaclean partner Sarah Lamar talks about keeping your employee handbooks up to date and some important policies that employers should focus on.

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