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Sarah J. Ryan


P 503-345-4162
F 503-229-0405


Sarah J. Ryan is a Principal in the Portland, Oregon, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She joined Jackson Lewis in late 2012 following over 25 years of employment and litigation practice in Portland, Oregon. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Ryan chaired the Labor and Employment law practice group at a regional firm with four offices in three states.

Ms. Ryan represents some of Oregon’s leading employers and provides counsel and litigation services in general employment law, as well as a wide range of employee relations issues. Ms. Ryan has extensive experience advising clients and litigating employment claims regarding harassment, discrimination and retaliation, intellectual property protection, breach of contract, wrongful termination, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, employment torts, wage and hour, and state and federal family medical leave laws. She has defended clients in Oregon and Washington state and federal courts and before the EEOC, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) and the Washington Human Rights Commission. Ms. Ryan has assisted one of her clients in obtaining nine summary judgment dismissals in an employment case in just one forum. Ms. Ryan also proactively assists her clients in preventing legal problems by focusing her counsel and advice on creative solutions to personnel issues that eliminate or reduce the risk of litigation.

Ms. Ryan is a frequent speaker before business and employer associations, including the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, the Oregon Staffing Association, the American Staffing Association of Washington, the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA), and the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition (PNDC).

While attending the University of Oregon Law School, she twice received the AmJur Award for Excellence. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable George Woodrich, Lane County Circuit Court Judge for the State of Oregon.

Honors and Recognitions

  • Multnomah Bar Association, Outstanding Volunteer Award (1993)
  • Volunteer Lawyer Project, Volunteer of the Year Award for her work (including organization to support a legal clinic for the Cascades AIDS Project)
Best Lawyers Award Badge
USA Chambers 2018 - Sarah J. Ryan


Professional Associations and Activities

  • District of Columbia Bar (inactive)
  • Federal Bar Association, Oregon Chapter, Former President
  • Multnomah Bar Foundation, Former Member
  • Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Former Attorney Representative
  • Oregon State Bar Association
  • Portland Human Resources Management Association (PHRMA), Past General Counsel
  • Washington State Bar Association

Pro Bono and Community Involvement

  • Oregon Legal Aid Society, Former member of the Board
  • U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society, Former member of the Board and Executive Committee
  • Oregon Lawyers Against Hunger, Founding board member
  • Oregon Chapter of Make A Wish Foundation, Former member of the board and the executive director search committee
  • Oregon Food Bank, Long-time volunteer
  • Volunteer Lawyers Project, Long-time volunteer

Published Works

  • "Inside the Minds: Dealing With Employee Lawsuits." Defending & Defeating Employee Lawsuits. Thomson West, First Edition (2005) [Chapter Author]
  • "Federal Civil Litigation in Oregon." Pleadings and Claims. Oregon State Bar Legal Publication - Editions: 1994, 1998, 2002 & 2009 [Chapter Author]
  • "Internal Investigations – Advanced Topics," Ball Janik LLP Employment Newsletter (April 2012) [Author]
  • "I-9 Audits: Are You Next?" Ball Janik LLP Employment Newsletter (February 2011) [Author]
  • "A New Year: Religious Accommodation in the Workplace," Portland Human Resources Management Association (PHRMA) Monthly Newsletter (November 2009) [Author]
  • "External Investigators: When are they Worth it?" PHRMA News and Views Newsletter (May 2009) [Author]
  • "Is Telecommuting the Answer?" PHRMA News and Views Newsletter (October 2009) [Author]

See AllSarah J. Ryan in the News

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August 15, 2018
Jackson Lewis

Jackson Lewis Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019

August 15, 2018

WHITE PLAINS, NY (August 15, 2018) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce more than 200 attorneys throughout the firm’s locations have been named to the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, a publication that has become universally regarded as a definitive guide to legal... Read More

May 3, 2018
Jackson Lewis

Jackson Lewis and Its Attorneys Recognized in Chambers USA 2018

May 3, 2018

WHITE PLAINS, NY (May 3, 2018) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce the firm and 72 of its attorneys have been recognized in the 2018 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, a prestigious annual guide ranking the leading law firms in the U.S. The firm... Read More

August 15, 2017
Jackson Lewis

Best Lawyers in America© Honors Jackson Lewis Attorneys in Its 2018 Edition

August 15, 2017

WHITE PLAINS, NY (August 15, 2017) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce 193 attorneys, were recognized in the 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, a publication that has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. The Best Lawyers lists are... Read More

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October 3, 2016

Portland, Oregon, Issues Rules Implementing ‘Ban the Box’

October 3, 2016

The City of Portland has issued administrative rules to the “Removing Barriers to Employment,” its ordinance aimed at removing job barriers for individuals with criminal records (Chapter 23.10 of the Portland Municipal Code). The Ordinance, which took effect on July 1, 2016, prohibits criminal history inquiries and background... Read More

March 14, 2016

Oregon Minimum Wage Hikes Begin July 2016

March 14, 2016

While the federal minimum wage remains stagnant ($7.25 per hour since July 24, 2009), different states have sought to lead with their own minimum wage rulemaking. Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed controversial Senate Bill 1532 on March 2, 2016, significantly increasing Oregon’s minimum wage over the next seven years by raising... Read More

November 18, 2015

Pacific Northwest Employer Workplace News - November 2015

November 18, 2015

Oregon Sick Leave: Applicability of Requirements to Employees Occasionally Working in State Unclear Beginning January 1, 2016, Oregon will join a growing number of cities and states mandating that employers provide certain classes of employees with sick leave benefits. For the specific requirements imposed by the new legislation,... Read More