About My Practice
Attorney Sara Amies concentrates her practice on representing employees in sex, age, race, disability discrimination, harassment, and retaliation matters. She additionally advises and represents employees in non-compete and severance matters, negotiates severance for employees being terminated involuntarily, and represents employees in whistleblower actions. Her practice also includes advising and representing returning US military service personnel with respect to their rights to be re-employed under USERRA (The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994) following their military service.Sara was voted a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers in 2013 and 2014. In addition to her legal practice, Sara serves on the planning committee for the annual Pacific Coast Labor & Employment Law Conference, and on the Litigation Intake Committee for Legal Voice. In 2006, she was recognized as a KCBA Volunteer of the Year.
How I Help
Employees are protected by federal and State laws governing workplace conduct. If you’ve been harmed by a violation of these laws, you deserve experienced and tenacious representation in seeking a fair resolution for the harm inflicted.
My focus is centered on obtaining the best resolution possible for clients in financially and emotionally difficult circumstances. Litigation, I believe, should be a last resort only after other resolution possibilities have been explored.
With problems come problem-solving opportunities. In addition to learning about a client’s legal matter, I want to understand how the legal matter impacts their life and that of their family. I take pride in our firm’s holistic approach to assisting clients. With most legal matters, there are multiple paths which can be taken; by discussing the issues associated with various alternatives, clients can choose the path that will be best for them.
Once a path is selected, my role is to work diligently toward achieving the client’s desired outcome.
Jury Awards $1.25 Million in Whistleblower Retaliation Case
Elliott, a BNSF locomotive engineer and Union safety officer, reported BNSF’s failure to maintain its track in accordance with Federal safety standards. BNSF failed to fix the defects, so Elliott elevated his report to the Federal government. A jury found that BNSF targeted Elliott for retaliation because of his safety advocacy, that BNSF management staged an altercation to provide cause to fire Elliott, and faked evidence to support terminating the employment of this 18-year career employee. Sara Amies co-counseled with James K. Vucinovich, a railroad personal injury lawyer, and proved that BNSF illegally retaliated against Elliott under the Federal Rail Safety Act. After a six-day trial in July 2015, a federal jury in Tacoma reached a unanimous verdict and awarded Elliott $1.25 million, including the statutory maximum of $250,000 in punitive damages.
In 2016, Sara secured a six-figure settlement for a SOX whistleblower who uncovered significant financial fraud. Sara’s client reported the evidence of fraud up the management chain, but the company took no action. Instead, executives threatened the client’s job, subjected the client’s work to a higher level of scrutiny, and unilaterally changed the client’s pay structure. In response, the client experienced such severe stress that a medical provider recommended quitting the job. Within a few months of the quit, Sara and her client gathered evidence sufficient to persuade the employer to resolve the case before a complaint was lodged with OSHA. This resolution sent a message to the employer that fraud and retaliation would not be profitable, and allowed the client to recover lost wages and renewed self-esteem damaged by retaliation.
Bar Admissions and Professional Affiliations
- Washington State Bar Association
- U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
- King County Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section,
- Pacific Coast Labor & Employment Law Conference Planning Committee (since 2010)
- Special Topics Subcommittee (Co-Chair, 2011, 2013, and 2015)
- Washington Employment Lawyers' Association
- Legal Voice
- King County Washington Women Lawyers
- Board of Directors, Co-Vice President for CLEs, 2006-2011
- Judicial Evaluation Committee, 2012-present
- J.D., Seattle University School of Law, cum laude 2005
- B.A, The Evergreen State College, World Literature 1993
I grew up in La Conner, Washington. During law school, I served as a legal extern to the Honorable Mary Yu (now a Justice on the Washington State Supreme Court). I've practiced law with Teller & Associates since 2006. In addition to my legal practice, I have volunteered with the KCBA Housing Justice Project for nine years, support Legal Voice, and serve on the Judicial Evaluation Committee for King County Washington Women Lawyers. I also enjoy gardening, hiking, and rowing on Lake Washington.