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Pamela M. Sayad Esq.

Pamela M. Sayad Esq.

Senior and Founding Partner
Location:
San Francisco, California
Phone:
415-392-4100
Fax:
415-392-4001
Email:

EXPERTISE

Ms. Sayad has over thirty five years of legal experience in government service and private practice. She is a former Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, with extensive civil and criminal trial experience in state and federal courts in California, the District of Columbia and Massachusetts. She is the senior and founding partner of Sayad & Biren in San Francisco. Her extensive legal experience includes representation of employees and employers in a wide variety of employment, discrimination, harassment and compliance matters, including white-collar criminal defense representation, in California, Massachusettes, & the District of Columbia. She is an experienced mediator and highly regarded as an effective mediator in the employment arena. Ms. Sayad lectures widely in the area of employment and discrimination law both to legal and law audiences and has appeared on television talk shows and radio.

In 1987, in a case that was widely reported in the local and national press, Ms. Sayad obtained the highest jury verdict at that time in San Francisco Superior Court, in a single plaintiff wrongful termination case on behalf of her client in Carolyn Gardner v. Charles Schwab & Co.

Ms. Sayad was the individual responsible for opening the Olympic Club to women, being the first woman to apply for membership and then actively being involved in the litigation that eventually resulted in the Club admitting women as full voting members.

Besides her broad-based employment, discrimination and white-collar criminal defense litigation practice, Ms. Sayad also counsels and advises employees, corporations and start ups on wage and hour issues, discrimination, wrongful termination, privacy and unfair competition issues, discipline and termination, drafts employment contracts, independent contractor agreements and severance agreements, conducts harassment and misconduct investigations, for example.

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

Ms. Sayad is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of California, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia and before the United States Supreme Court. She is a member of the State Bar of California, Labor & Employment Law Section, the Bar Association of San Francisco and the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA).

Ms. Sayad is the co-author of a newly published CEB treatise on Employment Damages and Remedies, May 2012.

SELECTED SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

“Know Your Employment Rights and How to Protect Yourself as an Employee,” University of Santa Clara Business School, Women and Leadership, May 6, 2013; and “Leadership: Vision, Deals and Process,” University of Santa Clara Business School, February 7, 2015.

"Avoiding and Defending Disability Discrimination Claims Under Federal and State Law," Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California & Nevada Annual Conference, Speaker, December 6, 2012.

"Legal Considerations in Reductions in Force," Nonprofits' Insurance Alliance of California, Annual Conference, Panel Member, May 14, 2009

Interview on MarketWatch.com/WSJ.com on COBRA Health Care Benefits for Terminated Employees under the 2009 Stimulus Package (March 30, 2009)

"Sex Discrimination and Law: The Role of Women in the Workplace," and "Sex, Law and the Workplace," Yale University, Guest Speaker, February 19-20, 2007

"How to Protect Yourself as an Employee if Your Company Is Facing an Impending Merger or Acquisition" Healthcare Business Woman's Association Panel Member, September 27, 2006.

"The Most Common Mistakes Lawyers Make in Mediation" Marin County Bar Association, Employment and Labor Law Section Speaker, September 21, 2006.

"National Origin and Religious Discrimination Issues in a Post 9/11 World" Bar Association of San Francisco Labor and Employment Law Section, Panel Member, February 22, 2003.

"Racial Diversity in the Legal Profession" Continuing Education of the Bar, Panel Member, August 21, 2000.

"Development in Employment Law as We Approach the Millennium: What Attorneys Need to Know in Advising Their Clients: What Employers Need to Do: What Employees Need to Know" September 23, 1999. San Mateo County Bar Association Luncheon Speaker.

"Sexual Harassment 101: A Primer On How to Work Comfortably in the Workspace." Coalition of Adequate School Housing Conference, Speaker, Sacramento, CA; February 25, 1997.

"Elimination of Bias," Panel Member, Practicing Law Institute, December, 1995

"Discrimination in the Workplace" and "Private Club Discrimination." Frequent Guest Speaker. "Nightbeat," KCBS (Radio), 1987-1994.

"Power: Women in the Workplace:" Keynote Speaker, University Club, November 1994.

"Does Workers Compensation Insurance Cover Wrongful Termination Suits" Panel Member, The Bar Association of San Francisco, November 1993.

"Private Club Discrimination." Guest, "People Are Talking" KPIX (Television), 1990.

SELECTED PRESS REFERENCES

Pamela Sayad has been quoted in an article published by Law360 on March 31, 2015.  In the article Pamela discusses the implications following the jury decision in the $100 million gender discrimination suit against Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caulfied & Byers, LLC.
              
“When it comes to proving gender or other types of discrimination in the workplace, the legal standard is very  high: A plaintiff must prove the discrimination was a substantial motivating factor in the setbacks he or she faced, said Pamela Sayad, an employment attorney and founding partner at Sayad & Biren.  Sayad’s  firm is currently representing a number of high-powered women suing technology companies for gender discrimination.

Showing that gender was a substantial factor for Pao’s termination, for example, ‘is an impossible standard to meet,’ Sayad said.  Had the law been that it was one motivating factor, she probably would have won her case.”

"Clinton Golfed at Exclusive Bay Club," San Francisco Chronicle, March 14, 1996.

"Sexual Harassment Message Often Unheeded, Many Women Contend," Los Angeles Times, September 12, 1996.

Marcia Chamber, The Unplayable Lie, The Untold Story of Women and Discrimination in American Golf, NYT Special Services, Inc. 1995.

"You Can Bank On It," California Lawyer, March 1994.

"Poster Girl for the Club," San Francisco Daily Journal, July 19, 1994.

"The New Frontier," California Business Law, May 17, 1993.

"Women Praise Olympic Club," San Francisco Examiner Sports Section, October 24, 1993.

"Profile of a Woman Who Wants to Join an All-Male Bastion." San Francisco Examiner, December 13, 1990.

"Ex Schwab Employee Wins," The Recorder, September 14, 1987 and related articles in the San Francisco Chronicle (Herb Caen), San Francisco Examiner, Investor's Daily on the largest single jury verdict in a wrongful termination case (tried by Ms. Sayad).

EDUCATION

Ms. Sayad received an A.B. degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1970 in political science and a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame School of Law in 1973, where she was a Director of the Notre Dame Legal Aid Association.

Ms. Sayad has received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment Advice and Counseling
  • Employment Litigation (including, but not limited to, wage and hour disputes, wrongful termination, harassment and discrimination cases)
  • Negotiating and Drafting Executive Employment Agreements, Independent Contractor Agreements and Severance Agreements
  • Drafting Employee Handbooks and employment policies
  • Conduct Misconduct and Unlawful Harassment Investigations
  • Unfair Competition, Trade Secrets and Privacy Issues
  • Mediation and all Alternative Dispute Resolution Services
  • White Collar Criminal Defense

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1982
  • District of Columbia, 1974
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1982
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1982
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Education

  • Notre Dame Law School, Notre Dame, Indiana
    • J.D. - 1973
  • University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
    • A.B - 1970
    • Major: Political Science

Published Works

  • Co-Author, Employment Damages and Remedies, Chapter 4, "Remedies Under Anti discrimination and Other Employee Rights Statutes," Continuing Education of the Bar, May 2012
  • Clinton Golfed at Exclusive Bay Club, San Francisco Chronicle, March 14, 1996
  • Sex Harassment Message Often Unheeded, Many Women Contend, Los Angeles Times, September 12, 1996
  • Marcia Chamber, The Unplayable Lie, The Untold Story of Women and Discrimination in American Golf, NYT Special Services, Inc., 1995
  • You Can Bank on It, California Lawyer, March, 1994
  • 'Poster Girl' for the Club, San Francisco Daily Journal, July 19, 1994
  • The New Frontier, California Business Law, May 17, 1993
  • Women Praise Olympic Club, San Francisco Examiner, October 24, 1993
  • Profile of a Woman Who Wants to Join an All-Male Bastion, San Francisco Examiner, December 13, 1990
  • "Ex Schwab Employee Wins", The Recorder, September 14, 1987

Classes/Seminars

  • Speaker, "National Origin and Religious Discrimination Issues in a Post 9/11 World", Bar Association of San Francisco Labor and Employment Law Section, February 22, 2003
  • Panel Member, "Racial Diversity in the Legal Profession', Continuing Education of the Bar, August, 2000, August 21, 2000
  • Speaker, "Developments in Employment Law As We Approach The Millennium: What Attorneys Need to Know" in Advising Their Clients: What Employers Need To Do; What Employees Need To Know, San Mateo County Bar Association, September 23, 1999
  • Speaker, "Sexual Harassment 101: A Primer On How To Work Comfortable in the Workplace", Coalition of Adequate School Housing Conference, February 25, 1997
  • Panel Member, "Elimination of Bias", Practicing Law Institute
  • "Discrimination in the Workplace" and "Private Club Discrimination," Frequent Guest, "Nightbeat" KCBS (Radio), 1987 - 1994
  • Keynote Speaker, "Power: Women in the Workplace", University Club
  • Panel Member, "Does Workers Compensation Insurance Cover Wrongful Termination Suits", The Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Guest, "Private Club Discrimination", "People Are Talking", KPIX (Television), 1990

Honors and Awards

  • Received an AV Rating from Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Mediator and Arbitrator, 1995 - Present
  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Member
  • State Bar Association of California, Labor & Employment Law Section, Member
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, Member
  • California Indian Legal Services, Board of Trustees, 1984 - 1990
  • Medical Center, University of San Francisco, Board of Directors, 1990 - 1994
  • The Olympic Club, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • District of Columbia, Assistant United States Attorney, 1977 - 1980
  • United States Department of Interior, Attorney, Solicitor's Office, Division of Indian Affairs, 1974 - 1977
  • United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Attorney, Honors Program, Office of the General Counsel, 1973 - 1974

Contact Information

Sayad & Biren, PC
Attorneys at Law
505 Montgomery Street, Suite 700
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 392-4100
Fax: (415) 392-4001
saybir@sayad-biren.com

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