Sara H. Jodka

Of Counsel

Sara H. Jodka, CIPP-US / Of Counsel at Dickinson Wright, dedicates her practice to working with business-side clients to anticipate, identify, and resolve labor and employment; data privacy and cyber security issues, including preparing for and remedying data breaches; and litigation risks.

Sara devotes a significant part of her practice to counseling businesses in litigation prevention and compliance with state, federal, and administrative laws and regulations, which includes drafting executive compensation agreements, handbooks and policies, separation agreements, non-compete/non-solicitation agreements, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA) authorizations / disclosures, etc.; counseling regarding termination decisions (including largescale layoffs/reductions in force); performing exempt status classification audits; training employees on employment topics, including leave, privacy, discrimination, harassment and retaliation, social media, BYOD, the digital workplace; and others.

She also litigates before federal and state courts and administrative agencies including the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Department of Labor (DOL), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), OSHA, etc.

Her litigation practice also extends to business law in which she has represented clients on both sides in non-compete/non-solicitation/trade secret violation cases at the injunction hearing stage through to trial.

She also performs due diligence on the labor / employment and data privacy / cyber security sides for buyers and sellers in merger and acquisition transactions.

This ties into Sara’s significant data privacy / cyber security practice and is a certified professional privacy professional for the United States through the International Association of Privacy Professionals. In her privacy practice, she regularly works with businesses to review and audit their privacy policies and procedure to get them in compliance; preparing for and responding to data breaches; post-breach remedying; employee training; etc.

She has worked with businesses on many legal and regulatory-compliance matters, including ensuring healthcare systems and other covered entities are HIPAA/HITECH compliant with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rule; working with financial institutions to ensure compliance with the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA); working with schools and entities that advertise to minors to comply with FERPA and COPPA; working with US and multinational companies to obtain certification under the Privacy Shield and to ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Sara is the Content Manager for Labor and Employment for the firm’s blog, All Things HR; Co-Leader of the Firm’s U.S. Cybersecurity Practice; and Chair of the firm’s Healthcare Information Privacy and Security Task Force.

Education & Credentials

Education

The Ohio State University

B.A.

Capital University Law School

J.D.
  • cum laude
  • Order of the Curia

Bar Admission

  • Ohio

Acknowledgements

  • Selected for inclusion in Ohio Super Lawyers (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018)
  • Named to the Top 25 Women Lawyers in Columbus Super Lawyers (2017 and 2018)
  • Named to the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Ohio Super Lawyers (2018)

  • Selected as a Top Lawyer for Columbus CEO Magazine - Labor and Employment (2016)

Prominent Assignments

Obtained discovery sanctions in the form of full dismissal of counterclaims and default judgment for client in breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, disgorgement of wages, and tortious interference case.

Handled 2600 person data breach of CPA firm that was under the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act.

Obtained full dismissal in qui tam False Claims Act case (affirmed by the Sixth Circuit).

Obtained summary judgment for public university against race and gender discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment claims.

Defended company against 1100+person collective/class action for wage and hour violations brought under the FLSA, Ohio Prompt Pay Act, and Ohio common law.

Obtained dismissal of furnisher of information and claims under Kentucky state law and the Fair Credit Report Act.

Successfully litigated to verdict a non-compete case against a former employee, which included an award of attorneys’ fees.

Successfully defended provider of mental/medical care services to incarcerated population against allegations of wrongful termination in violation of public policy, violations of the Ohio Whistleblower Statute, among others.

Successfully defended employer against extraterritorial race discrimination claim brought under Section 1983.

Obtained summary judgment against claims of gender discrimination under Title VII and New York State Law.

Obtained summary judgment for company against claims under the ADA and Ohio state law.

Obtained summary judgment against claims of retaliation and wrongful termination under Title
VII and Ohio state law.

Successfully defended company against ERISA, COBRA, and common law claims.

Member of litigation team for collective action involving misclassification of assistant general managers pursuant to the FSLA for national pizza chain coordinated all electronic discovery and successfully limited damages sufficient to garner a favorable settlement for client.

Obtained summary judgment against claims of retaliation, violations of the ADA and Title VII (national origin discrimination).

Professional Involvement

  • Board of Advisors, MyLawCLE
  • Ohio State Bar Association
    • Labor and Employment Section Committee, Executive Council Secretary/Treasurer
    • Media Law Section Committee
    • Marketing Content Management Committee
    • Leadership Academy (Class of 2014)
  • Columbus Bar Association; Member, Labor and Employment Section
  • Human Resources Association of Central Ohio (HRACO)
    • Chair, Employment Relations Special Interest Group
  • Member, Columbus Young Professionals Club
  • Member, International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
  • Member, InfraGard
  • Observer to the Uniform Law Commission Social Media Drafting Committee
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States
  • Member, Information Systems Security Association

Community Involvement

  • Salvation Army Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition
  • Ohio State Bar Association Foundation, Member Class of 2015
  • OhioDance, Board of Trustees (2014-2017)
  • United Way of Central Ohio, Women’s Leadership Council Member (2013-2015) and Social Media Committee Member (2013-2015)
  • United Way of Central Ohio, Women’s Leadership Council E3 Mentor (2014)
  • The Starts Within Organization, Board of Directors and Director of Communications (2012-2013)
  • 3Rs (Rights Responsibilities Realities) Program (Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association) (2007-2010), Team Member

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

Publications

Presentations

  • June 25, 2018, Speaker, “User Rights in the Wake of the Cambridge Analytica’s Curtain Being Pulled Back,” EF Hutton Talks Speaker Series

  • April 4, 2018, Speaker, “Can You Accommodate My Tattooed Ferret: Disability and Religious Accommodations in the Millennial Age”, Columbus Bas Association

  • March 16, 2018, Speaker, “GDPR and the HR Professional,” Detroit SHRM

  • September 13, 2017, Speaker, “FMLA Hot Topics and Some Other Really Odd Stuff,” Central Ohio Human Resources.

  • October 13, 2017, Speaker, “Ethical Considerations of Mobile Devices, Social Media and Data Privacy,” 54th Midwest Labor and Employment Conference.

  • November 16, 2017, Speaker, “Medical Marijuana in the Workplace – A Hazy Issue for Employers,” Ohio Restaurant Association’s Town Hall.  

  • June 13, 2017, Speaker, “Employee Monitoring in the Digital Age,” South Central SHRM,
  • October 21-22, 2016, Speaker, Introduction to Labor and Employment Law, Ohio New Lawyer Training, Getaway CLE, Las Vegas, NV
  • September 20, 2016, Staying on the Legal Side When Dealing with Employee Social Media Issues for South Central Human Resource Council
  • September 15, 2016, Workplace Challenges of Privacy, Social Media, and Technology Issues for Sterling Educational Services, Inc. Employment Law: Rights, Benefits, and Emerging Issues
  • August 28, 2016, Navigating the Final Overtime Rules for the Ohio Restaurant Association Town Hall (Cleveland)
  • August 28, 2016, Humans: The True Cyber Wild Cards for Data Breaches for Dickinson Wright’s The Alphabet Soup of Healthcare: Let’s Dig in!
  • August 27, 2016, Navigating the Final Overtime Rules for the Ohio Restaurant Association Town Hall (Columbus)
  • August 4, 2016, Navigating the Final Overtime Rules for the Ohio Restaurant Association Town Hall (Cincinnati)
  • Presenter, Social Media and Other Technology Issues for the Modern Workplace, OSBA Basics of Employment Law Seminar, April 19, 2016
  • Moderator, Labor Law, a View from Both Sides of the Bargaining Table, OSBA Basics of Employment Law Seminar, April 19, 2016
  • Presenter: Hassle Free Handbooks and Employee Documentation, Builders Exchange, February 2016
  • Speaker, "You can run but you can't hide: Employee technology issues in the workplace," HRACO Legal Update, November 2015
  • Speaker, "Cybersecurity and other technology issues in the workplace," Columbus Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Master Class, November 2015
  • Panelist, "Get your wage/hour house in order for 2016: New FLSA rules and IC guidance require employer action," McDonald Hopkins Business Hour, October 14, 2015
  • Speaker, “2015 Employment Law Update” webcast for Ohio State Bar Association, July 2015
  • Panelist, “Protecting Trade Secrets” Net Diligence Cyber Risk & Privacy Liability Forum, June 2015
  • Speaker, “Avoiding Legal Pitfalls in a Social Media World” webinar for Audiosolutionz, May 2015
  • Panelist, "EEOC activism in 2015: Insights for employer compliance," McDonald Hopkins Business Hour, May 14, 2015
  • Presenter, "Holiday Workplace Law: Workplace Holiday Should Shine, Not Cause Legal Hangovers," and “Social Media Ethics for Lawyers,” my Law CLE seminar, New York City, December 2014
  • Speaker, "Solutions to Pre-Employment Background Screen & Drug Test Challenges," and "Minimizing Data Breaches in the Workplace and HR’s Response to Security Leaks," 19th Annual Advanced Employment Issues Symposium in Las Vegas, November 2014
  • Presenter, "Social Media in Employment Law," webinar for the Ohio State Bar Association, November 2014
  • Speaker, "Technology to think about—Social media and data breaches," Association of Corporate Counsel America, Northern Ohio Chapter, Cleveland, Ohio, November 2014
  • Copresenter, "The Voracious Appetite of the New NLRB: Protecting Your Company from the Newest Employer Predator—Unionized or Not," Porter Wright’s Employment Relations Seminar, October 2014
  • Copresenter, OHS/INFRAGARD: Cyber STRATEGIES FOR A SAFER OHIO on "Preventing data leaks through workforce management," October 27, 2014
  • Presenter, HRACO’s 10th Annual Employment Law Conference on "NLRB Update: Not Your Grandfather’s Union," October 14, 2014
  • Presenter, Midwest Labor and Employment Seminar on "Social Media in Employment," October 9, 2014
  • Presenter, Part 2 of 2: "How to Avoid FMLA Hot Spots," to HRACO, September 2014
  • Presenter, "NLRB Update," for the Columbus Bar Association, September 3, 2014
  • Presenter, "Preventing Data Leaks Through Workforce Management," Porter Wright’s 2014
    Technology Seminar Series, August 13, 2014
  • Presenter, Part 1 of 2: FMLA workshop titled, "How to Reduce FMLA Liability and bogus Claims Through Proper Claims Administration," to HRACO, August, 2014
  • Presenter, "Know Your Legal Rights," seminar sponsored by Columbus Young Professionals Club, July 2014
  • Presenter, "Employment Law Update," for Ohio State Bar Association, July 2, 2014
  • Presenter, "Hot Topics in Labor and Employment Law," for Ohio Chamber of Commerce's Marietta Symposium, June 27, 2014
  • Presenter, "Social Media in Litigation: A Shield and a Sword," Porter Wright's 2014 Technology Seminar Series, June 18, 2014
  • Presenter, "Hot Topics in Employment Law," Zane State College's 6th Annual Management and Human Resources Summit, May 2014
  • Presenter, "Voilà! The Skinny on the Expanding ADA...or Rather, the NotSoSkinny,"
  • Porter Wright’s Employment Relations Seminar, May 2014
  • Presenter, "Conducting Legally Sound Background Checks: FCRA Requirements, EEOC Guidance, BantheBox and Other Recent Developments," BLR HR Hero, April 2014
  • Moderator, Lorman Seminar, "Administering the FMLA in Ohio" and Presenter of "Employer’s Bill of FMLA Rights; Tactics Employers Can Use to Reign in FMLA Abuse" and "This is Jeopardy…the FMLA Edition," March 2014
  • Presenter, "Advising Employers and Employees on Off-Duty Conduct," Ohio State Bar Association, January 2014
  • Presenter, "Conducting Legally Sound Background Checks: FCRA Requirements, EEOC Guidance, FACTA and Other Recent Developments” for BLR HR Hero, December 10, 2013
  • Presenter, "Professionalism: Social Media Issues," Association of Corporate Counsel America, Northern Ohio Chapter, Cleveland, Ohio, November 2013
  • Presenter, "Turning Points and Trends," Columbus Bar Association, October 2013
  • CoPresenter, "Taming the Lion: Social Media, Bring Your Own Device Issues and Other Technology Risks in the Workplace," Porter Wright Labor and Employment Seminar, October 2013
  • Presenter, "How Social Media Can Be Evidence in Your Case, and Why You—Yes, You!— Can't Delete Your Way Off Social Media," seminar for Women Lawyers of Franklin County, September 26, 2013
  • Presenter, "Social Media in the Workplace: This One's a Scorcher. Better Find Cover" Columbus Business First's Social Media Summer Camp—Social Media In the Law, August 2013
  • Presenter, "Social Media In the Law: Learn It and Use It, or Get Out of the Way" Porter Wright's Tech Law Series, June 2013
  • Presenter, "Employment Law Update" a Webcast for the Ohio State Bar Association discussing the impact of recent Supreme Court decisions, June 2013
  • Presenter, "Hot topics in Employment Law" at Zane State College’s 5th Annual Management and Human Resources Summit, May 16, 2013
  • Presenter, "Employment Law Legal Update" to the Columbus Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Committee, May 1, 2013
  • Presenter, "Riding the Social Media Tidal Wave: Understanding the Risks and Rewards for Employers" at the Akron Area SHRM Annual Legal and Legislative Conference, May 8, 2013
  • Presenter, "Walking the Tightrope—Conducting a Legally Sound Background Check: New FCRA Requirements and EEOC Guidance Explained for Business and Legal Resources" Webinar, June and April 2013
  • Presenter, "How to Comply with the New FCRA Amendments: A Guide on Applications, the EEOC, the FCRA, Social Media and Beyond” National Webinar, December 19, 2012
  • Speaker, Porter Wright's Employment Relations Seminar What Lurks in the Shadows?, "Who's Really Under that Mask?," Columbus, Ohio, October 30, 2012
  • Speaker, Porter Wright's Employment Relations Seminar Don't Stir Up the Hornet's Nest: Reduce Your Company's Potential Risk, "Take the Right Precautions: Protecting Your Company During An Internal Investigation," Cleveland, Ohio, May 10, 2012
  • Speaker, Porter Wright's Employment Relations Seminar, Stop the Domino Effect: Reduce Your Company's Potential Risk, "Workplace Investigation Practices and Techniques: Making Sure Your Investigation Provides The Support You Need for Your Defense," Columbus, Ohio, May 1, 2012
  • Speaker, Webinar (Indiana Chamber of Commerce), "Retaliation Claims: Don’t Become a Victim," September 8, 2011
  • Speaker, National Federation of Independent Business Webinar, "7 Sins Employers Commit and How to Avoid Them," August 24, 2011
  • Speaker, 2011 FMLA Seminar (Indiana Chamber of Commerce), "Making the Right Call: Disciplining/Terminating the FMLA Abuser"
  • Speaker, National Federation of Independent Business Webinar, "Hot Topics in Employment Law for Small Businesses," June 2010
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