Sara H. Jodka


Sara H. Jodka, CIPP-US, CIPP-E, and CIPM / Member at Dickinson Wright, is an experienced legal advisor and litigator. She provides clients with practical advice on a wide range of labor and employment issues, including discrimination, retaliation, harassment, leave, FMLA, COVID-19 response, reductions in force, background checks, drug testing, breach of contract, non-compete/restraint of trade/non-solicitation, employment agreements, executive compensation, wage/hour class/collective actions and other aspects of the employment relationship. Her focus is on providing no-nonsense, pragmatic, realistic, and straightforward support on labor and employment issues to help management respond effectively, efficiently, and in line with the company’s needs.

Her litigation practice also extends to business/corporate law as she represents clients on both sides in non-compete/non-solicitation/trade secret violation cases, shareholder/member breach of fiduciary duties, brand dilution, trademark/copyright infringement, etc. at all stages of litigation, including injunction and trial. 

On top of her significant labor and employment practice, Sara is the Immediate Past Chair of the 1,700+ member member Ohio State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section, and is the Editor of the firm’s labor and employment blog, All Things HR.

Sara combines her in-depth knowledge of privacy and data security regulations and best practices, both domestic and international, with her keen understanding of emerging and information technologies to provide clients with practical advice on how to design and implement their products and services, draft/negotiate sophisticated technology agreements (e.g., “as-a-service” agreements, EULAs, DPAs, subscriber agreements, WISPs, etc.), consummate their M&A transactions, and engage third-party vendors in the United States and abroad. Sara has assisted clients in launching various technologies including medical devices; communication tools; toys using artificial intelligence, voice recognition, and real-time chat functionality; and apps for telehealth, COVID-19 tracking, e-commerce, social/protective services, geo-mapping, drone aviation, food delivery, and more.

Over the past few years, Sara has assisted more than 100 companies, from U.S.-based multinationals to startups, on their path to compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) as amended by the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA). She regularly works with businesses to review and audit their privacy policies and procedures; prepare for and respond to data breaches; employ post-breach remedying; provide employee training; and legal and regulatory compliance matters, including HIPPA/HITECH, GLBA, FERPA, COPPA, PIPL, and US state-specific privacy laws, such as CAN-SPAM, and TCPA. She leverages her business litigation, transactional experience leading M&A, and tech transactions as well as her ability to break down complex concepts into easy-to-understand action items to provide effective, ongoing counsel to clients in their day-to-day operations.

Sara has also been certified by IAPP as a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) and a Certified Information Privacy Professional in the laws of the United States – private sector (CIPP/US), and the laws of the European Union (CIPP/E).

Education & Credentials


The Ohio State University


Capital University Law School

  • cum laude
  • Order of the Curia

Cornell Law School

  • Certified Data Security and Privacy Policy

International Association of Privacy Professionals

  • CIPP-US (United States)
  • CIPP-E (Europe)
  • CIPM

Bar Admission

  • Ohio


  • National Law Journal
    • Employment Law Trailblazers, 2022 
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • "Ones to Watch," Labor and Employment - Management, 2021-2024
  • Ohio Super Lawyers®
    • Employment Litigation, Defense, 2015-2024
    • Top 100: Ohio Super Lawyers, 2023
    • Top 50: Columbus Super Lawyers, Columbus Lawyers, 2023
    • Top 50: Women Ohio Super Lawyers, 2018, 2020, 2023
    • Top 25: Women Columbus Super Lawyers, 2017-2020, 2022-2024
  • Columbus CEO Magazine
    • Top Lawyer, Labor and Employment, 2016
    • Best Lawyers, Labor and Employment, 2022
    • Best Lawyers, Labor and Employment, 2023

Prominent Assignments

Acted as expert witness regarding the enforceability of non-compete contracts

Guided businesses ranging from small- to mid-size with respect to their GDPR and CCPA compliance. 

Guided clients in responding, remedying, and reporting HIPAA breaches.

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

  • Ohio State Bar Association
    • Immediate Past Chair, Labor & Employment Law Section, (July 2023 to the present)
    • Chair, Labor & Employment Law Section, (October 2021 to June 2023)
    • Committees and Sections Taskforce (2019 to 2021)  
    • Member, Labor and Employment Law Section Executive Counsel, Secretary/Treasurer (2017-2019) and Vice Chair (2019 to 2021)
    • Media Law Section Committee (2016-2018)
    • Marketing Content Management Committee (2016-2018)
    • Leadership Academy (Class of 2014)
  • Member, International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
  • Member, InfraGard
  • Observer to the Uniform Law Commission Social Media Drafting Committee
  • 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 Supreme Court of Ohio
  • 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




  • Presenter, "The Private Employer Vaccine Mandate: It's Here, It's There, It's Every Where and What You Need to Know About It," Dickinson Wright, November 2021  

  • April 2021, Co-Presenter, “A Shot in the Arm: Current COVID-19 Workplace Issues,” Middle Tennessee Society for Human Resource Management

  • April 1, 2020, Speaker, “FFCRA Playbook: Tackling the DOL's Guidance Webinar,” DW Webinar for Mid-Tennessee SHRM and Detroit SHRM

  • March 17, 2020, Speaker, “Pandemic Workplace Response: Now What?,” DW Webinar

  • December 4, 2019, Speaker “The CCPA Update: What the Amendments and the Attorney General’s Regulations Really Mean for Your Business”, DW Webinar

  • November 21, 2019, Panelist, “Cannabis Law,” Columbus Bar Association WLFC Event

  • November 8, 2019, Speaker “Current Developments in Labor and Employment Law,” Capital University Law School Labor and Employment CLE

  • November 5, 2019, Speaker, “Workplace Privacy (HIPAA, GINA, etc.), NBI Seminar.

  • October 3, 2019 Speaker, Employment and Accommodation Law Update, Ohio Cannabis Law Conference, Ohio State Bar Association 

  • May 14, 2019, Speaker, "Emerging Workplace Protections and Accommodations," Ohio State Bar Association Basics of Employment Law CLE 

  • May 10, 2019, Speaker, "Ohio's New Cybersecurity Law: What Will it Mean for Business and Data Protection - Introduction to and Overview of the Ohio Data Protection Act (ODPA)," Ohio State University College of Law 

  • November 28, 2018, Infragard, Central Ohio Monthly Chapter Meeting, Panelist – Ohio’s Privacy Protection Act (SB 200): What It Is and What Does It Mean for Companies

  • November 2, 2018, GE Diversity Day, Panelist – Employee Speech, Social Media & Inclusion – Current Issues In (and Outside of) the Workplace at the University Of Cincinnati College of Law

  • 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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