OUR PEOPLE

Sarah Morton concentrates her legal practice on the representation of employers in issues related to labor and employment law, and is the founding partner of FordHarrison's Houston office. 

Sarah Morton defends management clients in individual and multi-plaintiff actions alleging violations of federal, state, and local discrimination, harassment, and leave and accommodation laws, and in class and collective actions arising under the FLSA and related state wage and hour laws. Sarah is an accomplished litigator who has tried employment cases to verdict in both federal and state court, and has represented clients in private arbitration and before administrative hearing examiners. She has appeared on behalf of her clients before administrative agencies including the Texas Workforce Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Department of Justice, and U.S. Department of Labor.

Although representing clients in the courtroom is central to her practice, she is also committed to advising clients in avoiding litigation. Sarah counsels employers through personnel-related decisions, conducts and directs internal investigations and compliance audits, and counsels clients on the design and implementation of employment policies and practices.

Sarah is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is recognized as a Texas “Rising Star” by industry insiders.  Sarah joined FordHarrison from a global general practice law firm where she represented a broad range of clients in labor and employment law matters. Prior to that role, Sarah spent eight years as an associate in the Houston office of the nation’s largest labor and employment defense firm, where she managed and conducted several wage and hour compliance audits under the tutelage of the former Administrator to the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division and author of the 2004 FLSA white collar exemptions.

In law school, Sarah was a three-year member of the mock trial team, an executive officer on the Board of Advocates, and was recognized for her outstanding oral advocacy skills by induction into the national Order of Barristers. 

Representative Experience
  • Defeated conditional certification of a proposed class of nurses and hospital technicians who claimed they were denied wages due to missed and interrupted meal breaks.  
  • After a week-long state court jury trial, secured a full defense verdict for an industrial manufacturing company on pregnancy and disability discrimination and retaliation claims.  
  • After a two-week state court jury trial in Bexar County, secured a full defense verdict on disability discrimination claims alleged against a San Antonio hospital system. 
  • Secured full summary judgment of FMLA retaliation and ERISA claims brought by an executive against a Houston oil and gas services company.  
  • Prevailed in a three-day arbitration hearing conducted entirely over Zoom (during COVID-19) on claims of age and sex discrimination and retaliation brought by a hospital technician against a Dallas-area hospital. 
  • Secured full summary judgment of whistleblower retaliation claims asserted under the False Claims Act and National Defense Authorization Act by a billing coordinator who alleged she was terminated after complaining that her employer had engaged in fraud against the US government. 
  • Obtained a full defense verdict following a week-long state court jury trial on behalf of a Fortune 500 gas distribution company against worker’s compensation retaliation claims filed by a former employee. 
  • Defended a Fortune 500 oil and gas services company against allegations of race and national origin discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment asserted by twelve employees after nooses were discovered in the workplace.  After first obtaining dismissal of the retaliation claims on summary judgment, Sarah defended the company as second-chair trial counsel in a five-week federal court jury trial. The jury returned a defense verdict on 17 of 18 asserted claims, but were unable to reach consensus on the remaining claim, which the parties then settled.    
  • Represented a Fortune 500 oil and gas services company in a multi-plaintiff federal court lawsuit filed by a group of employees alleging that their department managers harassed and discriminated against them based on their race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, and age. Drafted the summary judgment motion which resulted in all claims being dismissed prior to trial.
  • Took over representation from another firm of a Houston transportation company targeted by the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Justice for alleged wage and hour and visa violations. Following nearly three years of agency investigations and litigation, the matter was successfully resolved, saving the company nearly $1 million in assessed damages and penalties.
  • Conducted wage and hour audits of companies in the energy, retail, healthcare, food manufacturing and distribution, insurance, and financial services industries to ensure compliance with FLSA regulations concerning exemptions and pay practices.  
Honors & Awards
  • Rising Star, Employment and Labor Law, Super Lawyers (2016–2018)
  • Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization