Pamela M. Sayad, Esq.

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Pamela M. Sayad, Esq. Senior and Founding Partner

Location: San Francisco, California
Phone: (415) 523-7758 (direct)
Fax: (415) 392-4001
Email: pms@sayad-biren.com

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. Prior to her political appointment as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, she was an attorney in the Solicitor’s Office, Division of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of Interior in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Sayad is the senior and founding member of Sayad & Biren PC in San Francisco. Besides her experience prosecuting criminal cases as an Assistant United States Attorney, her legal experience includes, but is not limited to, representation of employees and employers in a wide variety of employment, discrimination, harassment, whistleblower, retaliation, and wage and hour matters. In addition to her broad-based employment and discrimination litigation practice, Ms. Sayad also counsels and advises employees and employers on wage and hour issues, discrimination, wrongful termination, privacy and unfair competition issues, discipline and termination, drafts executive employment contracts, independent contractor agreements and severance agreements, and conducts harassment and misconduct investigations, for example.

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.

Ms. Sayad is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.

Professional Associations and Memberships

Ms. Sayad is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of California, the District of Columbia, and Massachusetts and before the United States Supreme Court.

She is a member of the State Bar of California, Labor & Employment Law Section and the Bar Association of San Francisco.

The Olympic Club, Member

Selected Speaking Engagements

“Know Your Employment Rights and How to Protect Yourself as an Employee,” University of Santa Clara Business School, “Women in Leadership,” August 12, 2017 and May 6, 2013; “Leadership: Vision, Deals and Process,” 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," Non-profit’s 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.

Featured Publications

Ms. Sayad, with her law partner, Brenda Biren, are co-authors of a CEB Treatise, Employment Damages and Remedies, Chapter 4, "Remedies Under Antidiscrimination and Other Employee Rights Statutes," Continuation Education of the Bar, May 2012 (and annual supplements).

Ms. Sayad’s comments and profile have been featured in the following publications:

  • Forbes on November 19, 2018 about a pending pregnancy discrimination case in California.
  • The Economist on August 10, 2017 regarding the legal steps taken by the former Google employee who was terminated for publishing an internal memorandum voicing his anti-diversity views on reasons behind gender inequality in the tech industry.
  • The Economist on April 15, 2017, in a discussion on pay equity issues women face in tech firms.
  • Law360 on March 31, 2015, in a discussion about the implications following the jury decision in the $100 million gender discrimination suit against Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caulfied & Byers, LLC.
  • "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 political science and a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame School of Law, where she was a Director of the Notre Dame Legal Aid Association.

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • 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. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Published Works

Co-Author, Employment Damages and Remedies, Chapter 4, "Remedies Under Anti-Discrimination and Other Employee Rights Statutes," Continuing Education of the Bar, including supplements