Janet Savage is a partner in the Employment & Labor Law Group of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP. She has been practicing since 1981 in the employment and labor law areas. She has significant litigation experience, defending claims by employees including all types of discrimination, contract, and defamation claims. A significant portion of her practice involves counseling and defending companies on claims of harassment and discrimination. She regularly counsels companies in general employment matters as well as discrimination claims. She also represents companies in various labor issues including arbitrations and National Labor Relations Board proceedings.
Ms. Savage is a frequent speaker and author on employment related topics. She has spoken before the Colorado Association of Certified Public Accountants, Colorado Women’s Corporate Counsel Group, American Corporate Counsel Group, National Resellers Convention, and at a number of continuing legal education seminars sponsored by the Council on Education in Management. She has been the moderator and program organizer for a series of employment seminars for CLE of Colorado and for numerous client seminars. She has been named as a “Leader in Their Field” in Labor & Employment Law for a number of years in Chambers USA and has earned an AV Preeminent® Peer Review RatingTM from Martindale-Hubbell®. She was also recently selected as a League of Justice honoree by the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center for her work organizing the guardian ad litem program at DGS. She was also recently elected by the American Board of Trial Advocates to become a member.
Prior to joining DGS, she was managing partner and shareholder in the Denver office of a large Minneapolis-based law firm. She received her B.A. in 1976 with honors from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and her J.D., cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School in 1981, where she was a member and research editor of the Suffolk University Law Review. Following law school, she was a clerk for one year in the Colorado Court of Appeals. Ms. Savage is admitted to the Colorado Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and U.S. District Courts for the District of Colorado, Eastern District of Michigan, and Western District of Texas, Austin Division. She has also been admitted to numerous courts for the defense of particular cases.
Ms. Savage is an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, and has been a lecturer at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. She is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She is a member of the Labor and Litigation Sections of the American Bar Association, and Labor Law Committee of the Colorado Bar Association. She is also a member of the Alliance of Professional Women, Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and Women’s Corporate Counsel Group. She was the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society for four years.
Suffolk University, J.D., cum laude, 1981
State University of New York, B.A., with Honors, 1976
Some of her litigation experiences are as follows:
Please join us for this seminar that will focus on changes in Colorado and federal employment laws and will provide practical guidance to ensure compliance. Our guest speaker, Peter Wingate, Deputy Director of the Colorado Division of Labor, will discuss wage and hour issues affecting Colorado employers. DGS partners Janet Savage and Brett Painter will then share answers to some commonly-asked legal questions.
Please join us for this seminar that will focus on changes in Colorado and federal employment laws and will provide practical guidance to ensure compliance.
Topics will include the Colorado Family Care Act, Marijuana in the workplace, Colorado Civil Unions Act, Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, Colorado Employment Opportunity Act and its impact on employee credit checks, and Colorado and federal developments regarding social media.
DGS partner Janet Savage will be speaking at the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s Special Institute on Oil & Gas Agreements: Contracting for Goods, Services, and People. The event, being held May 2-3 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the 10th in the Foundation’s highly successful Oil & Gas Agreements Series. The institute will examine the important issues presented by contracts for goods, services, and people, and provide practical tips for individuals involved in all stages of the contracting process.
The 2012 edition of the Chambers USA ranked Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP first in Colorado in the areas of Corporate/M&A and Natural Resources & Environment. Chambers USA also recognized DGS for its strong Commercial Litigation and Labor & Employment practices.
The 2010 edition of the Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business today ranked Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP first in Colorado in the areas of corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, and natural resources and environmental law, which includes the traditional and renewable energy sectors and the mining industry. Chambers also recognized DGS for its strong general commercial and employment litigation practices.
The DGS appellate team scored another win in a published opinion released by the Tenth Circuit on August 11. In Hertz v. Luzenac America, the Court of Appeals reinstated claims by DGS client Luzenac America, Inc. arising from misappropriation of certain of its trade secrets.
This quarter’s employment alert focuses on recent activity by Congress and the U.S. Department of Labor with respect to the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), and activity by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding a rule about employee health benefits.
Davis Graham & Stubbs ranked in the top tier of Colorado business law firms in the fields of Commercial Litigation and Environmental Law in the just-released 2007 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. DGS was also recognized in the fields of corporate mergers and acquisitions, labor and employment, and real estate.
Davis Graham & Stubbs is offering a complimentary breakfast briefing on Thursday, March 8, 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. in their offices. The seminar, “Immigration Issues for Construction and Real Estate Employers,” is hosted by the firm’s Real Estate Group to brief developers, homebuilders and contractors about immigration laws, both federal and state, and how they impact construction and real estate employers in Colorado.
Davis Graham & Stubbs is offering a complimentary breakfast briefing on Tuesday, August 22nd, 8:00-9:00 a.m. in their offices. The seminar, “Getting Ready for Colorado’s New Immigration Enforcement Law” is co-sponsored with CRS Insurance Brokerage and Daniels Benefit Specialists and will inform employers about the new immigration law in Colorado going into effect August 1, and the implications of this law for employers.
Davis Graham & Stubbs is offering a complimentary breakfast briefing on the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act on Thursday, June 15, 8:00-9:00 a.m. in their offices. “FMLA & ADA Bootcamp” is co-sponsored with CRS Insurance Brokerage and Daniels Benefit Specialists to advise employers how to comply with requirements of Title I of the ADA and the FMLA. Davis Graham employment partner Janet Savage will be the featured speaker for the briefing. Ms. Savage has 25 years experience counseling companies on labor and employment issues and defending discrimination and harassment claims in significant litigation.
On April 5th, Janet Savage, Andy Low and Dale Harris won a major victory in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. In Heno v. Sprint/United Management Co., the Tenth Circuit reversed a jury verdict for the plaintiff in a race discrimination case.
Three federal statutes often come into play when employers are faced with the issue of how to treat certain absences from work. These federal laws are:
American Bar Association
Specific ethical issues may arise when an attorney serves as a neutral arbitrator in an employment dispute. The concerns of a litigator acting as an advocate differ from those of an arbitrator acting as an impartial decisionmaker. As an attorney, the litigator/arbitrator is subject to professional rules and codes governing attorney conduct in addition to the rules and canons promulgated by arbitration organizations such as the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”). These rules and canons offer guidance for the attorney in conducting an arbitration, but gray areas persist, particularly in the following areas.
In recent years, juries have awarded high damages, often in the millions, to plaintiffs in employment cases. Although these awards are often reduced later by court action, juries are sending a message to the employer about the conduct giving rise to the lawsuit. In many cases, the facts underlying million dollar verdicts have included egregious conduct by the employer or by coworkers. However, it is sometimes lack of action, or actions taken with good intentions, that give rise to “bad facts.” A “bad fact” is one which may not support, or even suggest, a finding of liability, but makes the circumstances at issue “smell bad.” In this respect, the jury in an employment case is unique. Most jurors are or have been employees themselves and, therefore, often can easily relate to and sympathize with the plaintiff. As a result, jurors (who can readily put themselves in the plaintiff’s shoes) may find against the employer where the employer has treated the plaintiff in a way that the juror finds unacceptable or offensive, even if not illegal.
American Bar Association
Plaintiffs suing their former employers for wrongful discharge or employment discrimination often sue their individual supervisors and co-workers as well. In suits by former employees for wrongful discharge or employment discrimination, the alleged conduct of a fellow employee is usually the basis for the lawsuit. Defense attorneys in these cases are often faced with the decision of whether to undertake joint representation of both the defendant employer and the defendant employee.
After ten years of litigation and training, employers are becoming increasingly proactive in eliminating sexual harassment from the workplace. They are doing so through a variety of strategies, including (a) establishing strong policies prohibiting sexual harassment, (b) educating their employees concerning those policies and complaint procedures, (c) promptly investigating complaints of sexual harassment, and (d) taking effective corrective action where sexual harassment is found to exist.
I. What Is Invasion of Privacy?
A. Restatement (Second) of Torts, ' 652A, identifies four separate torts
1. Unreasonable intrusion upon the seclusion of another; 2. Appropriation of the other's name or likeness; 3. Unreasonable publicity given to the other's private life; and 4. Publicity that unreasonably places the other in a false light before the public.
In Taylor v. Pepsi-Cola Company, 196 F. 3d 1106 (10th Cir. 1999), the Tenth Circuit held that Pepsi- Cola Company ("Pepsi") did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") when it discharged the plaintiff after he was unable to tell the company when he would be able to return to work following a work-related injury and to what position.
Each year, employers in Colorado are faced with an increasing number of defamation claims in employment lawsuits. Whether the claim originates from a bad reference or an individual who believes he was improperly accused of sexual harassment, employers must be sensitive to the risk of statements made inside and outside the workplace. This risk is magnified by the fact that individual employees can expose the company to liability for their oral and written statements. Knowledge of the following information will help employers to prevent and defend against claims for libel or slander.
When help-wanted notices or advertisements contain terms and phrases, such as "age 25-35," "young," "college student," "recent college graduate," "boy," "girl," or other descriptions of a similar nature, such a term or phrase deters the employment of older persons and is a violation of the federal Age Discrimination In Employment Act ("ADEA").
Personnel Law Update 1999
Three federal statutes often come into play when employers are faced with the issue of how to treat certain absences from work. These federal laws are Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). Initially, most employers focused on the basic changes necessary to comply with these statutes.
After a long trend of increases in the number of sexual harassment claims, recent statistics from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission seem to demonstrate a slight decline in sexual harassment charges. Charges of sexual harassment before the EEOC dropped from 15,889 in 1997 to 15,618 in 1998. This decrease followed a steady increase in charges since 1991 when there were 6,883 EEOC charges involving sexual harassment claims. The total monetary benefits awarded in sexual harassment claims handled by the EEOC dropped as well, from $49.5 million in 1997 to $34.3 million in 1998. While there was a slight increase in probable cause determinations from the EEOC during that same time period, such determinations still remained relatively low at 6.1% of all charges filed.
Recently, the United States Supreme Court handed down two decisions defining the circumstances under which employers can be held vicariously liable for sexual harassment committed by a supervisor against another employee.
Age discrimination is prohibited under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C.S. ␣ 621 et seq. (␣ADEA␣). The ADEA was modeled after Title VII which prohibits discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Like Title VII, the ADEA deals with all aspects of discrimination in the workplace: hiring, assignments, promotions, compensation, environment, and discharges. The ADEA prohibits age discrimination against individuals who are at least 40 years old. In 1986, the upper age limit of 70 years old was removed so that the statute now prohibits discrimination regardless of whether an employee is beyond the age of 70.