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Sonya Smallets

Sonya Smallets

Partner

Sonya Smallets, a partner at Minnis & Smallets, has been representing employees who have been discriminated against, harassed, or wrongfully terminated by their employers for more than fifteen years. Sonya recently obtained a jury verdict in a sexual harassment case, which is one of the highest emotional distress awards in an employment case in the Northern District of California in recent years. Sonya also obtained an arbitration award of more than $950,000 on behalf of a client who was terminated in retaliation for complaining of unpaid wages.

In 2021, Sonya was selected as one of the Top 100 Northern California Lawyers by Super Lawyers, as well as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Northern California for the third year in a row. Sonya was previously selected as a Super Lawyer or Super Lawyer Rising Star every year since 2012.

Sonya won the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Trial Lawyer of the Year Award in 2021 for her verdict in Newton v. Equilon Enterprises LLC. Sonya was inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2020 as a result of her work in the area of Justice.

Sonya is an active member of the Bay Area legal community. She is a member and former Chair of the Executive Committee of the Alameda County Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section, a member of the California Employment Lawyers Association’s Legislative Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Plaintiffs’ Employment Lawyers Association. Sonya also volunteers as a Supervising Attorney with the Workers’ Rights Clinic at Legal Aid at Work.

Sonya graduated with honors from Swarthmore College and Berkeley Law. She then clerked for Judge Sidney Thomas of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Claudia Wilken of the Northern District of California before working for Lawless & Lawless as an associate attorney.

Awards and Affiliations
About Sonya

Professional Affiliations And Community Involvement

  • Alameda County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Chair of the Executive Committee
  • Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers’ Association, Member of Board of Directors
  • California Employment Lawyers Association, Legislative Committee Member
  • Plaintiffs’ Employment Lawyers Association, Executive Committee Member
  • Legal Aid at Work Workers’ Rights Clinic, Supervising Attorney

Speaking Engagements

  • Stop the Harris-ment, California Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference, (2019)
  • Getting damages in Federal Court: The Avoidable Consequences Doctrine, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Continuing Legal Education Seminar, (2019)
  • Trial Story Hour, CELA Barristers Committee Continuing Legal Education Seminar, (2019)
  • Know Your Rights, Leadership California Institute and Institute of Governmental Advocates Day of Resources on Sexual Harassment, (2018)
  • Employment Issues Facing Clients with HIV/AIDS, AIDS Legal Referral Panel Continuing Legal Education, (2017, 2015, 2014)
  • Making Joint Employers Play Right, California Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference, (2016)
  • A Day in the Life of Employment Lawyers, ACBA Continuing Legal Education Seminar, (2016)
  • Litigating a Sexual Harassment Case: The Plaintiff’s Perspective, San Mateo County Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Seminar, (2015)
  • Complex Leave Laws Applicable to California Employees, ACBA Continuing Legal Education Seminar, (2014)
  • MSJ From All Angles: Summary Judgment in CA Employment Cases, BASF Continuing Legal Education Seminar, (2013)

Published Works

  • Contributor,  Zero Tolerance: Best Practices for Combating Sex-Based Harassment in the Legal Professions, American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, (2018)
  • Sonya Smallets, The Problem with Unpaid Interns, Bulletin: The Bar Association of San Francisco, (2016)
  • Jo Anne Frankfurt and Sonya Smallets, Disability Discrimination Under the FEHA: The Impact, CAL. EMP. L. REP. 59., (2001)
  • Mark. S. Rudy and Sonya Smallets, The Current State of California Retaliation Law: A Plaintiff’s Perspective, CAL. EMP. L. REP. 265, (2000)
  • Sonya Smallets, Recent Developments, Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services: A Victory for Gay and Lesbian Rights?, 14 BERKELEY WOMEN’S L.J. 136, (1999)

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If you are looking for advice or representation, please contact us today using the form below and we will promptly respond to your inquiry.

CONTACT US TODAY

If you are looking for advice or representation, please contact us today using the form below and we will promptly respond to your inquiry.

Attorney Advertising. This information is designed for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Past results and testimonials are not a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of the outcome of your case, and should not be construed as such. Past results cannot guarantee future performance. Any result in a single case is not meant to create an expectation of similar results in future matters because each case involves many different factors, therefore, results will differ on a case-by-case basis. By providing certain contact information herein, you are expressly authorizing the recipient of this message to contact you via the methods of communication provided.

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