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 $475,000 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 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 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.