Sarah K. Downey
Ms. Downey has been practicing law in New Mexico since 2002. She attended the University of Arizona College of Law, where she graduated cum laude, and Whittier College, where she received a B.A., with honors, in English.
Ms. Downey formerly served as a law clerk for the Honorable John E. Conway of the New Mexico Federal District Court and was in-house counsel for Sandia Corporation, which operates Sandia National Laboratories. At Sandia, Ms. Downey specialized in employment law, providing counsel to Sandia employees in the Human Resources Department, its internal Equal Employment Office, and its Employee and Labor Relations Office. Ms. Downey also managed employment-related litigation and administrative matters for the company and led the corporate e-discovery team. In 2013, Ms. Downey began practicing with J. Douglas Foster, Travis G. Jackson, and Meghan D. Stanford.
Ms. Downey’s practice focuses on labor and employment matters arising under federal and state law, including claims based on Title VII, FMLA, ADA, ADEA, ERISA, and common law contract and wrongful discharge claims. Ms. Downey has represented private sector employers against administrative claims of discrimination filed before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions and defended employers against employment claims in the state and federal courts of New Mexico. Ms. Downey also provides day-to-day preventative counseling and employment advice. Ms. Downey is admitted to practice before all New Mexico state and federal courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
In 2016-2017, Ms. Downey successfully represented a client against an overly broad “pattern and practice” subpoena issued by the EEOC, resulting in a Tenth Circuit decision that the EEOC had gone beyond its statutory authority by failing to establish the relevancy of the information sought to the underlying charge. Equal Empl. Opportunity Commn. v. TriCore Ref. Laboratories, 849 F.3d 929 (10th Cir. 2017). As stated in a National Law review article, the case “offers hope to employers within the Tenth Circuit facing overly broad information requests and/or subpoenas from the EEOC.” See the article here.
Ms. Downey serves on the board at All Faiths, central New Mexico’s premier provider of support to children who have been abused and/or neglected, and assists with its mission of helping families and children overcome trauma and break the cycle of abuse. She and her husband, Chris, are the proud parents of two daughters, Elise and Sage.