Employment Law, Litigation

E: rsutton@sglaw.com
P: (503) 399-1070
Chambers USA Randall Sutton 2015


Randall Sutton advises employers and handles employment and business litigation matters. He serves as Chair of the firm’s Employment Litigation Practice Group. With 20 years of law practice, he is highly regarded for his expertise in employment law.

  • Rated AV Preeminent by his peers in the Martindale-Hubbell directory
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for the practice area of Employment Law – Management
  • Recognized by Chambers USA as a Leader in the field of Employment Law

The key areas in which Randall focuses his practice are:


Randall advises management with difficult employee relations issues and helps employers stay complaint with state and federal employment laws. Randall defends employers in litigation brought by current and former employees. He has handled a wide variety of harassment, discrimination and retaliation cases alleging violations of age, sex, disability, race, family leave, national origin, and other laws. He also defends employers against wage & hour, breach of contract, wrongful discharge and other employment-related claims. Randall has particular expertise in leave and disability laws under FMLA, OFLA, and the ADA. Randall frequently works with his clients’ Employment Practices Liability (EPLI) insurance carriers to provide a strong defense under the terms of the EPLI policy.


Randall has considerable experience prosecuting claims against former employees who have sought to sabotage and step into the shoes of their former employer. These actions have threatened the survival of the client company through the loss of trade secrets, diversion of employees, and solicitation of customer relationships. Randall has obtained TROs and preliminary injunctions to provide emergency relief and protection. To secure the return of stolen customer information and preserve electronic data from destruction, Randall has obtained court orders on an ex parte basis without prior notice to the opposing party. These efforts have helped his clients’ businesses survive and thrive, by obtaining necessary emergency legal protections.

Representative Cases:

The Carriage Works v. Ikonic Manufacturing: Key employees of national manufacturer sabotaged and diverted employees and customers. Obtained ex parte order to preserve electronic data through sheriff-assisted data retrieval efforts without prior notice to competitor. Obtained preliminary injunction preventing former employees’ company from doing business with key customers.

Action Truss v. Salem Truss: Key management employees took customer files, diverted customers, and hired away employees. Obtained sheriff-assisted ex parte claim and delivery order for the return of trade secrets necessary to continue client business operations. Obtained preliminary injunction preventing use of trade secrets and imposing customer protections. Secured court-ordered receiver, who was instructed to liquidate the former employees’ newly formed company.

MegAvail v. Market Specific Media: Former key employees sabotaged and sought to step into shoes of former employer. Obtained ex parte court order to preserve electronic data and preliminary injunction preventing former employees from engaging in competitive efforts.


Randall represents business clients in varied complex litigation matters. His clients have included large manufacturers, call centers, physicians’ offices, farms, professional service providers, franchisees, artists, retailers, financial institutions and many others in a wide variety of fields and occupations. These cases have litigated a wide variety of claims, including claims for antitrust, intellectual property rights, breach of contract, ERISA, breach of fiduciary duty of loyalty, shareholder disputes, and minority shareholder oppression to name a few.


Randall is a frequent author and public speaker on employment legal issues. He began his career as a personnel analyst for the City of San Diego. Randall is admitted to practice law in both Oregon and Washington and assists clients across the Northwest.

Randall has served for many years as the Oregon Legislative Director for the Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”), and was the 2012 Director of the SHRM Oregon State Council. Randall also serves on the Associated Oregon Industries (AOI) Employment Practices Steering Committee where he plays a part in helping to shape laws affecting Oregon employers. Randall is the Past President of the Job Growers Incorporated tri-county workforce investment board. For the past three years, he has supported the Sprague High School Band Boosters as Chair of the Pacific Coast Invitational statewide marching band competition.


  • Employment Law
  • Litigation
  • ERISA Litigation


  • Health Care


Willamette University College of Law

J.D., 1993

San Diego State University

B.A., Political Science, 1984


  • Oregon
  • Washington


Randall has served as a Legislative Affairs Director for the Oregon State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and currently serves as the State Director. SHRM is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management with more than 200,000 members. Randall also serves on the Associated Oregon Industries (AOI) Employment Practices Council and is a member of the AOI Employment Practices Steering Committee. He has also served on a statewide Drug Free Workforce legislative workgroup. Randall has been involved in many community nonprofit efforts, including serving as an officer on the board of directors for the Salem Art Association and the Salem Art Association Endowment Foundation. He is a past President of the Job Growers Incorporated tri-county workforce investment board for Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties. Randall is a member of the Oregon Association of Defense Counsel (OADC) and is a member of the Marion County Bar Association. Randall has written a monthly column on employment law for the Salem Business Journal. In recent years, he has supported the Litigation, Labor Relations, and Business Litigation sections of the Oregon State Bar and the Litigation section of the Washington State Bar.


The following is a selected list of seminars presented by Randall:

Sept 2015Half-Day Human Resources WorkshopMid-Willamette Human Resources Association (MHRA)Albany
Aug 2015Legal Hiring PracticesIn-House for ClientsSalem
July 2015Employment Law ExtravaganzaIn-House for ClientsSalem
May 2015Wage & Hour Basics / Recreational Marijuana UpdateHR BasicsSalem
Apr 2015Employment Law Hot Topics for Medical GroupsMGMA Spring ConferencePortland
Mar 2015Social Media & Recreational Marijuana Issues for Medical EmployersOMGMA Regional MeetingAstoria
Apr 2014Understanding Wage & Hour LawMarion Polk Medical SocietySalem
Feb 2013Legislative UpdateMid-Willamette HR AssociationAlbany
Nov 2012Duty of Care for Directors of Nonprofit BoardsSHRM Oregon State CouncilEugene
Nov 2012Viva Lost WagesIn House for ClientsSalem
Sep 2012Effective Workplace InvestigationsIn House for ClientsSalem
Aug 2012Legislative RoundtablePortland HR Management AssociationPortland
Jun 2012HR BasicsSHRM Salem ChapterSalem
Feb 2012Legislative UpdateAlbany SHRM ChapterAlbany
Dec 2011Protecting Your Practice - Hot Topics in Employment LawMarion Polk Dental SocietySalem
Sep 2011Management & Harassment Training & Social Media IssuesOregon Bankers’ AssociationSalem
Sep 2011Saw You on Facebook… “You’re Fired!”In House for ClientsSalem
Jan 2011Employment Law 101Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon 2011 ConferenceSalem
May 2011HR BasicsSHRM Salem ChapterSalem
Jun 2010HR BasicsSHRM Salem ChapterSalem
Jan 2010Tips to Keep Employers Out of Trouble & 2010 Legislative UpdateSeminar co-presented with Moss Adams CPAsSalem
Sep 2009What’s New in Employment LawIn House for ClientsSalem
Jul 2009New Employment Laws - Panel Discussion with BOLI Commissioner Brad AvakianSalem Chamber of Commerce Public Policy ForumSalem
Jun 2009HR BasicsSHRM Salem ChapterSalem
Apr 2009Viva Lost Wages!… with Lilly Ledbetter & the Fair Pay ActIn House for ClientsSalem
Feb 20092009 Legislative EventPortland Human Resources Management Association & Oregon Tualatin
Jan 2009Employee Free Choice ActSalem Chamber of Commerce Public Policy ForumSalem
Dec 2008Update on FMLA Regulations, ADA Amendments and EFCAIn House for ClientsSalem
Dec 2008Updates on the Employee Free Choice ActSalem Chamber Public Policy CommitteeSalem
Jul 2008Employment & I-9 / SSN Mismatch UpdateFarm Credit SeminarSalem
Jun 2008Protecting your Business with Noncompete & Confidentiality Agreements Legislative Changes for 2008Professional Insurance Agents Annual ConferenceSalem
Jun 2008HR Basics - SHRM Salem ChapterIn House for ClientsSalem
Jan 2008Employment Legal IssuesChemeketa Small Business Development CenterSalem
Dec 2007New Employment Laws for 2008In House for ClientsSalem
Oct 2007SSN No-Match Letters & Other Issues Facing Nursery GrowersIn House for ClientsSalem
Oct 2007New Rules for NoncompetesIn House for ClientsSalem
Sep 20072007 Legislative & Legal UpdateOSPMA/SHRM Fall ConferenceSilverton
Aug 20072007 Employment Law Report - New Laws & New Challenges for BusinessSalem Economic Development Salem
Jun 2007Disaster Preparedness - Progressive discipline, Documentation, and that magical happy place called “Summary Judgment”In-House for ClientsSalem
Jun 2007HR BasicsSHRM Salem ChapterSalem
Apr 2007Bermuda Triangle Workshop: Advanced Level Strategies to Evaluate & Solve Leave of Absence IssuesSHRM Salem ChapterSalem
Nov 2006Employment Legal Issues for Food ProcessorsMid-Willamette Valley Food Processors’ Training ConsortiumSalem
Nov 20062006 Legal UpdateOregon Bankers’ Association Human Resources CommitteeSalem
Oct 2006Employment Law in the Internet Age - “IMs & tattoos & blogs… Oh My Space!”Willamette Valley Inns of CourtSalem
Sep 2006Medical Marijuana & the ADA Interactive ProcessIn-House for ClientsSalem
Jul 2006Medical Marijuana & the ADA Interactive ProcessMHRMA ChapterAlbany
Jun 2006HR BasicsSHRM Salem ChapterSalem
Nov 2005Legal Hiring PracticesIn-House for ClientsSalem
Oct 2005Viva Lost Wages! - How to Keep your Employees from Hitting the Wage Claim JackpotNHRMA Regional Conference & Trade ShowSunriver
Jun 2005HR BasicsSHRM Salem ChapterSalem
Feb 2005Medical Marijuana - Is the Workplace Going to Pot?In-House for ClientsSalem
Jun 2004HR BasicsSHRM Salem and Klamath Falls ChaptersSalem & Klamath Falls
May 2004Managing Employee ConflictBend Chamber of CommerceBend
Oct 2003Advanced HR - Legal Update & Employee Leave & Absenteeism WorkshopSHRM Salem ChapterSalem
Oct 2003Protecting your Company from Corporate Raiding - Trade Secrets, Noncompetition, and HiringNHRMA Regional Conference & Trade ShowPortland
Sep 2003Protecting Your Dental Practice - Strategies to Avoid & Win Employee LawsuitsDental Practice SeminarEugene
Sep 2003Employment Policies RevisitedIn-House for ClientsSalem
Jun 2003Bermuda Triangle of Employee Leave and AbsenteeismEmployer Council / SHRMKlamath Falls
May 2003Speed Traps, Potholes and Red Flags: Safely Navigating the Rough Roads of Employment LawMid-Valley Tax ForumSalem
Apr 2003Understanding the ADAEmployer Council / SHRMKlamath Falls
Mar 2003Understanding Family LeaveEmployer Council / SHRMKlamath Falls
Feb 2003Harassment DefenseIn-House for ClientsSalem
Feb 2003Arbitration & ConflictsBend ChamberBend
Jul 2002Employee Theft and EmbezzlementIn-House for ClientsSalem
Jun 2002HR BasicsSHRM Salem ChapterSalem
Oct 20022002 Legislative UpdateOSPMASalem
Oct 2002Garnishments & Wage DeductionsIn-House for ClientsSalem
Sep 2002Highly Effective Chapter BoardsNHRMA Regional ConferenceTacoma
Sep 2002Legislative & Legal UpdateSHRM Salem ChapterSalem
May 2002Recent Developments in Leave and Disability LawsSHRM Central Oregon ChapterBend
Oct 2001Protecting Business InformationIn-House for ClientsBend
Sep 2001Protecting Business InformationIn-House for ClientsSalem
Mar 2001Legislative UpdateSHRM Statewide Legislative ConferenceSalem
Apr 2000Hot Issues in Employment LawLorman SeminarsPortland
Jan 2000Employment Law OverviewMultnomah Dental SocietyPortland
Aug 1999Employment & Labor LawLorman SeminarsSalem
Apr 1999Hot Issues in Employment LawLorman SeminarsPortland
Mar 1999Family & Medical Leave LawsLorman SeminarsSalem


Randall can frequently be found enjoying road trips and track events with fellow sports car enthusiasts. He is thankful that his wife Tari has remained a good sport through many twisty and narrow mountain roads. Randall is an avid photographer and occasional tennis player. He enjoys hanging out with his teenage sons and frequent travel with his lovely wife. Randall wishes that the quality of his golf game reflected all of the effort he has put into it, and he is a great admirer (and sometimes creator) of perfectly smoked beef brisket.