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Suzanne J. Thomas

Fax +1.206.370.6315
Suzanne J. Thomas is a partner in our labor and employment practice. She focuses her practice on advice, counseling, representation and litigation, including class action litigation, in sophisticated areas of employment law. Ms. Thomas has worked extensively with financial institutions and their senior executives. She has a substantial background in conducting and overseeing independent investigations for publicly traded, regulated, private and public employers, including managing issues of privilege and work product. Ms. Thomas also advises companies on how to deal with workplace catastrophes, whistleblowing, and investigative results. Her practice includes assisting clients with discrimination and sexual harassment claims and addressing “Me Too” issues. She also addresses employment-related intellectual property protection and business matters, such as mergers and acquisitions. Ms. Thomas advises and litigates regarding a wide range of employment issues, including discrimination, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, wage and hour payment and compliance, hiring, discipline, termination, equal employment opportunity, privacy rights, trade secrets, noncompetition, workforce restructuring, and personnel policies. As part of her advice and advocacy practice, Ms. Thomas works with employers to understand and comply with federal and state public works project requirements regarding prevailing wages, labor standards, contracting, and certified payrolls (such as under the federal Davis Bacon and Related Acts) and is an employer advocate in federal and state agency compliance audits and related proceedings. She has counseled employers in high-profile matters, including related internal and external public relations. Ms. Thomas is also active in community service and pro-bono matters.


Ms. Thomas served as a gubernatorial appointee under Washington Governor Gary Locke and is a past president of the Washington Women Lawyers State Bar Association. She is a Leadership Tomorrow Graduate. She has been selected to the Washington Super Lawyers List every year (2003–2018). She is also listed in the “Best Lawyers in America” (2003–2018) and is ranked in Chambers USA, where sources commended her as “an excellent attorney and an excellent person to work with.”

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Former Adjunct Professor of Law, Employment Survey course, Seattle University School of Law
  • Board of Trustees and Executive Committee, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
  • Past Trustee, King County Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Has served on the Planning Committee of the Pacific Coast Labor Conference
  • Leadership Tomorrow Graduate
  • Past Primary Outside Counsel and Board Member, Alki Foundation, the Chamber’s former political affiliate
  • Past Trustee, King County Bar Foundation
  • Often serves as a neutral investigator and as a mediator for employment and related business matters.
  • Advises lawyers and law firms regarding the Rules of Professional Conduct and related issues, including disqualification and disciplinary matters. She has served as an expert relating to such issues.
  • Provides advice to elected officials and other public employees regarding applicable ethics rules and has represented such officials in agency and related proceedings.
  • Extensive experience counseling and representing clients in complex disputes relating to contracts, securities, patents, and other intellectual property, wireless industry, restrictive covenants, stock options, and partnerships and corporate ownership.
  • Success in obtaining summary judgments on behalf of individual and corporate clients in state and federal court, and has taken matters successfully to verdict in both forums. She has also briefed and/or argued appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Washington Supreme Court, as well as intermediary courts of appeal.
  • Frequently counsels and represents employers in relation to discrimination charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Washington Human Rights Commission, and the Seattle Office of Civil Rights.
  • Regularly speaks on employment law topics and regarding ethical issues at continuing legal education and human resources seminars.