GREGORY M. SATO, PARTNER
Sato protects the rights of employers in all aspects of labor and employment law.
has been recognized by his peers for his expertise in labor and employment law. He has been recognized by Martindale &
Hubbell, Chambers and Partners, the Litigation Counsel of America, “Best
Lawyers in America” and “Super Lawyers.” In 2013-14, “Best Lawyers” selected
him as Lawyer of the Year in the specialty of Management Labor Law.
is a frequent speaker. Recent
presentations include “Employment Practices Liability Insurance” (Hawaii State
Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Honolulu, HI 2013), “Missing
the Ethical Boat in the Digital Age“ (Colorado Bar Association National CLE
Conference, Snowmass, CO 2013), “Employment Law Torts” (Hawaii State Bar
Association, Annual Convention, Honolulu, HI 2012), “Punitive Damages and
Attorney Fees in Arbitration: A Case of
Form Following Function” (ABA Labor and Employment Law Section, ADR in Labor
and Employment Law, Mid-Winter Committee Meeting, Los Cabos, Mexico 2011), and “Selected
Ethical Issues for Labor and Employment Lawyers” (Hawaii State Bar Association,
Annual Convention, Honolulu, HI 2011).
Sato has a contributing author to a number of publications including “Employment-at-Will:
A State by State Survey,” 2013 and 2014 Supplement (BNA); “Q&A Labor &
Employment State Surveys: Hawaii” 2013 (Practical Law Company); “The Family
Medical Leave Act, 2011 Supplement (BNA).
has successfully defended clients at both the trial and appellate courts levels
in both state and federal court.
Additionally he has appeared in numerous administrative matters
involving unemployment insurance, occupational health and safety, employment
discrimination, labor arbitration and matters before the National Labor
Relations Board. Greg frequently
represents employers in labor negotiations involving the Teamsters, UNITE HERE,
and the ILWU. He is well versed in the labor and employment issues arising from
the sale or purchase of a business.
decisions include the following:
Camara v. Agsalud, 67 Haw. 212, 685 P.2d 794 (Hawai’i 1984) (Employer established
the Hawaii standard for defining “misconduct” in the unemployment insurance
Hawaii Teamsters and Allied Workers, Local 966 v.
Department of Labor and Indus. Relations, 110 Hawai’i 259, 132 P.3d 368 (Hawai‘i
2006) (Unemployment benefits denied to striking workers due to a “stoppage of
work,” even though employer decided not to operate in the face of economic
Snider v. Crimson Enterprises, Inc., 768 F.Supp. 734 (D. Hawai‘i 1991) (ERISA pre-empted state’s
effort to compel employer to provide lifetime medical benefits for a permanently
disabled employee, even though employer’s failure to provide health insurance
violated Hawaii law).
Sato received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California
in History. He earned a joint Masters of
Management and Juris Doctorate degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg
School of Management and the School of Law.
has held a number of leadership position in nonprofit and community
organizations including the Local Rules Committee for the United States
District Court of Hawai’i (1988-1991), Chair of the Hawai’i Public Employees
Health Trust Fund (1999-2003), Director of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii
(2004-2006), and member and Chair of Hawai’i Public Radio Board of Directors (2005-2011). Currently, Greg is a Director of the Hawaiian
Educational Council, a Director of Arcadia Retirement Residence, and a Trustee of