Meagan E. Garland

Partner

  • Meagan E. Garland
  • Phone: +1 619 744 2215
    Fax: +1 619 393 0319

    Import to Address Book

  • Duane Morris LLP
    750 B Street, Suite 2900
    San Diego, CA 92101-4681
    USA

Meagan E. Garland focuses her practice on employment law. A litigator and trusted advisor to employers of varying industries, Ms. Garland’s clients are burgeoning start-ups, multijurisdictional and multinational employers. Ms. Garland’s particular industry focus is fashion and beauty, though she has a wealth of experience representing employers across dozens of industries, including hospitality, food services, energy and solar, janitorial services, construction, education, health and wellness, healthcare, financial services, real estate, emergency services, transportation, retail and technology.

Ms. Garland represents employers in wage-and-hour, harassment, discrimination, and retaliation disputes before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. She provides day-to-day advice and counseling to employers on employee-related issues as they arise, including leave administration and disability accommodation, wage-and-hour compliance, classification determinations, discipline and termination procedures and employee disputes. 

Ms. Garland regularly conducts training for employers on sexual harassment prevention, ADA compliance, management best practices, sensitivity respect and professionalism, and customized trainings. Additionally, Ms. Garland is a business partner with her clients and regularly assists them in developing and executing strategic goals to improve their workplaces, as well as crafting policies and agreements to minimize risk. Often, she lends her employment-related knowledge to corporations engaged in complex transactions, including mergers and acquisitions.

Ms. Garland is a diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (“DEIB”) consultant. She develops customized programming to aid employers in setting and achieving proper DEIB objectives. Ms. Garland provides training to workforces, executives, and directors on implicit bias, pay equity, microaggression and related topics.

Frequently, Ms. Garland is called upon by print and media outlets to share her knowledge and insights on hot-button issues, including Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), NBC 7 San Diego, KOGO Radio, ESPN Radio, and WAMU 88.5 (National Public Radio – All Things Considered).

Ms. Garland is a Steering Committee Member of the Duane Morris Women’s Impact Network for Success (“WINS”), Chair of the Duane Morris San Diego Diversity and Inclusion Committee (San Diego office); WINS Programming Chair (San Diego office); and Co-Chair of the Duane Morris Recruiting Committee (San Diego Office).

Ms. Garland is a graduate of Boston College Law School (J.D., 2006), where she was staff editor for the Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review and top-ranking oralist in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition; Spelman College (B.A., summa cum laude, 2003), where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment and Labor Law

Admissions

  • California
  • New York

Education

  • Boston College Law School, J.D., 2006
    - Staff Editor/Articles and Notes Editor, Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review
  • Spelman College, B.A., summa cum laude, 2003
    - Phi Beta Kappa

Experience

  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Partner, 2021-present
    - Special Counsel, 2018-2020

  • Garland Law APLC
    - Founder and Owner, 2016-2018

  • Cara & Garland, APLC

    -Founder and Owner, 2014-2016

  • Brown Law Group
    - Labor and Employment/Business Law Attorney, 2013-2014

  • Baker & McKenzie LLP
    - Labor & Employment/ Business Law / White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney, 2006-2012

Professional Activities

  • Black Fashion World Foundation
    - Board Member
  • LeTip of Greater San Diego
    - President, 2017-2018
    - Secretary, 2016-2017
    - Board Member

  • The San Diego Black Nurses Association
    - Advisory Board Member, 2017-present

  • Lawyers Club of San Diego

  • The Honorable Louis M. Welsh Inns of Court, 2010-2015

  • Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association
    - Board Member, 2006-2007

Honors and Awards

  • Finalist, San Diego Business Journal’s Leaders in Law, 2020

  • Finalist, San Diego Business Journal’s Business Women of the Year, 2020

  • Listed in Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2015 and 2016

  • Listed in San Diego’s Best Attorneys, 2015

  • Listed in the National Black Lawyers Top 100, 2015

  • Listed in 19 Woman Who Impact San Diego, 2015

  • Listed in SD Metro’s “Metro Movers to Watch,” 2015

  • Earl B. Gilliam Award for Distinguished Service, 2007

  • Pro Bono Service Award, Baker & McKenzie, 2006 and 2007

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • Jack-and-Jill, Inc.
    - San Diego Chapter
  • Raising Compassionate Leaders
    - Board Member

  • Girl Scouts of San Diego
    - Leadersip and professional-branding training
    - Planner for annual Camp Exec Program

  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "What to Worry About for California Contracts," Duane Morris Commercial Contracts Checkup Series, Webinar, November 19, 2020
  • Speaker, "Diversity and Inclusion," The New Reality of Workplace Law and Practice in the COVID-19 Era, Duane Morris LLP, Webinar, November 11, 2020
  • Speaker, "Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging – What 2020 Has Wrought," Association of Corporate Counsel, Webinar, October 27, 2020
  • Regular Employment and Business Law Commentator, ESPN Radio, 1700 AM

  • Speaker, "COVID19 Planning - Ramping Up vs. Flipping a Switch: Getting Back to Business as Usual?" Duane Morris Webinar, April 28, 2020
  • Speaker, "CARES Act Webinar: Latest Developments and Insights," Duane Morris Institute (DMi), Webinar, April 3, 2020
  • "Government Relations: Legal Update," AACS Annual Convention and Expo, September 28, 2019

  • "The Top 5 Things Employers Should Know for 2019," Duane Morris & BB&T Breakfast Briefing, November 8, 2018

  • "Nuts and Bolts – Workplace Investigations," LeTip of Greater San Diego, September 26, 2018

  • "Building the Business of You, Inc.," Girl Scouts San Diego, May 16, 2018

  • "Employment Law Update," LeTip of Greater San Diego, March 25, 2018

  • "Avoiding Traps for the Unwary: Common Costly Legal Missteps for Business Owners and Employers," Keynote Speaker, Intelligent Office Lunch and Learn, July 26, 2016

  • "Difficult Conversations in the Workplace," The Art of Communication, Teleseminar, May 27, 2016

  • "Debunking Common Myths in Employment Practices," LeTip of Greater San Diego, April 26, 2017

Representative Matters

  • Prevailed on Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgement in representative PAGA and individual-claims action, resulting in an 8-page decision.

  • Obtained complete dismissal of claims in PAGA Action.

  • Prevailed on Defendants’ Motion for Summary Adjudication on Wrongful Termination and Discrimination claims.

  • Prevailed on Defendant’s Motion for Summary Adjudication of Sexual Harassment claim.

  • Obtained a dismissal with prejudice in a PAGA action upon Defendants’ first appearance in the matter.

  • Mediated a high-risk wage-and-hour PAGA and putative Class-Action lawsuit for less than five percent of an $11-Million offer.

  • Conduct company-wide exempt status analysis for numerous clients and develop reclassification strategies and employee communications to avoid costly wage-and-hour class action litigation.

  • Conduct company-wide pay-equity audits and deploy strategies to aid clients in mitigating existing and prospective exposure.

  • Provide advice and counsel to clients on a myriad of employment-related issues, including appropriate handling of leave requests, employee discipline, terminations, wage-and-hour compliance.

  • Provide guidance to companies on pandemic-related relief pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, the Families First Coronavirus Relief (“FFCRA”) and, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (“CAA”) and state equivalents.

  • Negotiated successful settlements with federal and state administrative agencies on wage-and-hour, as well as harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims.

  • Conduct due diligence and provide advice to companies engaged in corporate mergers and acquisitions.

  • Regularly provide comprehensive trainings to executives, management, directors, and staff on a host of topics, including sexual-harassment prevention, management best practices, discipline and discharge procedures, wage-and-hour compliance, ADA-reasonable accommodations, sensitivity training, effective