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
- New York
- 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
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
- 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
Duane Morris Women's Impact Network for Success
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.
- Co-author, "California's COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law: No Longer Effective, but Employers Beware," Duane Morris Alert, January 5, 2021
- Co-author, "Pandemic Relief Extension for Employers and Employees: Enough to Stem the Tide? Perhaps for the Short Term," Duane Morris Alert, January 5, 2021
- Quoted, "As Pandemic Stretches On, Revealing Possible Exposure Can Be Costly To Workers," WAMU 88.5, September 17, 2020
- Quoted, "Is Your Child’s School Shut Down? You May Be Eligible for Unemployment," Los Angeles Times, July 21, 2020
- Quoted, "When and How to Pay Quarantined Workers," SHRM, July 21, 2020
- Quoted, "Want a PPP loan? You Can Still Apply," Los Angeles Times, July 7, 2020
- Quoted, "What to Do If an Employee Is Arrested During a Protest," SHRM, June 26, 2020
- Quoted, "How Trump's Judicial Picks Have Changed Employment Law," Law360, June 24, 2020
- Interviewed, "Enforcing Mask Guidelines in Restaurants," NBC 7 San Diego, June 20, 2020
- Co-author, "CDC Issues 'Decision Tree' to Assist Employers with Reopening Decisions, Followed Days Later by Supplemental Setting-Specific Guidance," Duane Morris Alert, May 22, 2020
- Co-author, "CARES Act Offers Employers Aid with Some Strings Attached," Duane Morris Alert, March 30, 2020
- Quoted, "The Unprecedented Employer Subsidies This Week To Avoid Layoffs," Forbes, March 30, 2020
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, "Where Business, Law, & Tech Intersect," Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce, Webinar, February 12, 2021
- Presenter, "Cyber Risks: Learning from Months of Remote Work and Preparing for the Next Wave," Duane Morris COVID-19: Navigating Forward Webinar Series, February 11, 2021
- 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
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