Garry is a senior class action litigator and strategist at Littler Mendelson, resident in the San Francisco office. He has personally supervised the firm's attorneys on more than 1,000 employment and labor litigation matters and currently defends employers in complex wage and hour, and discrimination class action cases. He also represents clients before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in arbitration, mediation, and collective bargaining and offers advice on:

  • Class action avoidance, litigation and defense
  • Traditional labor law and NLRB issues
  • Discrimination issues
  • Collective bargaining negotiations - private and public employers
  • Wellness issues
  • Independent contractor issues
  • Contingent workforce issues
  • Robotics employment law issues
  • Employment law training and compliance
  • Arbitration agreements - class action waivers and enforcement

Garry co-chairs Littler's Robotics Practice Group, providing legal advice and representation to the legal industry, as well as employers deploying this technology in the workplace. He also oversees the Littler Corporate Compliance and Ethics Practice Group and originated the Contingent Workforce Practice Group. He is a founder of and serves on the board of NAVEX Global, the ethics and compliance experts. The legal technology compliance Company provides superior legal compliance solutions through an array of GRC products and services. With more than 8,000 corporate clients in over 200 countries and 75% of the Fortune 100 companies, NAVEX Global represents the largest ethics and compliance community in the world. Over the course of his career, Garry has argued before the United States Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court, and other district, superior, circuit and appellate courts. He also practices before the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Labor Commissioner, and the California Public Employment Relations Board.

Garry is a pioneer in the area of arbitration agreements and alternative dispute resolution, addressing the changing legal requirements, enforceability of class action waivers, and the practical challenges and advantages of various ADR programs. He created model alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs including class action waivers and worked with Harvard and NYU law professor, Arthur R. Miller, to create a video-training program on ADR.

Based on his litigation experience and a career-long effort to translate employment and labor law issues, and developments into practicable and learnable modules for human resource professionals, Garry has originated several of Littler's preventive employment law programs and structures in-house employment law training programs. He regularly delivers presentations before individual corporations, bar associations, national and local human resources groups, and other professional organizations.

Garry has drafted model legislation on workplace violence. He has given scores of presentations on workplace violence prevention and has appeared prominently in national and international media on this and other employment law topics.

Widely recognized as one of the leading authorities on employment law trends in the United States, Garry has written over 100 articles and given several hundred presentations on the future of employment law. He serves as chair of the Open Compliance and Ethics Group's (OCEG) Employment and Labor Law Domain. In this capacity, he writes legal requirements and guidelines for business. He also spoke at the public presentation of the Employment Law Domain of OCEG. Throughout his career, he has researched, addressed and written extensively on ways in which business leaders can build ethical organizations and best ensure compliance with employment and labor law.

Garry also counsels employers on regulatory compliance as it involves planning for natural and manmade disasters in the workplace. He has given more than a dozen presentations on national standards for crisis management, emergency preparedness and has participated in Crisis Management International, Inc. webinars. He leads the firm's program to help employers prepare the workplace for unexpected events.

As a result of Garry's early leadership role in the Fulcrum Class Action Litigation Summits, which were among the best presentations on the latest developments in class action law, Littler has undertaken the defense of more than 1000 employment law class actions. Garry currently serves as lead counsel in more than 10 of these actions and has made multiple presentations on new complex defense strategies for many national organizations and individual clients.

Garry’s extensive experience, includes working with companies in the following industries:

  • High tech
  • Financial services
  • Construction
  • Airline
  • Fitness
  • Retail
  • Staffing
  • School districts

Garry is Immediate Past Chair and Former Name Partner of Littler. He commenced his legal career with the National Labor Relations Board in San Francisco, where he developed a thorough foundation in the fundamentals of traditional labor law. His tenure with the NLRB included three major trials, more than 20 representation cases, and a contempt enforcement action in the appeals court. In law school, he was a member of the Board of Editors and served on the Stanford Law Review.

Professional and Community Affiliations

Former Chair

Labor Law Division Forum Committee on the Construction Industry

American Bar Association


State Bar of California


Labor and Employment Law Section

American Bar Association


International Law Committee

American Bar Association


American Bar Foundation


Bar Association of San Francisco


Santa Clara County Bar Association


Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit

Member, Board of Directors

National Association for Urban Debate Leagues


Recipient, Innovator Award

The Recorder


Named, Who's Who in American Law


Named, World’s Leading Business Lawyers

Labor and Employment

Chambers Global

2014 and 2015

Named, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business

Band 1

Chambers USA


Named, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business

Chambers USA


Named, Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Attorney - Hall of Fame

Human Resources Executive


Named, 100 Most Influential Attorneys in the Nation

National Law Journal

Named, The Best Lawyers in America©



College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

Named, International Who's Who of Management Labour and Employment Lawyers

Who's Who Legal


Named, Nation's Most Powerful Employment Attorneys

Human Resource Executive Magazine


Named, Management Labour and Employment

Who’s Who Legal

2010 and 2011

Named, 500 Leading Lawyers in America



Named, Top Labor and Employment Attorney

Los Angeles Daily Journal


Named, Top Labor and Employment Attorney

San Francisco Daily Journal


Named, 25 Most Powerful People in Staffing

Staffing Industry Review


Recipient, Merit Award

Northwestern Alumni Association


Awarded, AV® Peer Review Rating


Publications & Press

Love in the time of cubicles

In the News

February 12, 2015

Innovators: Garry Mathiason, Littler Mendelson

In the News

December 8, 2014

Helping Hands?

In the News

October 15, 2014

The next frontier

In the News

September 29, 2014

What if Ray Rice worked in an average company?

In the News

September 16, 2014

Are robots coming for your job?

In the News

August 7, 2014

Schools crack down on unpaid internships

In the News

May 16, 2014

10 Areas of Employment and Labor Law


November 13, 2013

Major Law Firm Debuts Robotics Practice Group

In the News

November 13, 2013

2013 Roundtable Series – Labor & Employment

In the News

October 1, 2013

Bring Your Gun to Work


June 1, 2013

Robots, the Workplace and the Law

Robotics Business Review

May 3, 2013

ERE Conference’s Final Day: Yes, the Robots Are Coming to a Workplace Near You


April 18, 2013

Roth named co-president of Littler Mendelson

In the News

August 20, 2012

The "Bring Your Own Device" to Work Movement

Littler Reports

May 10, 2012

Chambers USA Honors Littler And Its Attorneys

Press Release

June 27, 2011

Surfing the Contingent Workforce Wave

Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal

February 24, 2011

Employment and Labour Law Trends in the U.S. and the Impact of a Global Economy

The International Comparative Legal Guide to Employment and Labour Law 2011

Global Leader Group

February 2011

Don't Tolerate a Bullying Manager

In the News

October 26, 2010

Littler Attorneys Honored by Chambers USA

Press Release

June 21, 2010

Avoiding Class-Actions and Winning in Court

Human Resource Executive Online

June 16, 2010

Temps Nation

In the News

June 1, 2010

Shifting Gears


August 21, 2009

Future Work Force

In the News

July 15, 2009

Banning Bullies

In the News

July 1, 2008

Hooking Up at Work?

In the News

May 13, 2008

The Best Defense

In the News

March 2, 2008

Take Care of Yourself (or Else)

Executive Counsel

March/April 2008

Bullies in the Workplace

In the News

February 6, 2008

No Bullying Allowed

The Complete Lawyer

January 2008

Employment Law Roundtable

In the News

August 2, 2007

Stamping Out Workplace Bullies

In the News

July 17, 2007

Beware Of That Video Resume

In the News

June 11, 2007

An Ever-Changing Workforce Management Landscape

In the News

February 13, 2007

Love contract? It's office policy

In the News

February 13, 2007

I Can't Believe They Took The Whole Team

In the News

December 18, 2006

California Puts Career Plaintiff Out of Business

In the News

September 1, 2006

Standing Out The Bounds Of Whistleblowing

In the News

August 1, 2006

You Are What You Post

In the News

March 27, 2006

Background Checks That Never End

In the News

March 20, 2006

Harassment training rules spur fight

In the News

February 10, 2006

Giving Disclosures

In the News

February 1, 2006

State to publish harassment guidelines

In the News

December 7, 2005

A Call to Strengthen Proposed NASBA Ethics Requirements--A Three-Step Formula

Compliance & Ethics

August 2005

Strategic Initiatives for the World at Work

Littler Reports

April 1, 2005

How to Fire a CEO

Executive Counsel

Fall 2004

How to Hire a CEO

Executive Counsel

July 2004

Strategic Initiatives for the Changing Workforce

Littler Reports

April 8, 2004

Balancing Act: California’s Paid Family Leave Law Will Create Compliance Challenges

San Francisco Daily Journal

November 11, 2002

Arbitration in Employment Settings: Implications of Circuit City and Waffle House

Bench & Bar of Minnesota, Vol. 59, No. 6

July 2002

'Waffle House': Long View


February 4, 2002

Layoff Landmines: Don’t Leave the Company Open to Suits by Ex-Employees

Legal Times

May 28, 2001

Arbitration Affray: Workers Say They Prefer ADR to Pricey Litigation in Court

San Francisco Daily Journal

April 30, 2001


Los Angeles Daily Journal

April 30, 2001

Weapons in the Workplace

SHRM Report

April 1, 1999

What’s In Your Head Can Hurt You

Fortune Magazine

July 20, 1998

The Emerging Law of Training

The Federal Lawyer, Vol. 45, No. 4

July 20, 1998

Employment Law—Compliance in the Age of Flat Triangle

The Recorder


The Electronic Workplace: Employment Law Issues Along the Information Superhighway

California Business Law Reporter

January 1995

Employment ADR: A Dispute Resolution Program for Corporate Employers

CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution


Arbitration Support Services: A New Role for CPAs In Employer-Employee Dispute Resolution

Education Division - California Society of Certified Public Accountants


Books and Chapters

  • Five Transformational Impacts of Robotics on Human Resources, the Workplace, and the Law , Recursos Humanos Y Globalizacion: Desafios Para Las Multinacionales En El Proximo Quinquenio, LA Ley Grupo Wolters Kluwer , Chapter co-author Miranda A. Mossavar , 2014
  • "Developing and Implementing Effective Compliance Systems," Corporate Governance and Compliance Client Strategies , Aspatore Books , 2007, 7-26
  • "Violence in the Workplace," Employment Law Desk Book for Human Resources Professionals , Thomson West , Chapter 26 , 2004
  • Threat Assessment: A Risk Management Approach , The Haworth Press , Foreward, authors: Turner and Gelles , 2003
  • The National Employer , LexisNexis and Littler Mendelson , 1984-2012
  • Terror and Violence in the Workplace , 1st - 3rd Eds. , 1994-1997
  • "Legal and Liability Issues," Preventing Violence in the Workplace , author: Labig, Amacom , 1995, 61-81
  • The Public School Employer and Collective Bargaining: A Guide to the California Educational Employment Relations Act , The Labor Relations Press , 1977

Speaking Engagements

Advanced Workplace Robots and Implications for Recruitment Strategies

2013 Spring Recruiting Conference & Expo - ERE, San Diego, CA

April 17, 2013

Sustainable Innovations for a Changing Global Workforce

Global Employer Institute

Littler Mendelson, Washington D.C.

November 8, 2012

Keynote - Opening Session

Global Employer Institute

Littler Mendelson, Washington D.C.

November 2008 - November 2012

Business Or Pleasure: The Debate Over “Bring Your Own Device” Policies In The Workplace

2012 Midwest Employer Conference

Littler Mendelson, Minneapolis, MN

October 11, 2012

Keynote - Opening Session

2012 Midwest Employer Conference

Littler Mendelson, Minneapolis, MN

October 2002 - October 2012

Keynote Address

Class Action Summit

Littler Mendelson, CA

September 2008 - October 2012

Keynote - General Session

The 2012 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, AZ

May 1984 - May 2012

2012 Northern California Employment Law Update

San Francisco, CA

February 29, 2012

Legal Compass--Navigating the Changing Employment Law Landscape

Chief Legal Officer Roundtable - NAW Billion Dollar Company

April 27, 2011

A Guide to Combating Wage and Hour Liability

Littler Mendelson and Reid Bowman, ELT Inc.

March 24, 2011

Legal Update 2011

Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA)

January 11 and 20, 2011

Labor and Employment Law Roundtable

California Lawyer

2007 and 2011

The Emerging New Workforce: Employment and Labor Law Solutions for Contract Workers, Temporaries, and Flex Workers

Institute for Human Resources

December 1, 2010

Emerging New Workforce

Labor Day Forum, CW Professionals

September 16, 2010

Epidemic in the Courts: Steps to Avoid Wage-and-Hour Class-Action Lawsuits Webinar

Human Resource Executive

August 12, 2010

Legal Risks and Your Contingent Workforce

Contingent Workforce Risk Forum

May 11, 2010

Keynote: The Evolving Legal Environment for Contingent Work: What Every Contingent Workforce Program Manager MUST Know

2009 CWS Summit - Staffing Industry Analysts

November 3, 2009

Landmines, Trends and Tools

San Francisco, CA

October 15, 2009

Managing Employment Law Internationally

Kochhar & Co.

October 2009

10 Litigation Landmines Webinar

Workforce Management

August 18, 2009

The Critical New Issues in Litigating, Settling and Preventing Employment Law Class Actions (Conference Co-Chair)

Law Seminars International

July 27-28, 2009

Littler Report 2009


June 16, 2009

Workplace Violence Prevention During Troubled Economic Times

Secure 360

May 12-13, 2009

Emergency Planning & Preparation

SF Ready

April 8, 2009

Legal Ethics Training

Hewlett Packard

January 23, 2009

Legal Update 2009

Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA)

January 13, 2009

Global Labor Trends: Facing Recession, The New U.S. Government and the Rise of Unions

BASHAM (Ius Laboris)

December 3, 2008

Global Contingent Workforce Compliance: Making Your Program Work While Avoiding the Legal Pitfalls

Contingent Workforce Strategies Summit - Staffing Industry Analysts

October 29, 2008

Solving Tomorrow's Problems and Wellness Programs--Are they Legal?

Annual Conference - Michigan SHRM

October 16, 2008

Employment Law Update

Berman & Company

October 2, 2008

Impact of Technology on the Development of Labor and Employment Law in Canada

Heenan Blaikie, LLP

September 25, 2008

Bullying in the Workplace

UC Berkeley, School of Law

September 16, 2008

Preventing Violence in the Workplace and Law

Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP)

August 19-22, 2008

The Latest Trends in EEO Law: What’s Creating Risk in Your Workplace?

ELT, Inc. / Littler Mendelson

June 2008

Ending the Wage and Hour Class Wars: The Total Wage and Hour Compliance Initiative

Bay Area Human Resource Executives Council (BAHREC)

May 21, 2008

Wellness Programs

National Employment Law Institute (NELI)

May 8, 2008

Avoiding the Costly Wage-and-Hour Legal Nightmare Webinar

Human Resource Executive

April 22, 2008

Simple Steps to Business Continuity and Compliance Webinar

Simply Continuous

March 12, 2008

Immigration Issues in Acquisition Transactions

Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions Conference, ALI-ABA

February 28-29, 2008

Family Responsibilities Discrimination

Bar Association of San Francisco

February 22-24, 2008

Conducting Effective Internal Investigations and Managing the Whistleblower Threat in Your Firm

Bureau of National Affairs (BNA)

February 6, 2008

Wellness in Employment Law

5th Annual Client Conference - Workforce Logic

November 6-8, 2007

Private Sector Preparedness

Business Recovery Managers Association

August 30, 2007

Keynote—General Session

59th Annual Convention - Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators

July 17, 2007

Retaliation—What the Supreme Court’s 2006 Decision Means to HR

Employee Relations Conference - Newspaper Association of America

April 18, 2007

Conducting an Investigation—What to do when the boss on the Board is implicated?

Leadership Council Summit - Open Compliance and Ethics Group

March 7-8, 2007

The New Legal Duty of Preparing for Disaster in the Workplace—from 9/11 to the Pandemic

First HR / Legal Pandemic Influenza Symposium - BARC

February 23, 2007

Employment Law Developments and Trends

Northern California Human Resources Association

January 9, 2007

National Leaves of Absence and Leaves Under CA Law

Institute for Corporate Counsel

December 5, 2006

Law, Ethics and Governance: Issues of Integrity and Liability

Co-presenter: Marcia Narine, Corporate Security, Business Continuity and Crisis Management Conference

October 30—November 1, 2006

Employment Compliance 360 Degrees

Open Compliance and Ethics Group

September 29-30, 2006

Legal and Regulatory Standards For Business Continuity Plans

Business Recovery Managers Association

September 28, 2006

The New Language of HR Compliance—The Integration of Labor and Employment Compliance with Corporate Compliance

Society of Human Resources Management

November 8, 2005

Workplace Violence Prevention

U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigations and Dallas Police Department

Summer 2005

Contingent Workforce Risk Management Strategies

Executive Briefing - ABE Services, LLC.

November 13, 2003

204 Class Actions: Thirty Developments in 90 Minutes

National Meeting - American Corporate Counsel Association

October 8, 2003

Class Action Employment Law Litigation

Fulcrum Class Action Litigation Summits


Decoding the Eleven Employment Law Trends of the First Decade

Annual Meeting - Society of Human Resources Management

June 26, 2001

Workforce Transition: Ten Legal Landmines Surrounding Layoffs

Deloitte & Touche

May 24, 2001

The Impact of Circuit City on Arbitration Agreements

National Academy of Arbitrators

May 17, 2001

Rethinking your Business: Law Practice Redefined

Glasser Legal Works

April 30, 2001


  • J.D., Stanford University, 1971 Law Review Board of Editors
  • B.S., Northwestern University, School of Communication, 1968 Clarion DeWitt Hardy Scholar

Bar Admission



  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California