Margaret L. Watson has more than 25 years of experience in employment litigation, internal investigations and alternative dispute resolution. She has litigated numerous cases in federal and state courts as well as in arbitrations (FINRA, AAA, JAMS) and agency proceedings. She regularly defends employers and individual managers in cases involving discrimination and retaliation claims under Title VII, Section 1981, ADA, ADEA, FLSA, FMLA and related New York State and City laws, as well as common law tort and contract claims. Representative cases during her extensive career also include common law claims of fraud, breach of contract, defamation, tortious interference, as well as the review and enforcement of restrictive covenants. Margaret has substantial experience with strategic initiatives around increasing diversity in the workplace and she is dedicated to partnering with clients to proactively prevent employment claims and enhance employee performance.
Prior to joining Littler, Margaret was of counsel to, and the sole employment law counsel for, the New York City office of a large East Coast regional law firm. Margaret previously served as a director and senior counsel in the legal department of a large national wealth management and financial services company, and she successfully designed and managed the first corporate ombudsman office for the broker-dealer business of that company. She has also played a leadership role in evaluating and developing strategies for best in class diversity and inclusion programs and policies.
Margaret began her career as a law clerk to the Hon. Whitman Knapp in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and has practiced in the areas of white-collar criminal defense as well as civil litigation. She was formerly a partner in a law firm where she represented employees as plaintiffs in discrimination matters; she subsequently served as in-house counsel and counsel to management.
She is a trained mediator and has served as a trained neutral.