Margaret Santen Hanrahan

Shareholder Atlanta | Charlotte

Ms. Hanrahan is the co-chair of the firm's Class and Collective Action Practice Group. She focuses her practice on developing winning strategies for the defense of large-scale class and collective actions across the country. While this typically includes the defense of independent contractor misclassification claims, Ms. Hanrahan also has extensive experience defending class and collective actions involving wage and hour issues of all kinds, systemic gender discrimination claims, and various commercial claims in federal district courts throughout the country, from California to Maine. Ms. Hanrahan’s experience in the class action area has been repeatedly recognized by her peers in the legal community, resulting in her selection to the Georgia Super Lawyers, Rising Stars list every year since 2012.

In addition to her litigation experience, Ms. Hanrahan also focuses on partnering with her clients to assist with day-to-day counseling issues, covering the gamut of employment issues and implementing legally-defensible workplace policies, focusing on risk management and compliance. This often includes drafting independent contractor agreements, job descriptions and pay policies; conducting comprehensive wage/hour and wage/payment audits and implementing effective strategies for compliance; and conducting management training. This also includes implementing successful alternative dispute resolution procedures such as arbitration agreements, developing effective roll-out strategies, successfully compelling claims to arbitration and litigating any challenges to the same, and handling the arbitration proceedings themselves.

Finally, Ms. Hanrahan routinely represents her clients in Department of Labor wage and hour audits and state unemployment tax audits, vigorously defending any resulting litigation. This also includes handling administrative hearings for class-based unemployment tax appeals against the state Department of Labor or equivalent agency, where Ms. Hanrahan has been successful in multiple jurisdictions in obtaining complete reversal of class-based employee determinations and dismissal of large-scale tax assessments.


  • Complete reversal of class-based employee determination findings and dismissal of all class-based tax assessments in each proceeding on behalf of various home health, housecleaning, and construction industry clients;
  • Currently lead counsel in nationwide putative class action involving independent contractor misclassification and two other putative class/collective actions challenging independent contractor classification;
  • Successfully represented nationwide distributor in putative FLSA collection action;
  • Successfully represented several companies in connection with national wage/hour audits by the federal and state Department of Labor; and
  • Successfully represented trucking company in multiple unfair labor practice charges and assisted in keeping company union-free.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • Atlanta Volunteer Lawyer’s Foundation Board Member
  • National Association of Women Lawyers
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • North Fulton Bar Association
  • Trinity Community Ministries (Board Member)
  • Trinity Community Ministries (Human Resources Committee Chair)
  • Volunteer for Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta
  • North Fulton-GEM SHRM Atlanta


  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Don’t Let Class Actions Keep You Up at Night: Avoiding, Defending, and Winning These Cases'' - Phoenix - May 10, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Misclassification Misdeeds: Practical Advice for Avoiding Claims'' - San Diego - May 04, 2017
  • Center for Competitive Management Webinar - ''Center for Competitive Management Webinar - “Independent Contractor Misclassification: Initiatives, Trends, International Considerations, and Key Preventative Measures”'' - March 16, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''Obama Administration's Initiatives to Update Overtime Regulations'' - March 20, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''How to Keep the EEOC Happy and Avoid Hiring and Ax Murderer: Best Practices for Background Checks'' - Marietta - February 27, 2014
  • Association of Corporate Counsel Georgia Chapter Luncheon - ''Systemic Litigation and Enforcement Trends'' - Atlanta - November 12, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Anatomy of a DOL Audit'' - Marietta - November 08, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''Independent Contractor Misclassification: Initiatives, Trends, International Considerations, and Key Preventative Measures'' - June 05, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Developments with the Georgia DOL'' - Alpharetta - April 26, 2013
  • Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta - ''Related Classification Issues Under the FLSA: Independent Contractor, Volunteer, Intern'' - Atlanta - March 26, 2013
  • SHRM Atlanta Conference - ''Employee Data Theft: Guarding the Gates in a Virtual Age'' - Atlanta - March 22, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''How to Prepare for a DOL Wage and Hour Audit'' - Alpharetta - October 26, 2012
  • Institute of Applied Management & Law, Inc. webinar - ''Independent Contractor Misclassification: Avoiding Costly Mistakes'' - Atlanta - August 01, 2012
  • Atlanta Metro Payroll Association - ''Independent Contractor Misclassification: Legislative Initiatives, Trends, and Key Preventative Measures'' - Atlanta - May 17, 2012
  • ACC Georgia Chapter Luncheon - ''Independent Contractor Misclassification: Initiatives, Trends, and Key Preventative Measures'' - Atlanta - April 10, 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''Independent Contractor Misclassification Initiatives'' - Atlanta - March 28, 2012
  • SHRM Atlanta Chapter - ''Employee Data Theft: Guarding Gates in a Virtual Age'' - Atlanta - March 14, 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Employee Data Theft: Guarding the Gates in a Virtual Age'' - Atlanta - September 29, 2011
  • SHRM Atlanta Chapter - ''Independent Contractors Under a Microscope and Worker Classification – the Latest Developments'' - Atlanta - August 17, 2010
  • Association of Residential Cleaning Services - ''Independent Contractor Misclassification'' - Columbus - June 15, 2010
  • Georgia State University School of Law, Labor and Employment Law Section - ''Social Networking-Policies for and Implications In the Workplace'' - Atlanta - April 07, 2010
  • North Carolina Association of Corporate Counsel - ''North Carolina Association of Corporate Counsel – “Anticipated Changes to the “White Collar” Overtime Exemption Under the FLSA: What Employers Need to Know”'' - Charlotte - January 01, 0001

Our Insights


Media Quotes

July 28, 2015 - Law360 - "4 Tips For Avoiding Misclassification Suits"