Margaret Santen Hanrahan


Ms. Hanrahan focuses her practice on developing winning strategies for the defense of large-scale class and collective actions for clients across the country in multiple industries. While this typically includes the defense of independent contractor misclassification litigation, Ms. Hanrahan also has extensive experience in defending single plaintiff and class or collective actions involving challenges to exemption status, systemic gender discrimination claims, and single plaintiff employment discrimination administrative charges and lawsuits under virtually every federal employment discrimination statute. Ms. Hanrahan’s experience in the class action area in particular 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 vigorously defending her clients in litigation, Ms. Hanrahan devotes her practice to partnering with her clients to implement and maintain legally-defensible workplace policies, practices, and contingent labor arrangements, focusing on risk management and compliance. This often includes drafting independent contractor agreements, drafting appropriate job descriptions and pay policies to fully comply with all applicable wage and hour laws, structuring and conducting comprehensive and nationwide wage/hour and wage/payment audits, assisting with reductions in force, conducting management training, and drafting employment contracts, policies, and handbooks.

When necessary, Ms. Hanrahan also handles Department of Labor or state unemployment tax audits for clients across the country from start to finish, including vigorously defending any resulting litigation as necessary. This also includes handling administrative proceedings and hearings for unemployment tax appeals against the Department of Labor or state equivalent, where Ms. Hanrahan has been successful in obtaining complete reversal of class-based employee determinations and dismissal of large-scale tax assessments on behalf of several clients.


  • 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.

Education and Honors


J.D., cum laude, University of South Carolina, 2004
B.A., with distinction, University of Virginia, 2000

Honors and Awards: 
  • Rising Star, Georgia Super Lawyers, (2012-2015)
  • Order of Wig and Robe
  • Order of Coif
  • Recipient, ABA Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal Scholarship Award (2004)

Professional Activities

Professional Activities: 
  • National Association of Women Lawyers
  • Georgia Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section)
  • 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
  • Atlanta Volunteer Lawyer's Foundation Board Member
  • 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 8, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - "Independent Contractor Misclassification: Initiatives, Trends, International Considerations, and Key Preventative Measures" - June 5, 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 1, 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

In The News

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