Photo of Garen E. Dodge

Garen E. Dodge

Washington, DC
F: +1.202.747.3806


  • J.D., William & Mary Law School, 1982
  • B.A., University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, summa cum laude, 1979
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Thought Leadership


Garen Dodge is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the firm's Washington D.C. office.

Areas of Practice

Garen’s diverse practice covers the spectrum of labor and employment litigation. His recent victories include serving as lead counsel in a jury trial alleging defamation in Fairfax, Virginia Circuit Court, obtaining an injunction in DC federal court in a non-compete case, and prevailing in a five day arbitration involving allegations of age and national origin discrimination. Throughout his career, he has served as counsel of record in seminal U.S. Supreme Court and appellate cases as Amicus Curiae. Garen advises clients on issues involving privacy, discrimination, background checks, harassment, wage and hour, and occupational safety and health. He assists companies in establishing workplace programs, and trains supervisors and employees on effective personnel policies. He represents clients before Congress and key federal agencies on labor and employment issues, and has testified before agencies such as the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Garen is a frequent speaker before industry and other groups on employment topics. He is the author (or co-author) of many publications, including the book Winning the War on Drugs: the Role of Workplace Drug Testing. He is also an Adjunct Professor at The George Washington University School of Business.

Garen served as an Attorney-Advisor for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Secretary, Benefits Review Board from 1982-1985.


  • Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer, 2017-2019
  • Legal 500, Labor and Employment, 2017
  • 3000 Leading Lawyers, Lawdragon
  • AV® Preeminent Peer Rating, Martindale-Hubbell®
  • “Go To Lawyers,” SmartCEO
  • Super Lawyers, Virginia and Washington, DC, 2010-2017


Reported Decisions

  • Anglinmatumona v. Micron Technology, Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77289 (E.D. Va. June 4, 2012); affirmed (4th Cir. Oct. 15, 2012); cert. denied (U.S. Sup. Ct., Jan. 14, 2013).
  • Hospitality Staffing Solutions LLC v. Reyes and Capital Staffing Solutions, 736 F. Supp. 2d 192, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93810 (D.D.C. Sept. 9, 2010), 2012 U.S. Dist., LEXIS 93810 (February 1, 2012).
  • Drew v. Shoe Show, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106503 (S.D. III. Sept. 19, 2011).

Thought Leadership


  • "'Ban the Box' and Background Checks – Recent Trends and Movements," July 12, 2017 
  • "Insider Threat Programs - A News Challenge for Cleared Contractors," Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, August 16, 2016
  • "Using Background Checks in Making Hiring Decisions," WMACCA Newsletter, March 15, 2013
  • "United States: Ledbetter Act Prompts EEOC To Give Aggrieved Employees New Chance To Sue In Closed Cases," Mondaq, August 4, 2009
  • "The Employee Free Choice Act," WMACCA, March 23, 2009 
  • "Privacy Expectations of Job Applicants: Tips for Employers in Conducting Background Checks," The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, January 2008 
  • "WARN Act Class Action Status Sought in Aegis Mortgage Company Bankruptcy," Bankruptcy Protector, September 7, 2007 
  • "Privacy Expectations of Job Applicants: Tips for Employers in Conducting Background Checks," Privacy & Data Security Law Journal, September 2007 
  • "Thinking of Accepting Advertising from a Federal Agency? Understand OFCCP Affirmative Action Requirements First," Mass Media Update, Summer 2007 
  • "Managing Volunteer Firefighters for FLSA Compliance: A Guide for Fire Chiefs and Community Leaders," International Association of Fire Chiefs, Volunteer & Combination Section, November 2006
  • "Trainees and Students Under the Fair Labor Standards Act: Must They Be Provided Overtime?" The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, 14.8,  August 2006 
  • "Deducting Losses from Employee's Salary Jeopardizes FLSA Status," Workplace Trends, June 2006 
  • "Driver Use of Cell Phones: Steering Clear of Liability," Bus & Motorcoach News, June 1, 2006 
  • "Employer Monitoring of Employee Phone Conversations Requires Planning," Privacy in Focus, June 2006 
  • "Instant Message Use in the Workplace - Strategies for Managing Privacy and Other Legal Risks," Privacy in Focus, June 2005 
  • "DOL Opinion Letter Expands Marketers' Use of Motor Carrier Exemption from FLSA Overtime Requirements," PMAA Journal, Spring 2005
  • "DOL's Proposed FLSA White Collar Exemption Revisions Face Challenge in Congress," November 2003 
  • "Keeping Your Company's Holiday Party out of the Newspaper Headlines," Workplace Trends, November 2003 
  • "How Franchisors and Franchisees Can Work Together on Employment Issues," Franchising World, October 2003 
  • "Can Employers Reclassify Employees as "Exempt" Executives? A Closer Look at the Fourth Circuit's Ruling that Expands the FLSA Exemption," Workplace Trends, August 2003 
  • "How to Draft Compensation Agreements for Bonus and Commission-Based Employees without Violating Wage Payment Laws," Workplace Trends, June 2003 
  • "Workplace Privacy: Steps Your Company Can Take to Reduce the Risk of Litigation," February 28, 2003 
  • "Beyond Big Brother: the New World of Workplace Privacy," 2002
  • "Lesson of the Supreme Court's New Sexual Harassment Rulings," Employment Testing Law & Policy Reporter, 1998 
  • "The Fair Labor Standards Act: A Compliance Manual for Emergency Personnel," International Association of Fire Chiefs, 1998
  • "Transportation Law Safety Compliance Handbook," Petroleum Marketers Association of America, 1996
  • "Employment Law for Petroleum Marketers," Petroleum Marketers Association of America, 1995
  • "Employee Selection and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: The Legal Debate Surrounding Selection Criteria, Validation and Affirmative Action," Policy Issues in Employment Testing, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1994 
  • "Drug Free Workplace Kit," National Association of Manufacturers, 1990 
  • "Winning the War on Drugs: The Role of Workplace Testing," Employment Policy Foundation, 1989 
  • "Criminal Prosecutions for Occupational Injuries: An Issue of Growing Concern," Employee Relations Law Journal, 1987 
  • "State and Local Laws Regarding Drug Testing of Employees," Bureau of National Affairs, 1987

Government Contracts and Investigations Blog Posts

Labor and Employment Law Blog Posts

Media Mentions

Speaking Engagements

  • "Navigating the New Sexual Harassment Laws, Training Requirements, and Practical Suggestions in the Age of #MeToo," National Retail Federation HR and Employment Law Fall Meeting, New York, October 22, 2018
  • "What's on Your Application? 'Ban-the-Box' and Other Hiring Challenges," National Association of Security Companies, June 13, 2016
  • "Fearless Flying: Saying 'Goodbye' Without a Courthouse Reunion," Association of Corporate Counsel, National Capital Program, June 9, 2016
  • "What Fire Chiefs Need to Know About FLSA Compliance," IAFC/VCOS, May 26, 2016
  • "Checking In on Background Checks: How the EEOC and States Are Restricting Their Use," Webinar, September 1, 2012
  • "EEOC Issues New Enforcement Guidance on Use of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment," June 6, 2012
  • "Due Diligence, Background Checks and Employment: Protecting the Safety of Employees, Customers and At-Risk Populations," Washington, D.C., March 13, 2012


  • National Chamber Litigation Center, Labor and Employment Litigation Steering Committee
  • Retail Litigation Center
  • The College of William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law Foundation, Board of Trustees
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Labor Relations Committee