Miranda Watkins joined the firm's San Diego office as an associate in 2016. She represents national, regional, and local employers in a range of industries, including construction, assisted living facilities, car dealerships, retail, hospitality, education, fitness, staffing companies, railroad and transportation, and aerospace and defense manufacturing.
Miranda litigates various employment claims, including discrimination, leaves of absences, wage and hour, pay equity, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination. She is adept at cost-effective resolution, often resolving cases before a lawsuit is filed. Miranda is also skilled at obtaining case dismissals at the summary judgment stage.
Miranda is passionate about counseling businesses of all sizes on day-to-day employment issues, offering preventative counseling such as handbook and policy advice and drafting, harassment and manager trainings, and workplace investigation counseling to protect employers. Miranda’s passion for employer-focused employment law stems from her family owning an oil construction business in Bakersfield, California, restaurants, and assisted living facilities.
Miranda is a frequent lecturer on employment law topics and has presented countless seminars to management, executives, human resource professionals and employer groups on topics including digital addictions, marijuana legalization, pay equity, misclassification issues, arbitration agreements, disability discrimination and reasonable accommodations, leaves of absence, wage and hour issues, workplace investigations, discrimination, and social media and the workplace. She also serves as an Adjunct Professor for San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies, teaching Human Resources and the Law. Miranda and a colleague also recently developed a free monthly employment law webinar series for their clients.
During law school, Miranda served as a law clerk for an administrative law judge at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) where her work focused solely on federal employment discrimination matters.
Prior to beginning her legal career, Miranda worked as a publicist for a Los Angeles based public relations firm where she worked on numerous red carpet, film, television, and home entertainment publicity campaigns. Miranda’s public relations experience gives her a unique ability to convey the defense of an employer in a compelling way.
Miranda has previously been named as a Finalist for San Diego Business Journal’s “Leaders in Law” award.
Miranda recently won a Motion for Summary Judgment and obtained a case dismissal against a former employee terminated for leave abuse.
Miranda also won dismissal of fifteen out of seventeen causes of action on a Motion for Summary Judgment against a former employee removed from his position due to his weight exceeding maximum requirements for safety equipment necessary from his job. The employee, however, claimed the company discriminated against him based on an alleged disability (his weight), age, and race.
Honors & Leadership
Honors & Awards
- San Diego Business Journal’s “Leaders in Law” Award Finalist, Labor & Employment (2019)
- Member, Associated General Contractors of California, 2019
- Member, San Diego County Bar Association, 2011
- Former Board of Directors, New Lawyer Division of the San Diego County Bar Association, 2012-2014
- Member, Lawyers Club of San Diego, 2011
- Member, Junior League San Diego, 2015
- Adjunct Professor, Human Resource Management and the Law, San Diego State University College of Extended Studies, 2019
- Articles Editor, San Diego Journal of Climate and Energy Law, University of San Diego School of Law
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- Webinar Wednesday - Predicting the Unpredictable: Exploring California’s Predictive Scheduling Bill, and Updates on AB5 and AB51Webinar3.4.20
- New Requirements in 20205.14.19
- The ABC’s of Employment: Independent Contractor vs Employee, The PAGA Problem, and Recent Wage & Hour DevelopmentsWebinar3.13.19
AB 5: Redesigning Independent Contractor Classification, Real Estate Staging Association – San Diego
Background Check Re-Boot: Where EEOC Guidance Banning Criminal Histories and Ban-the-Box and Salary History Legislation Now Stand, BLR
Top 10 Ways Supervisors and Managers Create Legal Risks for Your Workplace Under California and Federal Law,BLR webinar
What Every Employer Needs to Know About the Gig Economy and Misclassification, XpertHR webinar
Does Having It All Mean Doing It All? Gender Equality and Work-Life Balance, Auto Dealers Office Management Association
How Marijuana Legalization Impacts Home Health Agencies’ Employment Policies, DecisionHealth
Top 10 Workplace Mistakes That Will Get You Sued, California Society of Tax Consultants
Managing Employees and Social Media: Where Is The Line?, Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce
“Weeding Through The Haze”: Modern Methods of Addressing Marijuana in the Workplace, Kern County SHRM
2019 Employment Law Management Training, local hotel group
“Playing Favorites or Playing With Fire? How Favoritism Can Get You Sued,” local hotel group management training
“Marijuana in the Workplace: Legal Concerns and Limits on What Employers Can Do,” BLR webinar
“How to Win at the Gig “Game”: Tips for Successfully Sourcing, Onboarding, and Retaining Independent Workers, Los Angeles Harbor College, College-to-Career Gig Economy Industry Spotlight
“FMLA Certification Mistakes You Never Want to Make,” BLR webinar
“Up in Smoke? What Marijuana Legalization Means for You,” Orange County American Society of Safety Professionals
"Disabilities in the Workplace and Workers Compensation," Human Resource Management and the Law, San Diego State University College of Extended Studies
FMLA/CFRA Master Class, BLR
“Leave Policy Development & Management: How to Keep Consecutive, Concurrent Family and Medical, Caregiver, Parental, and Other Types of Leaves Straight,” BLR webinar
“Your Toughest FMLA/CFRA Issues – Solved!” BLR webinar
“Get a ‘CLUE’: How to Conduct Workplace Investigations For the ‘Win’,” California County Counsel Conference
“The New Wild, Wild West: How Ban-the-Box, Salary History Bans, and the Equal Pay Act are Changing Pre-Employment Practices,” Kern County SHRM Annual Symposium
"Are Disability Accommodations Making You Mental?", Kern County SHRM
"HR Recordkeeping in California: What I's Need to be Dotted and Which T's Crossed to Stay Compliant," BLR webinar
FMLA/CFRA Master Class, BLR
"Workplace Investigations in California - Step-by-Step Guidance from Complaint to Closure," BLR webinar
"Workplace Investigations: Step-by-Step Guide from Complaint to Closure," BLR webinar
"Today's Biggest Wage and Hour Compliance Risks: How to Clear Up Misconceptions and Misapplication of Federal Regulations," BLR webinar
“CFRA Abuse: How to Identify and Halt Leave Abuse in California Without Legal Backlash,” BLR webinar
“New EEOC National Origin Discrimination Enforcement Guidance: How to Avoid Legal Risks,” BLR webinar
"California Workplace Investigations from Complaint to Closure: A Step-by-Step Guide for HR,” BLR webinar
- “Workplace Investigations from Complaint to Closure: A Step-by-Step Guide for HR,” BLR webinar
- “Social Media and the Workplace,” Human Resource Management and the Law, San Diego State University College of Extended Studies
- "Disabilities in the Workplace and Workers Compensation," Human Resource Management and the Law, San Diego State University College of Extended Studies
- Gig Employer Blog3.15.18
- How To Win At The Gig “Game” – Tips for Successfully Sourcing, Onboarding, and Retaining Independent WorkersGig Employer Blog5.19.17
- Gig Employer Blog1.27.17
- Gig Employer Blog10.20.16
- 9th Circuit Ruling Gives Boost To Pay Equity Claims4.9.18
- Translation: Sick SCOTUS Burn Over Hyper-Technical Legal Distinction Involving Boring Lawyer Stuff11.8.17
- University of San Diego School of LawJ.D. 2011
- San Diego State UniversityB.A. 2005
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California