Margaret Coughlin LePage
Clients look to Meg LePage for help on a wide range of workplace disputes and seek her counsel when looking to minimize legal risks in connection with hiring, discipline and discharge, discrimination and harassment complaints, family medical leave requests, wage payment disputes, non-competition agreements, and a wide variety of other employment issues.
Meg's clients include healthcare and educational institutions, financial services companies, insurance companies, manufacturers, social service agencies, summer youth camps, and hospitality and recreation facilities. With extensive experience in both employment litigation and advice and counsel work, Meg provides employers with sound, practical and timely advice coupled with efficient and effective advocacy in state and federal courts and administrative agencies. She also regularly presents workplace training programs for employers on a variety of issues, including unlawful harassment and discrimination, workplace diversity, performance management, accommodating disabilities, attendance and leave management and individual and group terminations.
In addition to her employment work, Meg serves as general outside counsel to a number of independent schools and colleges, advising on such issues as student admissions, faculty and staff discrimination and harassment; student sexual misconduct and Title IX compliance and investigations; academic integrity violations, student disciplinary proceedings; accommodations for disabled students; faculty employment and advancement; tuition disputes, and access to educational records.
Meg also serves as general counsel to the Maine Principals' Association, which regulates interscholastic high school athletic and extracurricular competitions across the state. She was the principal drafter of the MPA's groundbreaking policy expanding opportunities for transgender student athletes while preserving athletic equity and ensuring safety for all student athletes.
Prior to arriving at Pierce Atwood in 1987, Meg practiced with the Labor and Employment group of a major Seattle law firm. Meg is a member of the Pierce Atwood Management Committee and serves as the firm’s Human Resources Partner, advising the firm on employment-related matters.
- Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell
- Recognized as a Leader in Maine employment law in Chambers USA
- Included in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2003 in the areas of Education Law, Employment Law-Management, and Labor Law-Management
- Named The Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year" in Maine for Labor and Employment Law in 2011, for Employment Law-Management in 2013, for Education Law in 2015, for Employment Law-Management in 2018, and for Labor Law-Management in 2020 and 2022
- Recognized as a top-rated Employment and Labor attorney by New England Super Lawyers since 2007
- Received the "Women of Achievement" award in 2003 from the Cumberland County YWCA for her professional accomplishments and contributions to the community and in 2006 received the Unsung Hero Award through Family Crisis Services
- Fellow, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
- Member, The American Employment Law Council
- 2016 Chair of Maine's Campaign for Justice, raising over $600,000 from lawyers and judges to support civil legal services for low-income Maine residents
- Member, Judicial Advisory Committee, Maine Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), 2002-2017
- Pro bono attorney for guardians ad litem representing abused or neglected children in child protective cases, 1989-present
- Board of Trustees, The Dempsey Center, 2018-present
- Board of Trustees, Vice President, Cancer Community Center, 2014-2018
- Board Member, Dartmouth Club of Maine, 2005-present
- Board of Trustees, Saint Joseph's Rehabilitation & Residence, 2009-2013
- Board of Trustees, Chair, Opportunity Farm for Boys & Girls, 1995-2005
- Board of Trustees, North Yarmouth Academy, 1995-2004
- Obtained dismissal of an unfair labor practice charge against employer for discipline of employee for derogatory postings on Facebook.
- Represented fast food restaurant chain in investigation by Department of Justice of pattern and practice immigration status discrimination.
- Advised Board of Directors of closely held company on termination and buyout of founder and CEO.
- Served as independent investigator in connection with alleged violations of corporate Code of Conduct by mid-level executive.
- Successfully resolved administrative complaint alleging that strict call center attendance policy violated the ADA.
- Successfully resolved administrative discrimination charges filed with HUD, EEOC and MHRC by former employee alleging violations of state and federal race discrimination and whistleblower retaliation in connection with mortgage lending practices.
Latest Updates in Employment
- Served as independent investigator in connection with allegations by college faculty members of harassment and bullying by colleagues and administrators.
- Served as independent investigator in connection with student complaints of abuse by college athletic coach.
- Obtained favorable arbitrator's award, affirmed on appeal, regarding wage dispute over bonuses, commissions and vacation pay for terminated company president.
- Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, in housing discrimination case challenging landlords' rights not to participate in HUD Section 8 low income housing program.
- Obtained judgment on behalf of employer in leading "caregiver" sex discrimination case in federal district court.
- Obtained favorable federal district court jury verdict for employer in ADA retaliation case.
- Defense of False Claims Act against general bridge contractor for State of Maine Department of Transportation.
- Obtained no reasonable grounds finding and dismissal of EEOC/MHRC charge alleging disability and age discrimination for applicant, a former senior executive, who was deemed overqualified for the entry level position sought.
- Successfully defended USERRA lawsuit by employee who was terminated while on military leave but who failed to adequately communicate with his supervisor about his status.
- Obtained no reasonable grounds finding and dismissal in connection with terminated employee’s claim that she was fired due to her supervisor’s antipathy toward her Christian religious beliefs.