As appeared in Law360:

Epstein Becker Green has bolstered its labor and employment practice with the addition of the former chair of the labor and employment practice at N.J.-based Sills Cummis & Gross PC.

David W. Garland, who arrived at the firm last week, will split his time between Epstein Becker Green's New York and Newark, N.J., offices.

In his practice, Garland represents corporate clients in employment discrimination, wrongful discharge and other employment-related litigation, including cases involving allegations of sexual harassment, age, disability, gender, pregnancy and other discrimination; alleged violations of family leave, whistleblower, equal pay and other statutes; and contract, public policy and tort claims. He also handles restrictive covenant litigation.

Garland, whose practice has taken him from Texas to California, said the move to a national firm would allow him to take on a more diverse array of cases.

"I've known the people here for years, the atmosphere and rapport among the lawyers is excellent, the quality of lawyers is first-rate, and the firm is committed to further growth and is well-situated for that," Garland said of Epstein Becker Green.

He said he was particularly impressed by Epstein Becker Green's top-notch health care and labor and employment practices.

"The firm is among the best nationally for their combination of health care and labor and employment," Garland said. "With health care being such a big issue now, Epstein Becker Green is the ideal firm for labor and employment issues."

Among many career highlights, Garland represented the Atlantic City, N.J., Hilton in a case in which the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld a policy that treated pregnancy the same as other temporary disabilities.

He is currently involved in a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is arguing that oral agreements arising from a conciliation process are enforceable, while a federal court in Texas has held that they are not.

"Bringing David on board is consistent with our strategic plan of hiring the brightest and best talent to join our firm," said Jay P. Krupin, who chairs the firm's national labor and employment practice. "The knowledge, experience and reputation he has in the labor and employment industry will be [a] tremendous asset to us."

Allen Roberts, managing shareholder of the firm's New York office, said that "David and the practice he brings perfectly complement the firm and our New York and New Jersey offices. We know the value of adding talent that looks to build on EBG's historic strengths and its vision for managed, quality growth. In talking with David, we saw a shared awareness of the direction of the firm and the development of our labor and employment practice, as well as its integration with our core strengths in certain industries, particularly health care and life sciences, financial services and hospitality."

Garland is a graduate of George Washington University Law School and received a bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary.

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