Racquel B. Martin

Associate

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Racquel represents public and private employers in a variety of labor and employment matters, including harassment, discrimination, retaliation, hostile work environment, wage and hour, FMLA, WARN, non-competition, and non-solicitation claims. She has collaborated with employers to draft and implement employment policies, handbooks, and agreements and has aided employers in handling employee discipline and termination matters and conducting workplace investigations. Racquel regularly identifies strategies and tools for clients to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local employment statutes. 

Racquel maintains an active pro bono practice, focusing on employment issues impacting non-profit organizations, immigration litigation, and criminal justice reform.

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Honors & Awards

  • Received 2020 Rising Star Award from the Black Women Lawyers Association of Northern California
  • Accepted as a Fellow for the National Employment Law Council Academy (2019-2020)
  • Named to Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30 list (2019)
  • Named to the National Black Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 list in Tennessee (2019)

Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • Tennessee

Court Admissions

  • US Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • US District Court, Central District of California and Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Tennessee

Education

  • University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D., 2016: summa cum laude: Order of the Coif; Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; Silver Pen Award; Judge Harry W. Laughlin, Jr. Case Note Award; Susan B. Anthony Award; Roy B.J. Campbell Leadership Award; Law Student for Justice Pro Bono Award; Articles & Symposium Editor, Tennessee Law Review; Research Editor, Transactions: Tennessee Journal of Business Law; The Hamilton Burnett American Inn of Court; CALI Excellence for the Future Awards 
  • Vanderbilt University, B.A., Public Policy, 2013: Coca-Cola Scholar; Omicron Delta Kappa; Order of Omega Greek Honor Society

Professional Activities

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “O’Melveny Looking Around the Corner: Topics in Labor & Employment Law – California Pay Data Reporting,” O’Melveny & Myers Webinar (March 2021)
  • Speaker, “Lawyering & Professionalism: My Career Path,” University of Tennessee College of Law (2019-2020)
  • Moderator, “Successfully Surviving Summer 2020,” Black Women Lawyers Association of Northern California (June 2020)
  • Speaker, “Anxiety, Workplace Stress, & PTSD: HR’s ADA Accommodation & Performance Management Roadmap,” BLR’s HR Comply 2018 (November 2018)

Leadership & Community Service

  • University of Tennessee College of Law, Alumni Council Member
  • Black Women Lawyers Association of Northern California, Law School Liaison
  • Oakland Promise, Mentor
  • Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni, University Initiatives Committee
  • Vanderbilt University, Commodore Recruitment Program

Externship

  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, U.S. Attorney’s Office

Affiliations

  • National Employment Law Council
  • Charles Houston Bar Association
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • American Bar Association
  • National Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Berkeley Bay Area Alumnae Chapter

Employment Litigation

  • Secured voluntary dismissal of federal wage and hour claims in a putative class action against global investment bank.
  • Assisted in settling claims of sex and race discrimination against tech company.
  • Awarded summary judgment in full in disability discrimination (failure to accommodate) and workers’ compensation retaliation case involving an assembly line worker previously employed by a personnel supplier client to the automotive industry.
  • Obtained dismissal of sex discrimination and retaliation case alleging violations of Title VII and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act by federal government contractor with employees abroad 
  • Obtained dismissal of case alleging defamation, sex/gender discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, hostile work environment and negligent hiring and/or retention.
  • Awarded summary judgment in full in FMLA and workers’ compensation retaliation case involving drug testing on behalf of hospital.
  • Awarded summary judgment in full in FLSA collective action and retaliation case involving three dozen paramedics and EMTs on behalf of hospital and ambulance service.

Investigations

  • Investigated allegations of sexual harassment and hostile work environment at social change organization.
  • Investigated allegations of sexual assault at tech company.
  • Investigated allegations of harassment and hostile work environment at professional development organization.
  • Assisted in investigating allegations of discrimination, harassment, and hostile work environment at media outlet.
  • Represented national tank truck transporter and logistics provider in investigation of alleged safety policies and practices by local district attorney’s office.

Employment Counseling

  • Drafted COVID-19 worksite-specific prevention plan for manufacturer.
  • Revised employee handbook and employment policies of tech company to comply with California and Colorado employment laws.

Pro Bono

  • Assisted in drafting amicus brief on behalf of Brady, Team ENOUGH, and the American Association of University Professors supporting the enactment of Article X of University of Michigan’s Regents’ Ordinance, which prohibited possession of firearms or other dangerous weapons on University’s property.
  • Drafted expert witness declarations and assisted in drafting motion for preliminary injunction to prevent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from separating minor asylum seekers from their father during appeal of Immigration Court’s decision to deny minors’ motion to reopen orders of removal.
  • Assisted in drafting amicus brief on behalf of NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and Law for Black Lives supporting repeal of New York State Civil Rights Laws Section 50-a and release of police misconduct records.
  • Assisted in settling breach of contract dispute that allowed client, a notable Mexican-American artists, to reclaim over $500,000 worth of artwork.