Racquel B. Martin

Associate

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Racquel assists 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. Experienced in managing discovery, conducting witness interviews, preparing dispositive motions, and mediating disputes, Racquel represent clients in state and federal court, arbitration, and in front of administrative agencies. She collaborates with employers to draft and implement employment policies, handbooks, and agreements and aids employers in handling employee discipline and termination matters. Racquel also conducts workplace investigations and employee trainings for employers. She 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, racial justice, and criminal justice reform.

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Honors & Awards

  • Recognized as 2020 Attorney for Justice by Tennessee Supreme Court (Pro Bono Honor Roll)
  • Received 2020 Rising Star Award from Black Women Lawyers Association of Northern California
  • Accepted as Fellow for 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, Second and Sixth Circuits
  • US District Court, Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Tennessee and Central District of California

Education

  • University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D.: 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: Coca-Cola Scholar; Omicron Delta Kappa; Order of Omega Greek Honor Society

Professional Activities

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, “Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession,” University of Tennessee College of Law (March 2021)
  • Panelist, “Admitted Student Day: The Alumni Experience,” University of Tennessee College of Law (March 2021)
  • 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
  • National Employment Law Council, NELC Academy Mentor
  • Tapestry Church Oakland, Social Justice & Hospitality Committees
  • Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni, University Initiatives Committee
  • Vanderbilt University, Commodore Recruitment Program
  • Oakland Promise, Mentor

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

  • Represent multiple airlines in wage and hour class actions and PAGA actions brought by ground employees, including fleet service clerks and customer service representatives.
  • Secured voluntary dismissal of federal wage and hour claims in putative class action against global investment bank.
  • Assisted in settling claims of sex/gender and race discrimination against online ride-hailing service.
  • Awarded summary judgment in full in disability discrimination (failure to accommodate) and workers’ compensation retaliation case involving assembly line worker previously employed by personnel supplier client to the automotive industry.
  • Obtained dismissal of sex discrimination and retaliation case alleging violations of Title VII and 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

  • Represent national bank in investigation conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • Investigated allegations of race discrimination and implicit bias at film production company and global technology company.
  • Investigated allegations of race and/or gender discrimination or implicit bias at online vacation rental marketplace.
  • Investigated allegations of sexual harassment and hostile work environment at social change organization.
  • Evaluated internal investigation and response of online vacation rental marketplace to sexual assault complaint by employee.
  • Investigated allegations of sexual assault at privately owned company.
  • Investigated allegations of harassment and hostile work environment at professional development organization.
  • Assisted in investigating allegations of sex/gender and race 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 Training & Counseling

  • Drafted COVID-19 worksite-specific prevention plan for manufacturer.
  • Conducted anti-harassment and ADA compliance training for employers.

Pro Bono

  • Represent parents and children forcibly separated at the U.S.-Mexico border in federal torts action against the U.S. government and in filing humanitarian parole application to reunite with their families in the U.S.
  • Assisted in drafting amicus brief on behalf of Brady, Team ENOUGH, and American Association of University Professors supporting 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 artist, to reclaim over $500,000 worth of artwork.