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Chrys A. Martin

Chris Chris MartinChrys
Partner
T503.778.5357
F503.276.5757
Chrys Martin focuses her practice on employment law and employee benefits issues. She offers her clients 32 years of experience in complex employment and ERISA litigation, including class actions. Chrys applies her depth of knowledge in litigation to counseling employers and training management in pragmatic risk avoidance. Her practical approach to difficult employment issues is also grounded in prior hands-on management and human resources experience.

Chrys' employment and labor experience spans the full range of employer concerns, from discrimination and harassment to wage and hour issues to union negotiations and arbitrations. She regularly assists clients with employee handbooks, including compliance with Portland Sick Leave ordinance and employment contracts. She regularly performs personnel investigations and employment practices audits. Her benefits work includes an array of ERISA and fiduciary issues, including claims litigation, self-funded plan design and early retirement programs.

Practice Highlights
  • Consults with employers on strategic implementation of Portland Mandatory Sick Leave Ordinance
  • Obtained defense jury verdicts in sexual harassment and age discrimination cases
  • Obtained multiple jury and court trial verdicts, directed verdicts, and summary judgments in ERISA and non-ERISA benefits cases
  • Prevented wage and hour class-action pre-litigation, no payments
  • Co-lead litigation team in then-largest investment manager fraud case in U.S. history – ERISA and fiduciary liability
  • Prevailed at summary judgment in wage and hour class action 

Representative Experience

Benefits counseling for government, universities and private employers

Design and implement early incentive retirement programs for government and private employers, as well as advise businesses on staffing and benefits issues in the context of mergers and acquisitions. (Ongoing)

Best practices audits and training

Conduct employment practices audits to determine compliance with state and federal laws and train managers and staff on human resources best practices for restaurant, retail, manufacturing, and start-up clients. (Ongoing)

Department of Labor investigations for construction clients

Negotiate favorable settlements in Department of Labor investigations regarding prevailing wage, minimum wage, and overtime violations for major construction industry clients. (Ongoing)

Develop and defend employer affirmative action plans

Represent utilities, manufacturers and other employers in audits determining compliance with federal affirmative action programs conducted by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), as well as develop and implement employer affirmative action plans. (Ongoing)

Employee handbook development for local and national clients

Draft and develop strategic personnel handbooks that address new employment law rulings by the National Labor Relations Board and Portland City Sick Leave Mandate for start-ups to large corporations in manufacturing and retail industries. (Ongoing)

Labor counseling and arbitrations

Negotiate neutrality agreements and addendums to master labor agreements; handle labor arbitrations and collective bargaining negotiations; defend union organizing campaigns. (Ongoing)

Weir v. Capers

Defended Capers Café & Catering Co. from a proposed FLSA collective action and a FRCP 23 class action that alleged federal and state wage and hour violations. Capers Café and DWT prevailed on summary judgment on the majority of claims and then resolved the case by a small settlement, without class action or collective action certification. (D. Ore. 2012)

Professional & Community Activities

  • Member, 2003-present; General Counsel, 2005 – Portland Human Resources Management Association
  • Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, 2001-present
  • International Foundation of Employee Benefits, 2000-present
  • Chair, Law Institute Committee 2006-2008; Chair, Employment Law Committee,  Board of Directors, 1997-2000 – Defense Research Institute
  • Former Chair, Civil Rights Section; Former Chair, Affirmative Action Committee – Oregon State Bar Association
  • Board of Directors, 1994-1999; President, 1999 – Oregon Association of Defense Counsel
  • Board of Directors, 2008-present; Secretary, 2012-2013 – Portland Center Stage
  • Board of Directors, Cascade AIDS Project, Inc., 2005-2008

Professional Recognition

  • Named one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in Employment by Chambers USA, 2005-2014
  • Louis B. Potter Lifetime Professional Achievement Award, DRI, 2012 
  • Awarded AV rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory since 1994
  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Labor and Employment Law by Best Lawyers, 2007-present
  • Selected to "Oregon Super Lawyers" in Employment Law, Thomson Reuters, 2006-2014
  • Selected to "Oregon's Top 25 Women Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 2008-2014
DWT recognized by chambers USA, read release