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Chrys A. Martin

Chris Chris MartinChrys
Chrys Martin focuses her practice on daily advice and counseling to employers on employment law and employee benefits issues including Oregon’s new pay equity law. She provides her clients over 35 years of experience in complex employment and ERISA litigation, including class actions. Chrys applies her depth of knowledge learned from litigation to counseling employers and training supervisors in HR best practices, including respectful workplaces and #MeToo issues. Her practical approach to difficult employment issues is also grounded in prior hands-on management and human resources experience. She works with startups to multi-national corporations in all industries.

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 sexual harassment issues, employee handbooks, NLRB rulings, new minimum wage laws, compliance with state leave laws, ban the box, drug testing given legalization of marijuana, OFCCP, EEOC & BOLI complaints, and DOL audits. She regularly performs personnel investigations and has developed an employment practices audit to help clients identify problem areas and implement HR best practices . Her benefits work includes an array of ERISA and fiduciary issues, including claims litigation, self-funded plan design, and early retirement programs. She also serves as an AAA arbitrator and a frequent local and national speaker.

Practice Highlights
  • Consults with employers on strategic implementation of mandatory sick-leave, marijuana laws, and #MeToo issues
  • Obtained defense jury verdicts in harassment and discrimination cases including sex and age claims
  • 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 
  • Obtained scores of no cause findings for employers in administrative actions

Representative Experience

Best practices audits and training

Conducts employment practices audits to determine compliance with state and federal laws and trains managers and staff on human resources best practices for restaurant, retail, manufacturing, and startup clients. (Ongoing)

Employee handbook development for local and national clients

Drafts and develops strategic personnel handbooks that address new employment law rulings by the National Labor Relations Board, State Sick Leave Mandate, and legalization of marijuana for startups to large corporations in all industries. (Ongoing)

Labor counseling and arbitrations

Negotiates neutrality agreements and addendums to master labor agreements; handles labor arbitrations and collective bargaining negotiations; defends against union organizing campaigns. (Ongoing)

Weir v. Capers

Successfully 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)

Benefits counseling for government, universities and private employers

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

Department of Labor investigations for construction clients

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

Professional & Community Activities

  • Portland Human Resources Management Association, Member, 2003-present; prior General Counsel
  • American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, Fellow, 2001-present
  • Defense Research Institute, Former Chair, Employment Law Committee, Board of Directors, 1997-2000; Chair, Law Institute Committee, 2006-2008
  • Oregon State Bar Association, Former Chair, Civil Rights Section; Former Chair, Affirmative Action Committee
  • Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, Board of Directors, 1994-1999; past President
  • Portland Center Stage, Board of Directors, 2008-2014; Executive Committee, 2012-2014
  • Riverside Golf & Country Club, Board of Directors, 2012-2014; President, 2014
  • Cascade AIDS Project, Inc., Board of Directors, 2005-2008

Professional Recognition

  • Named one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in Labor & Employment (Oregon) by Chambers USA, 2005-2018
  • 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 since 2007
  • Selected to "Oregon Super Lawyers" in Employment Law, Thomson Reuters, 2006-2018
  • Selected to "Oregon's Top 25 Women Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 2008-2017
Has "great understanding of employment law but also a great common-sense approach when it comes to the day-to-day application in business settings." -Chambers USA 2018
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