Perspectiva General

Melissa Jeanine Ackie is a trusted legal adviser to business owners, in-house counsel, and human resources professionals on workplace concerns, including leave and accommodation, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage and hour issues. In addition, she maintains an active litigation practice, routinely defending clients in arbitration, federal courts, and state courts throughout Texas against discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and FMLA claims in addition to class action wage and hour allegations in matters involving unpaid overtime and off-the-clock work. Melissa’s goal is to help clients effectively manage employment-related risk while balancing business realities in an ever-changing legal landscape.

Her recent representative experience includes:

  • Obtaining summary judgment on behalf of nationwide companies sued in various employment actions under Title VII and the ADEA, including claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation
  • Obtaining multiple summary judgments for actions violating the statute of limitations
  • Obtaining summary judgment on behalf of a non-profit sued in a defamation action
  • Obtaining sanctions against a Plaintiff for filing a baseless action under Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 13. Ruling was affirmed on appeal by the Third Court of Appeals
  • Obtaining dismissals in multiple Charges of Discrimination in state and federal agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Texas Workforce Commission
  • Negotiating favorable settlements through mediation and other informal methods on behalf of clients facing significant exposure

Melissa also serves as a liaison for Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute (WPI). She focuses on Texas state legislative and regulatory developments in employment and labor law, as well as municipal ordinances and regulation of the workplace. Melissa assists clients in understanding the potential impact of Texas legislation before it becomes law.

Most recently, Melissa has provided advice and counsel to businesses in addressing the complex employment law issues presented by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. In addition, Melissa has provided in-depth analysis and advice regarding compliance with the Texas paid sick leave ordinances in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio, and conducted training sessions focused on topics including harassment, discrimination, FMLA, and ADA issues.

Before joining Littler, Melissa’s practice primarily focused on representing individuals and companies in Texas state courts, federal courts, and arbitrations in a variety of civil litigation defense actions.

While in law school, Melissa served as a judicial intern for Federal Judge Melinda Harmon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, and represented the University of Texas School of Law at nationals in the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition.

Melissa has been a certified mediator for the State of Texas since December 2011, and is a classically trained violist.

 

Afiliaciones Profesionales y Comunitarias

Pathfinder

Leadership Council on Legal Diversity

2018

Board Member

Austin Diaper Bank

Fellow

Texas Bar Foundation

Member

Austin Young Chamber

Member

Austin Young Lawyers Association

Member

Austin Black Lawyers Association

News, Analysis & Press

New Workplace Battlefield: Paid Sick Leave

Houston Chronicle

October 10, 2018

The New Workplace Battleground: Paid Sick Leave in Texas

Texas Tribune TribTalk

October 5, 2018

New Developments in Employment and Labor Law Under the Trump Administration, co-authored with Scott McDonald

July 2017

Libros & Capítulos

  • Employment Discrimination Law Treatise, Bloomberg BNA, Sixth Edition, Chapter Contributor, 2018

Speaking Engagements

Employment Law Red Flags: How to Spot Them and How to Fix Them

Hispanic Bar Association of Austin CLE Presentation, Austin, TX

August 2018

CLI: Conducting Lawful Investigations

Client Training, San Antonio, TX

July 2018

Hospitality in the #MeToo Era: Shifting From Risk To Opportunity For A Better Work Environment

Texas Hotel & Lodging Association Conference, Lost Pines, TX

June 2018

Competency: Talent Management

Client Training, Austin, TX

May 2018

From Harvey Weinstein to... Who's Next? Preventing Harassment in the Workplace and What to Do When Claims are Made

Austin, TX

April 5, 2018

Respect in the Workplace

Client Training, Austin, TX

March 2018

Managing Within the Law

Client Training, Austin, TX

February 2018

Educación

  • J.D., University of Texas School of Law, 2013
  • B.A., University of Texas, Austin, 2010Phi Beta Kappa

Admisión de la barra

Texas

Cortes

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas