Skip to contentNational Women's Law Center

Emily Martin, Vice President and General Counsel

Emily Martin

Emily Martin is Vice President and General Counsel at the National Women's Law Center, where she undertakes cross-cutting projects addressing women's health, economic security, and education and employment opportunities. She also provides in-house legal advice and representation to the Center. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Martin served as Deputy Director of the Women's Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she spearheaded litigation, policy, and public education initiatives to advance the rights of women and girls, with a particular emphasis on the needs of low-income women and women of color. She also served as a law clerk for Senior Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Judge T.S. Ellis, III, of the Eastern District of Virginia and previously worked for the Center as a recipient of the Georgetown Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship. She has served as Vice President and President of the Fair Housing Justice Center, a non-profit organization in New York City. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Yale Law School.

My Take

The Power of Presidential Pen

Posted by Emily Martin, Vice President and General Counsel | Posted on: July 21, 2014 at 03:26 pm

This morning, I was lucky enough to be there in person to see President Obama sign an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as explicitly adding “gender identity” to the federal government’s own nondiscrimination in employment policy (which already prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation).

As the President said this morning, while we still have a long way to go in the fight for equality, today’s milestone is an important moment to take stock of the extraordinary progress made “not just in our lifetimes, but in the last five years, in the last two years, in the last one year. We’re on the right side of history.”


President Obama Stands Up for Pregnant Workers

Posted by Emily Martin, Vice President and General Counsel | Posted on: June 24, 2014 at 01:43 pm

It’s a pretty special day when you get a shout-out from the President. And yesterday, at the White House Summit on Working Families, pregnant workers got that shout-out. Twenty-first century families need 21st century workplaces, the President said:

That means treating pregnant workers fairly, because too many are forced to choose between their health and their job. Right now, if you’re pregnant you could potentially get fired for taking too many bathroom breaks—clearly from a boss who has never been pregnant—or forced [onto] unpaid leave. That makes no sense.

Of course, the President is right. (And as someone who was lucky enough to be there in person, I can attest that these remarks got a huge cheer inside the standing-room-only event.) Right now, when pregnant workers have a medical need for a temporary accommodation, too often bosses say no, even when they provide accommodations to workers who need them because of disabilities or injuries. Pregnant workers are then faced with a choice no one should have to make, between ignoring their doctor’s advice and putting their jobs at risk. But luckily there’s a solution at hand, as the President made clear, when he urged, “Congress should pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act without delay.”


It’s Nearly Unanimous: Pregnant Workers Deserve Fair Treatment

Posted by Emily Martin, Vice President and General Counsel | Posted on: March 07, 2014 at 07:01 pm

What do West Virginia and New York City have in common? As someone who spent many years living in each place, I can assure you that the answer is not that much.

Tags: | 1 comment

The Tenth Circuit Should Join the Unanimous Trend Towards Marriage Equality

Posted by | Posted on: March 06, 2014 at 11:59 am

Last year, the decision in United States v. Windsor represented a huge victory for marriage equality, as the Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, was unconstitutional. While the Supreme Court ducked the question posed by a companion case of whether a state ban on marriage between same-sex couples violated the Fourteenth Amendment, since Windsor the trend in lower courts has been unanimous: so far, 18 decisions have found these bans on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals is now poised to address the question in Kitchen v. Herbert and Bishop v. Smith, two cases which arise out of bans on marriage between same-sex couples in Utah and Oklahoma, which lower courts struck down.


Saying Good-Bye to Shirley

Posted by Emily Martin, Vice President and General Counsel | Posted on: February 11, 2014 at 05:27 pm

When I heard the news of Shirley Temple’s death this morning, I wondered how I will tell my six-year-old daughter, Stella. Stella has a deep love for all things Shirley Temple, and has come by it naturally. The Shirley Temple paper dolls she plays with are exact reproductions of the originals that my grandma played with and lovingly handed down to my mother and then to me. Stella is the fourth generation in my family to be captivated by the movies Curly Top and Bright Eyes. My grandma never got to meet Stella, but Stella goes to sleep with a Shirley Temple doll not so different from the one my grandma had.