Melissa K. Atkins

Located in

Philadelphia, PA

“I enjoy problem solving and welcome the opportunity to face and resolve conflicts.”

- Melissa K. Atkins

“I enjoy problem solving and welcome the opportunity to face and resolve conflicts.”

- Melissa K. Atkins

Melissa represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, including employment–related agreements, union negotiations, Act 111 negotiations, grievance hearings, executive compensation, internal investigations, wage and hour matters, employee benefits, as well as employment litigation. Melissa works with municipalities and companies in a wide range of industries including health care, financial services, information technology, universities and secondary schools, manufacturing, and nonprofit organizations.

Melissa is a people person and natural problem solver. She welcomes the opportunity to face and resolve conflicts. Moreover, Melissa became a lawyer because to her, the law is one of the few professions that provide an intense analysis of the past as a roadmap for the important decisions to be made in the present. Melissa believes that clear communication is the key to success. She talks to her clients, listens to their issues, evaluates the problem, and recommends several strategies.

In her free time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children. She is often found relaxing on her front porch or playing tennis. As a former team captain of the University of Miami’s basketball team, Melissa is an avid sports fan. She never misses an opportunity to cheer on her favorite Philly teams and her Miami Hurricanes.

Prior to joining Obermayer, Melissa worked as a Deputy City Solicitor in the Labor and Employment Unit for the City of Philadelphia and in the Employment Law practice group of one of the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance companies, where she maintained a caseload of complex employment law cases from inception to resolution, representing a wide range of private sector employers in union and non-union workplaces across many industries, including education, health care, construction, industrial and manufacturing.

Melissa gained broad experience in court proceedings, performing all phases of litigation including developing case strategy, conducting discovery, depositions, and witness preparation, and drafting responsive pleadings, motions, and briefs. She was also first chair spokesperson in settlement negotiations. Melissa’s experience includes the following:

  • Counsel on Human Resources matters, including performance management and employment termination.
  • Research and draft legal memorandum on various employment issues including discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment in federal district and circuit courts
  • Negotiate, draft, and revise contracts and agreements involving bonus and executive compensation plans, terms and conditions of employment, settlement terms and conditions, and release agreements.
  • Analyze and present updates to Healthcare industry clients regarding the Families First Corona Response Act leave policies and OSHA Compliance.
  • Successfully negotiated over 110 settlements of employment discrimination claims for clients.
  • Three successful Summary Judgment Motions and one successful Third Circuit Appeal for years 2019-2020

Melissa is a frequent presenter at seminars on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the practice of law; and labor and employment topics, including the Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII and other federal, state and local anti-discrimination, anti-harassment; anti-retaliation and paid leave statues.

Some of Melissa’s professional accomplishments include:

  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America Ones to Watch® list in 2024
  • Named to City & State Pennsylvania Philly’s 40 under 40 in 2022
  • Recognized among The Legal Intelligencer’s 2022 Professional Excellence Award Winners in the Lawyers on the Fast Track category
  • Philadelphia Tribune’s Ten People Under 40 to Watch in 2013
  • Philadelphia Business Journal’s 25 Young Lawyers on the Rise in 2017

In law school, Melissa was a Merit Scholar. She was also:

  • Public Interest Fellow
  • Mock Trial Regional Finalist and National Competitor
  • Black Law Students Association Vice President