Crystal Stevens McElrath practices workers’ compensation defense as well as employment law defense and counseling, specializing in disability and leave laws. She regularly advises, trains and defends clients related to wage and hour, discrimination and human resource laws.

Crystal represents clients in a number of industries including food sales, medical transport services, counseling and staffing.

She also handles numerous workers' compensation matters; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charges of age, racial and religious discrimination; Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime and minimum wage cases; unemployment claims; Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) lawsuits; drafting of employee handbooks; conducting internal audits; and negotiating employment contracts.

Twice, Crystal co-authored amicus briefs to the Supreme Court of Georgia on a question of which workers’ compensation statute of limitations applied for claims involving statutory penalties for late indemnity payments. Crystal also co-authored a brief to the Georgia Court of Appeals on the question as to whether medical benefits constitute “compensation” such that payment for medical treatment would trigger the status of limitations for controverting workers’ compensation claims.

Crystal’s method of thought and mindfulness is highly influenced by her unique perspective developed while studying at Emory University's Center for the Study of Law and Religion. She simultaneously studied law and theology, creating a system of thinking that taught her to deeply examine the meanings of intersections. For clients, this means decisions are always balanced in consideration of business and the personal concerns attached to all outcomes. Crystal seeks a balanced and highly personalized solution for each case, which also drives strategies that balance the client’s legal needs with their business’ success and profits.


  • On the Rise, Georgia Legal Awards by the Daily Report, 2020


  • Defense Research Institute

  • Young NonProfit Professional Network

  • Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys

  • American Bar Association

  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Georgia Defense Lawyers Association – Co-Chair, Workers' Compensation Section

  • Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network – Volunteer
  • Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta – Volunteer


In her free time, Crystal enjoys volunteering with Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network and Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta. She loves to run and cheer for her hometown team, the Steelers. She is also an Atlanta Ballet season ticket holder.


Speaking Engagements

Thought Leadership


  • "Preventing the Fast-Break: Defending the Workers' Compensation Claim Before it Becomes an Employment Law Lay-Up," Compensation Courier, Defense Research Institute, April 2016


  • “Safety Policies that Protect Employees and Employers,” Georgia Safety, Health and Environmental Conference, September 2018

  • “Double Duty: Reconciling Employee Handbook Policies to Comply with Federal Employment Laws and the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act,” SHRM Georgia Legal Summit, May 2018

  • “Houston, We Have a Problem: What to Do When Workers’ Compensation Laws and Employee Handbooks Conflict," Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation Annual Educational Conference, August 2017

  • "Taboo: Navigating Hiring, Firing, Leave and Disability Conversations without Running Afoul of ADA, FMLA and Workers' Compensation Laws," Nonprofit Risk Management Center's Risk Summit, September 2016

  • "Practical Aspects of Death Claims and Dependency," ICLE GA Workers' Compensation Law Institute, October 2014

Bar Admittances

  • Georgia


Emory University School of Law (J.D., 2010)

Duke University (Cert. in Nonprofit Management, 2015)

Emory University (M.T.S., 2010)

University of Virginia (B.A., 2006)

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