The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) is at the forefront of efforts to advance equality and justice in the American workplace through federal legislation and public policy. Since NELA’s inception, we have lobbied and provided technical assistance to Congress on scores of federal legislation that bring us closer to achieving our mission. Visit our About NELA page for more information about our work..
Legislative & Public Policy Priorities
In fulfilling our mission, NELA has adopted the following federal legislative and public policy priorities:
End Forced Arbitration
The FAIR Act
NELA has prioritized ending forced arbitration of employment claims for more than two decades. After years of inaction on this issue, passage of the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act in the House in the 116th Congress was a major victory. NELA will continue to work with allies to educate Members of Congress and gain passage of the FAIR Act in the 117th Congress.
Diversify The Federal Bench
NELA will continue to be an active and prominent advocate for nominees who represent both demographic and professional diversity. Our goal is to ensure that when working people go to court, their cases will be decided by a qualified, fair-minded judge who is committed to upholding the laws that were enacted to protect working people.
Partner With The DOL Wage & Hour Division And The EEOC
NELA, with our wealth of expert practitioners, is well-positioned to provide substantial input and information and to influence regulatory action, as well as other policy matters at the Department of Labor, Wage & Hour Division and the EEOC. We are developing two robust working groups of NELA subject matter experts to engage in dialogue, advocacy, and collaborative problem-solving with leadership at both agencies on a regular basis.
Helping workers can get the justice they deserve.
NELA members know all too well that workers who win employment discrimination cases cannot receive a jury’s full award for the harm they endured because of an outdated and unfair provision in a 1991 law that caps such damage awards. During NELA’s 2023 Annual Convention in Chicago, we shared our vision to eliminate damage caps, exploring ways to fix this unfair practice including potential legislation. For more information, contact Jeffrey Mittman, Executive Director, at email@example.com.
NELA Legislative Watch
NELA tracks the following issues and bills, which have been introduced or are expected to be re-introduced in the 118th Congress:
- Expanding and Protecting Overtime Pay
- Gig Worker Protections
- Lower Court Expansion
- BE HEARD in the Workplace Act/EMPOWER Act
(anti-workplace harassment bills)*
- Court Legal Access and Student Support (CLASS) Act
- Equality Act
- Paycheck Fairness Act
- Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act (passed and effective June 27, 2023)
- Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA)*
* Denotes bills with which NELA had substantial involvement in the past working with Congressional offices on drafting and lobbying.