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.
NELA Legislative Watch
NELA tracks the following issues and bills, which have been introduced or are expected to be re-introduced in the 117th Congress:
- Expanding and Protecting Overtime Pay
- Gig Worker Protections
- Lower Court Expansion
- BE HEARD in the Workplace Act/EMPOWER Act
(anti-workplace harassment bills)*
- Equality Act
- Paycheck Fairness Act
- Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act
- 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.
What’s New in Washington
Dear Majority Leader Schumer: The National Employment Lawyers’ Association (NELA) and the National Institute for Workers’ Rights strongly urge a vote on President Biden’s Labor Secretary nominee Julie Su next week. NELA members advocate for equality and justice for workers across the country every day, and we work closely with the Department of Labor to enforce the laws that protect the rights of workers. In our experience, both workers and employers benefit from clear leadership and direction from the agencies that enforce the laws governing the workplace. Julie Su is an excellent, well-qualified choice to continue the work that she […]
The National Employment Lawyers Association and the National Institute for Workers’ Rights honor the life and memory of former Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder, who died on March 13th. It is especially fitting to recognize today, on Equal Pay Day, the strong and pioneering feminist that Ms. Schroeder was and her fiery dedication to women’s rights which inspired many strong, courageous women to continue that important work. We also have Ms. Schroeder to thank for her early work in the fight for the needs of families in the workplace. She was a key leader in gaining the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination […]
Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules Administrative Office of the United States Courts Re: Request for Comments on Proposed Amendments to Federal Rules and Forms (August 15, 2022) Dear Members of the Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules, The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) respectfully submits the following comments in response to the Proposed Amendments to Federal Rules and Forms. NELA opposes the proposed FRE 611(d). NELA is the largest professional membership organization in the country comprised of lawyers who represent employees in labor, employment, wage and hour, and civil rights disputes. Our mission is to advance worker’s rights and serve lawyers […]
In a show of strong bipartisan support (73-24), the Senate voted on Thursday to include the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) in the Senate version of the 2023 financial omnibus bill. Today, the House passed the bill and it is now on the way to the White House, clearing the act’s path to law after a 10-year fight. The National Employment Lawyers Association praises the success of this critical piece of legislation that positively impacts pregnant workers in all industries across the nation. NELA members were a key component of the coalition that led this battle, and we are thankful […]
Amy DeBisschop Division of Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation Wage and Hour Division U.S. Department of Labor Comments on RIN 1235-AA43: Employee or Independent Contractor Classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act Dear Ms. DeBisnaomischop: The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) submits these comments in support of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (the Proposed Rule) on the status of independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Introduction NELA is the largest professional membership organization in the country comprised of lawyers who represent employees in labor, employment, wage and hour, and civil rights disputes. Our […]