NELA and The Institute are profoundly saddened by the passing of our Founder and first Executive Director Paul H. Tobias. Today we lost a giant, not just in plaintiffs’ employment law, but in the profession as a whole.
Paul was a visionary with tremendous compassion for working people, and he, along with a few of his colleagues, conceptualized a nationwide network to support attorneys who advocate for workers. With a handshake and an encouraging word for everyone who joined the fight, Paul spread the Just Cause Conspiracy. More than three decades later, NELA is the largest plaintiffs’ employment bar in the country, with more than 2,000 members and 69 state and local affiliates.
Paul’s belief that great things can be accomplished through a spirit of collaboration and community will continue to serve as our guiding light. He captured people’s imagination about what the workers’ rights community could accomplish together if we shared our knowledge and resources. He leaves a legacy that drives us all to work harder for equity and justice in the workplace. For that, and for his kind and generous nature, he will be greatly missed.
We will be in touch with information on a celebration of … Read More
Director of Office of Presidential Personnel
The White House
On behalf of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), and our 4,000 circuit, state, and local affiliate members across the country, we write to express our strongest possible recommendation that Cathy Harris be nominated to fill the vacancy of the position of Chair of the Merit Systems Protection Board–the independent federal agency that protects federal employee workers from any abuses within the merit system.
NELA is the largest professional membership organization in the country comprised of lawyers who represent workers in labor, employment, and civil rights disputes. Founded in 1985, NELA advances employee rights and serves lawyers who advocate for equality and justice in the American workplace. Our members litigate daily in every federal district and circuit, and in the administrative courts, affording NELA a unique perspective on how employment cases actually play out on the ground and an accurate understanding of the profound impact of the courts on the daily lives and the rights of working people.
NELA offers its full and enthusiastic support to Cathy Harris for the position of Chair of the United States Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). Ms. Harris is an experienced practitioner in the niche … Read More
Submitted Testimony of Laura M. Flegel, National Employment Lawyers Association and The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy Legislative & Public Policy Director to the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law Committee on the Judiciary United States House of Representatives on Justice Restored: Ending Forced Arbitration and Protecting Fundamental Rights
- Introduction Founded in 1985, the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) is the largest bar association in the country focused solely on empowering workers’ rights attorneys. NELA and its 69 circuit, state, and local affiliates have a combined membership of over 4,000 attorneys who are committed to protecting the rights of workers in employment, wage and hour, labor, and civil rights disputes. For more than two decades, NELA has called on Congress to end the insidious corporate practice of forcing workers and consumers to address disputes in secret, one-sided arbitration proceedings because the evidence demonstrates that forced arbitration is harmful to workers.Founded in 2008, The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy (“The Institute”) is the related charitable public interest organization of NELA. The Institute advances workers’ rights through research, thought leadership, and education for policymakers, advocates, and the public. Since its inception, The Institute has studied
(Washington, DC) – The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) and The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy (The Institute) applaud Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) for introducing the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act (FAIR Act), which will end the insidious corporate practice of forcing workers and consumers to give up their rights by mandating them to address disputes in secret, one-sided arbitration proceedings.
The FAIR Act will open the courthouse doors and restore workers’ access to America’s civil justice system. Among other things, the FAIR Act will make it unlawful for employers to impose arbitration on workers, unless the worker knowingly and voluntarily agrees to arbitration after a dispute arises or pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. Over 60 million working people in the U.S. are now subject to forced arbitration clauses which were designed to keep them from enforcing their legal rights.
“The unjust practice of forcing workers into arbitration must finally be dismantled,” Jeffrey A. Mittman, NELA Executive Director, said. “It strips vulnerable workers of the right to enforce laws that were designed to protect them when they are victims of illegal treatment in the workplace. Forced arbitration favors employers and coerces workers into losing either their … Read More
Nominations for the 2021 Board Elections are open until February 19. If you are actively interested or just curious about what service on NELA’s Board entails, please review the NELA Board Service Information Sheet. As you think about NELA colleagues who would be great Board members, don’t forget to think about yourself as well! Board members work hard for the organization, but also have a unique opportunity to do big picture strategizing while developing their own leadership, fundraising, and organizational skills.
Using the online 2021 Nominations Form, please submit your recommendations for Board candidates as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, February 19, 2021. In addition to stating your reasons for recommending the individual, please include the person’s name, address, telephone number, and email address as indicated on the form. As mentioned above, you may nominate yourself.
In forwarding names for consideration by the Nominating Committee, please keep in mind the general criteria that have been used in evaluating candidates for the Board. In addition to attendance at three annual Board meetings, Board members are routinely expected to devote a great deal of time and energy to a wide variety of NELA projects and activities, … Read More
NELA and The Institute express our profound distress over this week’s insurrection in our nation’s capitol, in one of the most sacrosanct of buildings—the halls of Congress. Our staff members in DC are safe. We are in contact with our Metro DC-based NELA members and MWELA (NELA’s DC Affiliate) members to ensure their well-being. Many in our country are hurting right now, including our members, allies, and supporters. What happened during what should have been a peaceful transfer of power ranks among the most profound, unsettling events in American history.
Regardless of this brazen attempt to upend our democracy, our Senators and Representatives fulfilled their obligation to confirm Joe Biden’s election. The message delivered by voters at the ballot box was loud and clear, and their voices will not be silenced, by threat or by force. We now look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration to achieve our mission of empowering workers’ rights attorneys, promoting a fair judiciary, and advocating for laws and policies that level the playing field for workers.
As a community, we will move past the event and redouble of our efforts to create workplaces that are equitable, diverse, and inclusive, and to protect those who … Read More
Seasoned legal advocate and former workers’ rights attorney Jeffrey A. Mittman selected by unanimous board vote
Concord, Calif. – Dec 10, 2020 – After an extensive nationwide search, the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) and The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy (The Institute) are pleased to announce the appointment of Jeffrey A. Mittman as the organizations’ incoming executive director, beginning January 4, 2021.
In this role, Mittman will lead NELA and The Institute in working toward the shared vision of a future in which all workers are treated with dignity and respect; workplaces are equitable, diverse, and inclusive; and the well-being of workers is a priority in business practices.
This is a particularly critical time for workers and the attorneys who represent them against all manner of illegal treatment in the workplace, such as discrimination, harassment, wage theft, safety issues, and more. These issues have been magnified by the challenging, and frequently dangerous, circumstances arising from COVID-19. Congress has yet to pass a new stimulus package to aid those in desperate need of relief; instead of being laser focused on the American people, one of the hold-ups is how best to protect corporations from liability in COVID-related … Read More
Biden-Harris Department of Labor Review Team
Chris Lu, Team Lead
Submitted electronically to Patricia Smith
Dear DOL Agency Review Team:
The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) welcomes the opportunity to share our recommendations for concrete steps that can be taken in the first 100 days under new leadership at the White House and Department of Labor (DOL). If implemented, these changes would advance the work of building an economy in which all workers are treated with dignity and respect; workplaces are equitable, diverse, and inclusive; and the well-being of workers is a priority in business practices.
NELA is the largest professional membership organization in the country comprised solely of lawyers who represent workers asserting employment, wage and hour, labor, and civil rights protections. NELA advocates for workers’ rights and serves lawyers who advocate for equality and justice in the American workplace. NELA and its 69 circuit, state, and local affiliates have a membership of over 4,000 attorneys who are committed to helping those who have suffered unlawful treatment in the workplace to use private law enforcement to vindicate their rights.
NELA members and staff have identified the following six areas, set forth below in which there is an immediate need … Read More