NELA submits comments, letters, and testimony to the White House, Congress, and federal agencies in protecting and advancing employee rights. We also lead coalitions, such as Fair Arbitration Now, add our voice to coalition letters, and participate in advocacy campaigns. Read more about our work below.
114th Congress, 2015-2016
December 17: NELA Submits Comments In Support Of The Merit Systems Protection Board’s Interim Final Rule On Discovery
December 10: NELA Joins Demand To Seven Corporations Calling For Them To Stop Using Forced Arbitration
December 4: NELA Joins Letter Calling On Congress To Oppose Efforts That Strip Away Protections For Low-Wage Workers In H-2B Temporary Visa Program
October 29: NELA Joins Broad Coalition Of Women’s, Workers’, Civil Rights & Other Advocates In Support Of The Family Act
October 26: NELA Calls For Congress To Pass Clean Budget And Reject Attacks On CFPB’s Authority On Forced Arbitration
October 9: NELA Urges CA Governor Jerry Brown To Sign Bill Banning Forced Arbitration In Employment
September 10: NELA Joins Coalition Opposing Ideological Policy Riders
September 2: NELA Submits Comments On Department Of Labor’s Notice Of Public Rule Making On White Collar Exemptions From the Fair Labor Standards Act
August 26: NELA And The Institute Submit Comments On Fair Pay And Safe Workplaces Executive Order Regulations And Guidance
August 26: NELA And The Institute Sign On To Fair Arbitration Now Comments On Fair Pay And Safe Workplaces Executive Order Regulations And Guidance
August 20: NELA Signs On To Coalition Letter Requesting Review & Withdrawal Of Office Of Legal Counsel Religious Freedom Restoration Act Memorandum
July 15: NELA Joins Workers’ Rights Coalition To Support Schedules That Work Act
July 15: NELA Joins Letter Of Support For Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
June 19: NELA Signs On To Letter Opposing Proposed EEOC ADA Regulations on Employer Sponsored Wellness Programs
June 16: NELA Joins Letter Supporting Proposed DOL Rule Closing ERISA Loopholes
June 9: NELA Joins Coalition Letter Urging Restoration of Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protections
May 19: NELA, Workers' Rights Advocates, And Consumer Advocates Urge House Appropriations Committee To Reject Proposals Weakening Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
May 15: NELA And The Make It Safe Campaign (MISC) Urge DOL Secretary To Protect Whistleblower Rights
NELA Joins Coalition Opposing Fairness In Class Action Litigation Act Of 2015
On April 29, 2015, NELA joined a lengthy list of civil justice groups in opposing the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2015 (H.R. 1927) in a letter to Subcommittee Chairman Trent Franks (R - AZ) and Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-TN). The bill would effectively eviscerate consumer, employment, and civil rig hts class actions.
NELA, Fair Arbitration Now Coalition Commend Senator Dick Durbin and Congresswoman Maxine Waters For Introducing Court Legal Access And Student Support (CLASS) Act Of 2015
On April 27, 2015, NELA signed on to letters of support for the introduction of the Court Legal Access and Student Support (CLASS) Act of 2015 (S .1122/H.R. 2079) by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA). The bill would nullify the use of terms hidden in college enrollment contracts that require disputes between students and the institutions to be resolved by forced arbitration instead of in open court. It will also restore students' right to go to court individually or join their claims together in collective actions.
NELA Joins Coalition Of Women’s And LGBT Organizations In Supporting Proposed Changes To OFCCP Sex Discrimination Guidelines
NELA And The Leadership Conference On Civil And Human Rights (LCCHR) Join To Support Proposed Changes To OFCCP Sex Discrimination Guidelines
On April 14, 2015, NELA signed on to two letters spearheaded by women's and civil rights organizations supporting proposed changes to the Office of Federeal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) sex discrimination guidelines. The first was the letter of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR) addressing discrimination in pay; employers' obligations to protect against and respond to sex - based harassment; anti - LGBT bias as a form of unlawful sex - based discrimination; discrimination resulting from assumptions abou t women as caregivers; equality of workplace leave for women and men; and protections against pregnancy discrimination. The second letter was drafted by a coalition of women’s and LGBT organizations , and focused on the equal pay provisions of the proposed guidelines.
NELA Comments On EEOC's Federal Sector Complaints Process
NELA member Andrew J. Perlmutter (DC), who chairs the Rulemaking Committee of NELA's Federal Employee Rights Practice Group, led a working group of eight other NELA members in drafting NELA's extensive comments on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaint process in the federal sector. NELA's comments were filed on April 7, 2015.
NELA And The Consortium For Citizens With Disabilities (CCD) Oppose Reductions In Workers’ Unemployment and Social Security Disability Insurance
On March 17, 2015, NELA joined a letter to Congress, along with other workers' rights and poverty law advocates, opposing proposals to eliminate or reduce claimants' concurrent receipt of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and unemployment compensation insurance (UI) .
NELA And The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy Issue Statement On CFPB Forced Arbitration Study
On March 10, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a comprehensive study finding that forced arbitration clauses and class action waivers greatly restrict consumers' ability to obtain relief in disputes with financial service providers. On March 13, 2015, NELA and its related charitable public interest organization, The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy (The Institute), issued a statement on March 13, 2015, commending the CFPB for its study .
NELA Joins Thank You Letter To Labor Secretary For Strengthening Retirement Protections For Workers
On February 25, 2015, NELA and other organizations commended Labor Secretary Tom Perez for sending a proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to update and close loopholes in the 40-year-old rules that apply when individuals receive professional advice about retirement investments.
NELA Urges Swift Senate Confirmation Of Loretta Lynch For U.S. Attorney General
On February 25, 2015, NELA joined The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging members to vote to confirm Loretta Lynch to be Attorney General of the United States.
Banning Forced Arbitration—NELA/The Institute Join Protecting Access To Civil Justice Letter
On February 4, 2015, NELA and our related public interest organization, The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy (The Institute), joined more than 30 other organizations to send a letter drafted by the Coalition for Constitutional Values to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker John A. Boehner, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The purpose of the letter is to urge opposition to any laws or practices that limit access to courts of law or the ability of judges and juries to do their work, including forced arbitration.
113th Congress, 2013-2014
December 2014NELA Joins Coalition Comments In Support Of Prohibitions Against Pay Secrecy Policies & Actions
On December 16, 2014,NELA joined the ACLU and more than 100 organizations in a letter to express our strong support for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' proposed rule implementing Executive Order 13665, prohibiting government contractors from discharging, penalizing, or otherwise discriminating against any employee or applicant for discussing, disclosing, or inquiring about their compensation or that of another employee or applicant. This rule will protect members of our country's federal contracting workforce who wish to inquire about wages without fear of reprisal, and will help employees and employers alike to identify and correct pay disparities.
NELA Joins Coalition Letter To Protect Fair Pay And Safe Workplaces Executive Order
On November 13, 2014, NELA joined The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 40 organizations in a letter to Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) urging him to protect the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order against any attempts to diminish or undermine it during the lame duck session. This is critically important since the Department of Labor estimates that there are roughly 24,000 businesses with federal contracts, employing about 28 million workers—at least 20 percent of the civilian workforce.
NELA Files Comments On Civilian Employment And Reemployment Rights For Service Members, Former Service Members & Applicants Of The Uniformed Services
On September 24, 2014 NELA and the Reserve Officers Association (ROA) jointly submitted comments to the Department of Defense (DoD) regarding its final rules updating established policy, assigned responsibilities, and procedures for informing service members and individuals who apply for uniformed service of their civilian employment and reemployment rights, benefits, and obligations.
NELA Submits Comments To MSPB On Interim Final Rule Implementing Veteran’s Access To Care Act
On September 16, 2014, NELA filed comments in response to the Merit Systems Protection Board's Interim Final Rule implementing Section 707 of the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014, Pub.L. 113-146 ("Section 707").
NELA Supports DOL’s Proposed Expansion Of FMLA "Spouse" Definition
NELA on August 8, 2014 submitted comments to the Department of Labor (DOL) supporting the agency’s proposed change to the definition of “spouse” in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to refer to all legally married individuals, including same-sex spouses who live in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage.
NELA, Fair Arbitration Now Coalition Applauds Fair Pay And Safe Workplaces Executive Order
NELA and its Fair Arbitration Now coalition partners issued a statement praising the President’s for signing the Fair Pay And Safe Workplaces Executive Order, and urging Congress to ban forced arbitration for all employment disputes by enacting the Arbitration Fairness Act (AFA, H.R. 1844/S. 878).
NELA, Whistleblower Coalition Urges SEC Action To Curb Retaliation Against Corporate Whistleblowers
A national whistleblower coalition, including NELA, on July 19, 2014 wrote the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to express concern about the widespread and growing problem of retaliation against corporate whistleblowers.
NELA Submits Comments To EEOC On Creating A Model Federal Workplace
NELA on July 11, 2014 submitted comments in response to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s May 15, 2014 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for new regulations to enhance protections granted to disabled federal employees and to further the mission of the federal government serving as a "model employer" in this area.
Diverse Coalition Urges DOJ To Withdraw 2007 Office Of Legal Counsel Memorandum
On June 10, 2014, NELA joined a diverse group of 90 religious, education, civil rights, labor, LGBT, women’s, and health organizations to urge Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. to review and withdraw a 2007 Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) Memorandum which potentially provides a blanket override of statutory non-discrimination provisions and threatens core civil rights protections.
NELA Comments On MSPB’s Procedural Regulations Proposals
On May 2, 2014, NELA submitted comments in response to the Merit Systems Protection Board’s Proposed Rule addressing procedural regulations.
NELA Submits Comments To EEOC On Improving Federal Sector Complaint Process
On April 22, 2014, NELA submitted comments to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on the Proposed Modification to Management Directive 110 improving federal sector complaint process.
NELA And 236 Civil Rights Organizations Urge U.S. Senators To Vote "Yes" For The Minimum Wage Fairness Act (S. 1737)
On March 31, 2014, NELA and its coalition partners wrote all U.S. Senators to urge them to vote "Yes" on an expected April floor vote on the Minimum Wage Fairness Act (S. 1737).
NELA Recommends USERRA And Tax Code Reforms To Protect Servicemembers’ Employment Rights
On March 27, 2014, NELA issued a statement and submitted testimony for the record to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Oversight, Federal Rights and Agency Action on "Access To Justice For Those Who Serve." NELA, working with several other organizations including the Reserve Officers Association, recommends significant reforms to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and important tax code changes to protect U.S. servicemembers’ private sector employment rights.
NELA, Coalition Partners Ask U.S. Senators To Take Specific Steps To Ensure A Highly Competent, Professionally Diverse Judiciary
On March 27, 2014, NELA and other organizations, including the Alliance for Justice (AFJ) and the American Association of University Women, wrote all U.S. Senators to emphasize the importance of professional diversity on the federal bench. The letter, which follows a February 6, 2014 Congressional briefing cosponsored by NELA, and an AFJ report, includes specific suggestions for meeting this objective. NELA in 2012 issued a "Special Report - Judicial Hostility To Workers' Rights: The Case For Professional Diversity On The Federal Bench."
NELA Urges Senate Vote To Confirm DOL Wage & Hour Administrator
On March 18, 2014, NELA and other civil and women’s rights and labor and employment advocates wrote Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-NV) to urge him to schedule the nomination of Professor David Weil for a Senate floor vote. President Obama first nominated Weil in September 2013 to fill the critical, yet long-vacant position of Wage& Hour Administrator at the U.S. Department of Labor.
NELA Files Supplemental Comments Opposing Proposed Changes To The Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure
On February 18, 2014, NELA wrote the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Administrative Office of the United States Court to correct the Committee’s mischaracterization of a 2009 survey of NELA members. The letter makes clear that the 2009 survey does not support proposed changes to the Rules regarding proportionality and limiting discovery.
NELA Supports Nomination Of Debo Adegbile As Civil Rights Division Head
NELA joined 75 civil and human rights organizations in a letter supporting the swift confirmation of Debo Adegbile, who has been nominated to be Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
NELA & Coalition Partners Ask Senate To Pass The "Arbitration Fairness Act"
On December 16, 2013, NELA and more than 42 organizations submitted a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the "Arbitration Fairness Act" (AFA, S. 878). The Judiciary Committee scheduled a December 17, 2013 hearing on the bill.
NELA Submits Comments Opposing MSPB’s Proposed Jurisdictional Changes
On December 6, 2013, NELA submitted comments to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) noting that NELA does not believe that the proposed modifications are necessary and urged the Board to reject the agency’s working group’s proposals.
NELA Joins 49 Civil & Human Rights Organizations To Support Senate “Equal Employment For All Act”
On December 3, 2013, NELA and 49 other organizations wrote the Senate in support of the “Equal Employment For All Act,” a bill Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) intends to introduce. This bill, a companion measure to H.R. 645, would reduce employment discrimination and protect job seekers’ privacy by prohibiting employers from using credit checks as part of their hiring and promotion decisions for most positions
NELA & Disability Rights Community Urge Senate To Confirm Feldblum To EEOC
On November 25, 2013, NELA joined 36 disability rights organizations, including the American Diabetes Association, in a letter urging the Senate to schedule promptly a vote on the reappointment of Chai Feldblum for a second term on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Many NELA members who specialize in disability law signed a November 19, 2013 letter submitted by individual attorneys from around the country. Feldblum was confirmed on December 12, 2013.
NELA Opposes H.R. 2655, "The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act"
On November 12, 2013, NELA wrote Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to reiterate strong opposition to the misnamed “Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2013” (LARA, H.R. 2655).
NELA Joins Civil & Human Rights Groups Urging Congress To Support Critical Resources For The Federal Judiciary
On September 17, 2013, NELA and 26 other civil and human rights organizations wrote Congress to emphasize the need for adequate funding and resources for the federal judiciary.
NELA Submits Comments Regarding MSPB’s Draft Strategic Plan for FY 2014-18
On September 4, 2013, NELA submitted comments in response to the Merit Systems Protection Board's (MSPB) August 5, 2013, news release seeking input on the MSPB's draft Strategic Plan for FY 2014-2018. NELA wishes to thank Passman & Kaplan, P.C. (and Andrew Perlmutter in particular) for drafting these comments on NELA's behalf.
NELA Endorses The "Investor Choice Act Of 2013"
On August 2, 2013, NELA, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), and several Forced Arbitration Now (FAN) coalition members wrote Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) to commend him for introducing the "Investor Choice Act of 2013" (H.R. 2998).The bill amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to ban pre-dispute forced arbitration provisions in agreements between individual investors and broker/dealers or investment advisors.
NELA Tells U.S. Senators That D.C. Circuit Nominees Deserve A Vote
On July 31, 2013, NELA and 96 national organizations wrote all U.S. Senators to urge them to ensure that the Senate holds yes-or-no votes on President Obama's three nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
NELA Opposes So-Called "Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act"
On July 22, 2013, NELA and other groups wrote the House Judiciary Committee to express strong opposition to the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act (H.R. 2655). Among other things, this bill would strip judges of their discretion to sanction lawyers who represent individuals in civil rights, employment, environmental, and consumer cases by making sanctions mandatory and rolling back improvements in the civil justice system resulting from the 1993 amendments to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
NELA, 84 Other Organizations, Ask Full Senate To Allow Vote On Secretary Of Labor Nominee Tom Perez
On July 12, 2013, NELA and 84 other organizations asked the full Senate to allow an up or down vote on the nomination of Tom Perez for Secretary of Labor. The letter also urged Senators to vote "yes" on Perez's nomination.
NELA Conveys Support To Senate For DOL's "Companionship Exemption" Rule For Home Healthcare Workers
On July 10, 2013, NELA joined other organizations in urging the Senate Appropriations Committee to oppose any legislative riders that would prevent the implementation of the Department of Labor's "companionship exemption" rule for home health care workers. There were no amendments offered during the markup.
NELA Urges Senate To Act On D.C. Circuit Nominations
On June 5, 2013, NELA joined 21 national organizations to urge the Senate to consider President Obama's nominations to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit promptly and to end obstruction of his nominees.
NELA, Diverse Coalition Supports S. 942/H.R. 1975, "Pregnant Workers Fairness Act"
On May 23, 2013, NELA and a diverse coalition of supporters wrote Congress in support of the "Pregnant Workers Fairness Act."
NELA, Fair Arbitration Now Coalition Opposes Forced Arbitration Provisions Of H.R. 1773, "Agricultural Guestworker Act"
On May 15, 2013, NELA and the Fair Arbitration Now coalition urged the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee of the House Committee on the Judiciary to reject Section 6 of H.R. 1773, which would force agricultural guest workers into binding, pre-dispute arbitration.
NELA Opposes H.R. 1406, "Working Families Flexibility Act Of 2013"
On May 6, 2013, NELA joined coalition partners to oppose the misnamed "Working Families Flexibility Act," a bill that would undermine the Fair Labor Standards Act and effectively cut workers' pay without a guarantee of time off.
April 2013 NELA Supports The "Employment Non-Discrimination Act Of 2013"
On April 24, 2013, NELA joined more than 87 other organizations to urge Congress to enact S. 815, the "Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) of 2013."
NELA & MWELA Join Passman & Kaplan, P.C. In Submitting Comments On Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) Revisions To Form 185
On April 23, 2013, NELA, the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA), and Passman & Kaplan, P.C. responded to the Merit Systems Protection Board's (MSPB) request for comments regarding changes to Revised MSPB Form 185 recently proposed by the Board. These comments are in response to the notice entitled "Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection" published by the MSPB, which appeared in the Federal Register at 78 Fed.Reg. 20,142-20,144 on April 3, 2013.
NELA Files Supplemental Comments On EEOC Quality Control Plan
On April 8, 2013, NELA filed supplemental comments regarding the EEOC's Quality Control Plan (QCP). These comments responded to issues raised during the March 20, 2013 Roundtable on the QCP.
NELA Participates In EEOC Roundtable On Quality Control Plan
On March 20, 2013, Daniel B. Kohrman, NELA Vice President of Public Policy, represented NELA at the EEOC meeting on the development of the agency's Quality Control Plan (QCP) for investigations and conciliations. Also participating in the meeting were former NELA president Mary Anne Sedey (MO) and NELA member Elizabeth Kristen of the Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center (CA).
NELA Urges Congress To Enact The "Fair Minimum Wage Act Of 2013"
On March 5, 2013, NELA joined a long list of diverse organizations ranging from the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce to the Main Street Alliance in supporting S.460/H.R.1010, the "Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013."
NELA Submits Comments On EEOC's Quality Control Plan (QCP)
On March 1, 2013, NELA submitted comments to the EEOC on the QCP, a component of the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).
NELA Submits Comments On Federal Discovery Rule Changes
On March 1, 2013, NELA submitted comments to the U.S. Judicial Conference's Advisory Committee on Civil Rules concerning potential changes to certain civil discovery rules that the Advisory Committee will discuss at its April 2013 meeting.
NELA Urges President To Ban Federal Contractors From Discriminating Against LGBT Employees
On February 20, 2013, NELA and 52 other organizations signed a coalition letter urging President Obama to issue an Executive Order banning federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees.
NELA & NELA Members Provide Input On DOL Administrative Law Judge Hearing Rules & Practices
On February 4, 2013, NELA and several NELA members submitted comments to the Department of Labor regarding proposed changes to Administrative Law Judge hearing rules and practices.
NELA Urges Congress To Enact The "Paycheck Fairness Act"
On February 1, 2013, NELA and its coalition partners wrote Congress to urge cosponsorship and active support for S.84/H.R.377, the "Paycheck Fairness Act."
NELA Encourages House Members To Cosponsor The "Equal Employment For All Act"
On January 31, 2013, NELA and 46 other organizations signed a coalition letter encouraging members of the House of Representatives to cosponsor H.R. 645, the "Equal Employment for All Act" to prohibit the use of consumer credit checks against certain prospective and current employees.
NELA Supports A Fair Federal Budget
On January 29, 2013, NELA signed a follow-up letter to the November 9, 2012 budget letter urging Congress, as it debates the debt limit, to "insist on policies that create jobs; oppose benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; protect our nation's safety net; and ensure adequate revenues to preserve the basic functions of government."
NELA Submits Comments Regarding EEOC Federal Sector Complement Plan
On January 24, 2013, NELA and the NELA member firm of Passman & Kaplan, P.C. submitted comments concerning the EEOC's Federal Sector Complement Plan to the Strategic Enforcement Plan for Fiscal Years 2013-2016.
NELA & NELA/Illinois Join Forces On Judicial Nominations
On January 17, 2013, NELA/Illinois and other Illinois constituent groups wrote to Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), Assistant Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate, expressing their concern about the judicial nominations process, thanking Senator Durbin for his considerable past support on this issue, and urging him to increase his efforts in this area. NELA and NELA/Illinois took an active role in drafting and coordinating this letter.
NELA, MWELA & Passman & Kaplan, P.C. Team Up To Comment On Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) Revisions To Form 185
On January 15, 2013, NELA, the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA), and Passman & Kaplan, P.C. responded to the MSPB's request for comments regarding its proposed revisions to MSPB Form 185. While the three sets of comments supported many of the Board's proposed revisions, the comments were unified in urging that MSPB Form 185 remain optional for filing appeals.