NELA Executive Board Meeting
March 5–6, 2017
Seranno Hotel
San Francisco, CA

California Employment Lawyers Association
CELA Lobby Day
March 14, 2017
Sacramento, CA

Litigating Wage & Hour Cases: Challenges & Opportunities
March 31–April 1, 2017
Sheraton Silver Spring Hotel
Silver Spring, MD

Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association
MWELA Trial Boot Camp - Members Only
April 20–21, 2017
Washington, DC

California Employment Lawyers Association
13th Annual Advanced Wage & Hour Seminar
May 12, 2017
Hilton Glendale
Glendale, CA

NELA/NY Full Day Spring Employment Law CLE
May 12, 2017
Yale Club of New York City
New York, NY

Be The Change
NELA 2017 Annual Convention

June 21–24, 2017
Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter
San Antonio, TX

Florida NELA 2017 Labor Day Conference
September 1–2, 2017
The Don Cesar Resort
St. Petersburg Beach, FL

2017 Trial Boot Camp
October 12–14, 2017
Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza
Chicago, IL

California Employment Lawyers Association
30th Annual Employment Law Conference
October 20–21, 2017
(Skills Seminar on October 19)
Oakland Marriott City Center
Oakland, CA

-- 2018 --

NELA 2018 Annual Convention
June 27–30, 2018
Chicago Hilton
Chicago, IL



As part of fulfilling our mission to promote the interests of individual employees and assisting the lawyers who represent them, NELA files amicus curiae briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Courts of Appeals in cases involving employment and civil rights-related issues. The cases that are most appropriate for NELA's appearance as amicus curiae are those presenting emerging issues in employment and civil rights law, those seeking to extend current law to new situations involving clients of our members, or those challenging an existing body of law.

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Advancing Equality & Justice: Amicus Priorities For 2016–2017

NELA's amicus priorities guide the selection of cases in which NELA will appear as amicus, in conjunction with a determination of whether NELA can make a unique contribution to the case and whether we have the resource commitment needed to prepare a quality brief. Below are our priorities for 2016–2017.

  • Fight against forced arbitration of workplace disputes by supporting appeals of orders compelling arbitration.

  • Preserve access to juries by workers by strategically challenging summary judgment doctrines, preserving broad causation standards, and opposing denials of needed discovery.

  • Develop the law regarding disability discrimination by urging broad interpretation of reasonable accommodation, regarded as, and temporary disability standards. Argue for strict interpretation of direct threat and business necessity defenses. 

  • Challenge decisions limiting availability of class action and collective action procedural mechanisms for workers’ claims, and class action waivers.

  • Combat wage theft, including against low wage workers and in the sharing economy, and misclassification of exempt employees and independent contractors.

  • Argue for broad interpretation of statutes and development of laws protecting workers on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • Strategically oppose unfair ethics and sanctions orders to prevent a chilling effect on our members and other plaintiffs’ employment lawyers when appropriate in order to develop or change existing law.

Amicus briefs filed by NELA | NELA Amicus Guidelines | Request For Amicus Assistance Form

A Powerful Voice For Employee Rights

Member involvement is critical in making NELA an even stronger and more powerful voice for employee rights in our nation's capital and its courtrooms. NELA relies on the generous support of our members and volunteer brief writers in order to participate as amicus curiae. If you are interested in being an amicus author, please contact Matt Koski, NELA's Program Director ( and include the area(s) of law for which you would be willing to write a brief.

NELA Amicus Briefs

Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez (S.Ct.)
Issue: Class Certification

On August 31, 2015, NELA, joined by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), filed an amicus brief, in support of the respondent in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, No. 14-857, pending in the U.S. Supreme Court on appeal from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. This case concerns whether a rejected offer of judgment made under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 moots plaintiff’s individual and class claims before class certification. Although this is a consumer action, the Court’s ruling will apply to cases brought to enforce employment rights. The amicus brief was drafted by NELA member Adam W. Hansen, Nichols Kaster, PLLP, Minneapolis, MN.

Summary and brief

Green v. Brennan (10th Cir.)
Issue: Title VII

On July 13, 2015, NELA filed an amicus brief in support of petitioner in Green v. Brennan, No. 14-613, pending in the U.S. Supreme Court on appeal from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. This case concerns the timeliness of an EEO complaint alleging constructive discharge under Title VII.

Summary and brief

Monroe v. FTS USA, LLC (6th Cir.)
Issue: FLSA

On July 2, 2015, NELA filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff-appellees in Monroe v. FTS USA, LLC, No. 14-6063 (6th Cir.). This case asks the court to affirm a jury’s verdict that FTS’s company-wide policy requiring its cable technicians to work overtime hours without compensation violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The brief was written by NELA member Laura L. Ho and William C. Jhaveri-Weeks of Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho in Oakland, California. NELA members Rachhana T. Srey and Paul J. Lukas of Nichols Kaster, PLLC in Minneapolis, Minnesota served as counsel at the trial level where they obtained $3.8 million in damages in this collective action.

Summary and brief

Kaplan v. Saint Peter’s Healthcare System (3rd. Cir)
Stapleton v. Advocate Health Care Network (7th Cir)
Issue: ERISA

NELA joined AARP to file amicus briefs in support of the plaintiffs-appellees in Kaplan v. Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, No. 14-8125 (3d Cir.), and Stapleton v. Advocate Health Care Network, No. 15-1368 (7th Cir.). These cases challenge the claimed religious exemption from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s (ERISA) requirements by two large health care organizations. The amicus brief in Kaplan was filed on May 11, 2015 and the Stapleton brief was filed on May 13, 2015. The amicus briefs were drafted by NELA members Mary Ellen Signorille of AARP Foundation Litigation, Washington, DC and Ronald Dean, Pacific Palisades, CA.

Sumary and briefs

Saleem v. Corporate Transp. Group, Ltd.. (2nd Cir.)
Issue: Summary Judgment; FLSA

On April 28, 2015, NELA joined the National Employment Law Project (NELP), the Legal Aid Society of New York, Urban Justice Center, and Make the Road New York (MRNY) to file an amicus brief in support of plaintiffs-appellants Mazhar Saleem and more than 200 opt-in plaintiffs and others similarly situated in the case of Saleem v. Corporate Transp. Group, Ltd., Case No. 12-CV-8450, pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The issue on appeal is whether the district court erred in granting summary judgment to defendants and holding that the plaintiffs, drivers for defendants’ black car transportation business, were “independent contractors” instead of “employees” and thus not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The district court found for the defendants in spite of the “ample evidence in the record showing Plaintiffs meet the broad definition of ’employee’ under the FLSA as defined in settled Second Circuit law.” Amici urged the Second Circuit to reverse the district court’s decision and remand to allow a jury to decide the question of the drivers’ employment status under the FLSA.

Summary and brief

Stephenson v. Pfizer, Inc. (4th Cir.)
Issue: ADA

On March 9, 2015, NELA joined Disability Rights North Carolina and the National Disability Rights Network to file an amicus brief in support of plaintiff-appellant Whitney Stephenson in the case of Stephenson v. Pfizer, Inc., Case No. 14-2079, pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The issue on appeal is whether the district court erred in interpreting the language of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regarding the nature of the essential functions of the job and the scope of reasonable accommodations as set forth in the statute.

Summary and brief

NELA Amicus Brief Archive

Matt Koski
Program Director
415) 296-7629, ext. 103

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NELA's Washington Report

Published monthly, On The Hill: NELA's Washington Report is your link to employee rights developments in Washington, DC and at NELA.

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