On Tuesday, September 7, NELA joined a coalition of 90+ organizations in supporting Kalpana Kotagal’s nomination to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Ms. Kotagal’s lifetime commitment to civil rights and equal justice as well as her creativity and leadership will benefit the EEOC and workers across the country. NELA endorses Ms. Kotagal and, along with our coalition partners, strongly urges the Senate to confirm her to serve on this commission.Read More
For immediate release
Concord, CA – June 24, 2022
Contact: Andrea Hansen, (509) 306-1867, firstname.lastname@example.org
Since the founding of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) in 1985, and the National Institute for Workers’ Rights in 2008, our shared vision for working people has remained constant: 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. Full civil rights and equality for women and people of color are essential to workplace equity.
As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, abortion services will become unavailable to millions of workers across the country. By permitting states to interfere in the private medical decisions of those who are pregnant, the economic security and physical safety of all women are now at risk. This risk will be disproportionately borne by low-income workers and families, and by women of color.
NELA lawyers represent workers in all fifty states and fight daily mistreatment by employers–including gender, race, and pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment and assault, and denial of benefits.
Linda Correia, President of NELA and Institute board member stated: … Read More
By a vote of 53 to 47, the Senate today confirmed the appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court, making her the first Black woman justice to serve on the high court in its 233-year history. All 50 Senate Democrats and three Senate Republicans voted in good faith to confirm her appointment. Justice Jackson’s historic confirmation is a culmination of her decades in public service as a Supreme Court clerk, public defender, District Court Judge, and most recently judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) celebrates this profound milestone in our nation’s history, and we congratulate Justice Jackson on her well-deserved achievement.
The United States needs judges on the bench who have a diversity of backgrounds, informed by real-life experience. The Supreme Court is the final word on many issues that profoundly affect the lives of working people, including those who have been victims of wage theft, workers who have experienced unjust harassment or discrimination, and those who face dangerous and unsafe conditions in their workplace.
NELA has long advocated for demographic and experiential diversity on the bench – both are crucial to ensuring that … Read More
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Dear Chairman Durbin, Ranking Member Grassley, and Committee Members:
On behalf of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), and its 4,000 national, circuit, state, and local affiliate members across the country, we write to express our strongest possible recommendation and our enthusiastic support for the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court. We are proud to support President Biden’s inspiring and historic choice in nominating Judge Jackson. As our nation’s highest court, the Supreme Court oversees federal action on workers’ rights, among the many matters addressed by the Court.
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 empowers workers’ rights attorneys through legal training, promoting a fair judiciary, and advocating for laws and policies that level the playing field for workers. Our members litigate daily in every federal district and circuit, affording NELA a unique perspective on the profound impact of the judiciary on the daily lives and the rights of working people.
First and foremost, NELA seeks to ensure that the judges who hear and render decisions in … Read More
By Corinne A. Williams, National Institute for Workers’ Rights PHT Attorney Fellow
The confirmation of a Black woman to the Supreme Court will be a huge affirmation of what we already know to be true, that there are and have been scores of Black women who are more than qualified to serve on the Supreme Court in its 232-year history. Black women are some of the most brilliant and tactful jurists on the bench and there is a very long list of Black women attorneys who are powerful advocates in the courtroom, strong leaders in boardrooms, and brilliant thinkers in academic settings. There has never been a shortage of Black women who are deeply qualified to serve. But, despite the national treasure that we have in highly qualified Black women, there is an enormous lack of willingness of those in power to elevate us to positions of power and influence in this country.
This is an extraordinary moment—for all Black women and Black people, for all women, and for all working people. We are eager to see President Biden’s commitment to nominating a Black woman to the Supreme Court fulfilled, because we know that this moment in history is not … Read More
Yesterday, the Senate passed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 (S. 2342). The bill gives survivors the chance to have their case heard in a court of law, rather than being forced into arbitration, away from public view. NELA and its public education and advocacy organization, the National Institute for Workers’ Rights (formerly the Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy), have worked for over a decade to end forced arbitration in the workplace. In 2009, the Institute coined the term “forced arbitration” following the release of significant public opinion research. Recently, NELA members from across the country lobbied for the end of this unjust practice during our 2021 Virtual Lobby Day. We look forward to the President’s signature on this historic piece of legislation.
NELA applauds the Senate for coming together in a unified and bipartisan fashion to support an issue that affects every segment of the workforce. We celebrate today’s victory, but this is not the end of our call to action. No worker, whether their claim relates to sexual harassment, stolen wages, or illegal discrimination based on race, disability, LGBTQ+ status, gender, or other reasons, should be denied the … Read More
The Ending Forced Arbitration Of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 (H.R. 4445) passed with bipartisan support yesterday, 335–97. NELA has been working for two decades to end forced arbitration, the pernicious employer practice of barring workers from pursuing justice in open court. The “Me Too” movement exposed aspects of the terrible harm done by forced arbitration clauses, which shield employers from accountability for sexual assault and sexual harassment in the workplace, enabling this conduct to continue unabated. Yesterday’s House vote is a victory in the fight to end forced arbitration. We applaud the House on this bipartisan vote.
NELA urges the Senate to pass this bill. But this is not the end of our call to action. More is needed. No worker—whether their claim relates to sexual harassment, stolen wages, or illegal harassment based on race, disability, LGBTQ+ status, or other reasons, should be denied the right to pursue justice in a court of law, in the full light of day. We call on both the House and Senate to pass the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act (FAIR Act S. 505/H.R. 963) which would broadly prohibit forced arbitration of workplace and consumer disputes.… Read More
The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) and National Institute for Workers’ Rights (the Institute) thank Justice Stephen Breyer for his nearly 30 years of service on the U.S. Supreme Court. He will leave a legacy of opinions in support of women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, health care, and civil liberties—issues that affect working people from all walks of life.
As we honor Justice Breyer’s legacy, we celebrate this opportunity for President Biden to keep his commitment to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court. We support the Biden Administration in continuing to bring both demographic and experiential diversity to the federal bench, which is far stronger, fairer and more reflective of our country today as a result. NELA and the Institute will continue to advocate for a federal bench that upholds our commitment to civil rights and equal justice on issues that affect working people. We urge President Biden and the Senate to move forward expeditiously, and to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court from among our nation’s abundance of highly qualified women jurists, scholars and lawyers.
About the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA)
Founded in 1985, the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) is the nation’s largest bar … Read More
Contact: Andrea Hansen, email@example.com, (509) 306-1867
The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) celebrates today’s U.S. Senate vote confirming Judge Myrna Pérez to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Pérez is one of only two Latinx judges serving on the Second Circuit, which serves a diverse region with a large Latinx community. She is also the first Latina to serve on the Second Circuit since Justice Sonia Sotomayor was appointed to the Supreme Court. Latinx Americans make up only eight percent of active federal judges in the nation.
Pérez’s extensive experience as a litigator and legal academic makes her eminently qualified to serve on the Second Circuit. Her deep expertise in voting rights and election law is critically important. Ensuring that the federal bench includes more attorneys whose careers have been devoted to advancing civil and individual rights is vital to our democracy.
NELA has long advocated for and spoken out about the importance of experiential diversity on the bench. Research shows that judges with corporate or prosecutorial backgrounds are far more likely to rule against workers. Demographic and professional diversity within the federal judiciary is essential to ensure that workers have a fair shot at justice.
NELA is … Read More
Division of Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation
Wage and Hour Division
U.S. Department of Labor
Re: RIN 1235-AA41, Comments in Response to Proposed Rulemaking: Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors
To Whom It May Concern:
The National Employment Lawyers Association (“NELA”) is submitting these comments regarding the U.S. Department of Labor’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) on the increased minimum wage for federal contractors.
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 employee rights and serve 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 working on behalf of those who have faced illegal treatment in the workplace. NELA has filed numerous amicus curiae briefs before the United States Supreme Court and other federal appellate courts regarding the proper interpretation of federal civil rights and worker protection laws and comments on relevant Notices of Proposed Rulemaking. NELA also engages in legislative advocacy on behalf of workers throughout the United States. Many NELA members represent workers … Read More
Division of Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation
Wage and Hour Division
U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502
200 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20210
NELA Comments on RIN 1235-AA34: Independent Contractor Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act; Withdrawal
Dear Ms. DeBisschop:
The National Employment Lawyers Association (“NELA”) submits these comments on the Department of Labor’s (“Department” or “DOL”) Request for Comment on Withdrawal of RIN 1235-AA34; Fed. Reg. Vol. 86, 14027 (March 12, 2021), following publication of a final Independent Contractor Rule (“Rule”) and delay of the effective date of the Rule.
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 employee rights and serve 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 working on behalf of those who have faced illegal treatment in the workplace. NELA has filed numerous amicus curiae briefs before the United States Supreme Court and other federal appellate courts regarding the proper interpretation of federal civil rights … Read More
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