2021–2023 Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellowship

Founded in 2008, The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy (The Institute) is NELA’s partner organization. The Institute’s mission is to advance workers’ rights through research, thought leadership, and education for policymakers, advocates, and the public.

Founded in 1985, the National Employment Lawyers Association’s (NELA’s) mission is to empower workers’ rights attorneys through legal training, promoting a fair judiciary, and advocating for laws and policies that level the playing field for workers. We are the country’s largest professional organization that is exclusively comprised of lawyers who represent employees in cases involving employment discrimination and harassment, wage theft, employee benefits, and other employment-related matters. For more information about NELA, visit www.nela.org.

Working hand-in-hand, NELA and The Institute reach broadly—engaging advocates, organizations, coalitions, legislators, academics, agency officials, media, and the public—to create a more just workplace. We aspire to 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.

About The Fellowship

Paul H. Tobias is the founder and first Executive Director of NELA, and has inspired countless employee rights advocates for over fifty years through his ongoing, pioneering contributions to the field of plaintiffs’ employment law. To cultivate the next generation of employee rights advocates, The Paul H. Tobias (PHT) Attorney Fellowship Program offers a new lawyer who embodies Paul’s spirit the opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects at NELA and The Institute.

The 2021-2023 Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellowship is a two-year placement with an annual stipend of $54,000; $1,000 in professional development funding; 100% employer paid health, dental, and vision insurance; annual leave; and medical leave. The Fellowship period is flexible, and may commence between September–November 2021 and end between September 1–December 31, 2023.

The PHT Fellow will be a regular full-time staff member, and works in support of both the Program Manager and Legislative and Public Policy Director in our exciting Washington, D.C. office. NELA and The Institute also have an office in Concord, CA and will work with exceptional candidates who prefer that location. Please contact Ashley Westby (awestby@nelahq.org) with any questions about the location.

In addition to providing programmatic support, the PHT fellow will work on various independent research projects, approved by, and in conjunction with the policy goals of, the Program Manager and/or Legislative and Public Policy Director. The 2021-2023 PHT Fellow will have the opportunity to develop original signature projects such as:

  • Compiling, drafting, and editing The Employee Rights Briefing, The Institute’s monthly newsletter;
  • Publishing one or more white papers or issue briefs educating the public about workers’ rights;
  • Creating research, data, and in-depth analysis relating to the gig economy, forced arbitration, forced privatization of claims by employees, or workplace harassment;
  • Publishing web-based fact sheets on the gig economy, forced arbitration, workplace harassment, and other topics germane to workers’ rights;
  • Supporting the Legislative and Public Policy Director’s creation of toolkits containing information, talking points, phone scripts, and other materials for the promotion of NELA’s legislative priorities;
  • Developing a plan for gathering and publishing the stories of workers who have fought back against violations of their rights;
  • Writing articles and blog posts on substantive policy areas impacting workers’ rights;
  • Monitoring and posting content on social media in conjunction with the communications team;
  • It is possible that the PHT Fellow would be called upon to support the Director of Operations in the creation of a platform through which NELA state and local affiliates can share, promote, and enact model state legislation. If this project is undertaken, some other duties would be scaled back accordingly.

During the first six months of the PHT Fellowship, the Program Manager and PHT Fellow will collaborate on a two-year implementation plan, designed to ensure the PHT Fellow is working in furtherance of the NELA/Institute’s Strategic Plan, which is updated annually. The PHT Fellow will also engage in weekly status calls with the Program Manager to discuss projects, questions, concerns, and overall performance.

NELA and The Institute are equal opportunity employers. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. NELA and The Institute encourage applications from all persons without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

NELA and The Institute make every effort to assure that our recruitment and employment practices provide all persons, including persons with disabilities, with full opportunities for employment in all positions.

NELA and The Institute are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities. If you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying online, please e-mail nelahq@nelahq.org or call (415) 296-7629.  If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

Please feel free to reach out to Ashley Westby, Program Manager, at awestby@nelahq.org with any questions regarding this Position Description.

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