June 4, 2020

National Employment Lawyers Association And
The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy
Joint Statement On The Long Road To Racial Justice
In This Country

NELA and The Institute express our profound outrage and sadness regarding the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others in this country who have lost their lives because of the color of their skin.

We can never accept brutality and inequity. As workers’ rights advocates, we see every day the insidious ways racism and bias strip people of their human rights, rights to equal pay, equal treatment, and even the right to feel safe at work. NELA and The Institute will never accept institutionalized exclusion and oppression of Black people; the results of this injustice are born out in pay disparities, poverty and unemployment levels, and health and health care disparities that have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. We share the anger and sorrow of our communities. We share the responsibility and the labor for blazing a different trail, and recognize this as a call to an even greater commitment in our work and lives.

NELA and The Institute were founded to strengthen the legal system to better protect workers, to uphold and advance workers’ rights in the face of injustice, and to equip advocates for the fight. Racial justice is a central tenet of our work, and we condemn actions that dehumanize and devalue Black people. No one should have to fear for their lives simply because they are living their lives. We call on elected officials, business leaders, the judiciary—all those with influence—to work with us to eradicate the biased practices and laws that have led to inequity in our neighborhoods and workplaces.

There is much yet to do to achieve racial justice in this country, and through this struggle our way is lit by the hope that change is possible. We thank our NELA and Institute family for walking this path to justice with us each day.