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 2017–2018

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.

NELA Amicus Briefs | 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 Terry O'Neill, NELA's Executive Director ( and include the area(s) of law for which you would be willing to write a brief.


Ashley Westby
Program Manager
(202) 898-2880 ext. 123

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