Founded in 2008 by the National Employment Lawyers Association, The Institute's mission is to advocate for employee rights by advancing equality and justice in the American workplace.
The Institute will achieve its mission through a multi-disciplinary approach in combination with innovative legal strategies, policy development, grassroots advocacy, and public education. The Institute's current and future programmatic activities include:
- A National Litigation Strategy Project devoted to combating inequality and injustice in the workplace;
- The Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellowship Program, which offers a new lawyer who embodies the tireless spirit of Paul Tobias, Founder of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), the opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects at The Institute;
- The Employee Rights Advocacy Fellowship Program, which provides law students and new lawyers the opportunity to work in private plaintiff's employment law firms across the country, thereby cultivating the next generation of employee rights advocates;
- The Employee Rights Advocacy Scholarship Program, which enables public interest, legal services and private lawyers who otherwise could not afford to attend NELA's renowned continuing legal educational programs the opportunity to do so;
- Development of direct service educational programs and publications for underserved constituencies;
- Public education relating to eliminating mandatory arbitration of employment claims, abolishing the employment at-will doctrine, ensuring a fair and independent judiciary, and other workers' rights issues; and
- Non-partisan research and development of important issues affecting the American workplace.