Government Affairs Associate

The National Employment Law Project seeks a dynamic and creative Government Affairs Associate to collaborate with other NELP staff and partner organizations in advocating for NELP’s priorities before Congress, the White House, federal administrative and executive agencies, as well as state legislatures and executive branches.The Government Affairs Associate position offers an opportunity to join a committed and high-impact team at NELP that, in partnership with other national, local, and grass roots organizations, works to improve economic opportunity and security through work for low-wage workers. The position will be based in our Washington (DC) office.

Who We Are

NELP is a national non-profit with offices in New York, Washington (DC), and Berkeley, promoting federal, state, and local policies designed to ensure that all workers—particularly people of color, women, and the unemployed—can achieve and sustain economic opportunity and security through their labor. These include policies to improve the quality of low-wage jobs, strengthen access to work and mobility within work, create and enforce strong labor standards and rights, and improve benefits and services for the unemployed. NELP believes that we will achieve our mission only when we have dismantled structural racism, addressed income inequality, and built worker power. In collaboration with national and grassroots partners, NELP advances its work through research, advocacy, litigation support and technical assistance designed to raise wages, end wage theft and workplace violations, ensure safe and healthy workplaces, strengthen unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation, secure employer accountability, expand employment of people with arrest and conviction records, and promote a comprehensive policy framework to build a good jobs economy. For more information, see

NELP is an organization that advocates for workers’ rights, including the right to organize and bargain over working conditions.  We are proud that bargaining unit staff at NELP are members of Local 2320, UAW.

What You Will Do

You will work in conjunction with NELP’s staff of lawyers, policy and program experts, researchers, and strategic communications experts. As NELP’s Government Affairs Associate, you will:

  • Lobby Congress, the Administration and federal agencies about NELP’s core issues and priorities, including coordinating lobby visits for coalitions and allies;
  • Draft Congressional or other testimony, op-eds, reports, talking points, and other documents as necessary;
  • Assist with state and local legislative and administrative campaigns as needed;
  • Work with all the NELP teams and campaigns to advance our priorities and to develop policies to help improve economic security for our nation’s low wage workers;
  • Represent NELP in the media, including print, radio, television, and social media, as appropriate;
  • Help strengthen NELP’s efforts to support our core goals of dismantling structural racism, building worker power, and reducing economic inequality
  • Represent NELP in coalitions and community events, and public forums;
  • Keep abreast of relevant information, resources, tools, and developments in the federal domestic economic policy field.
  • Contribute to NELP’s fundraising, grant proposals, project reports, newsletters and web materials as needed.

Who You Are

You have at least a college degree plus 1 year of experience working in a related field, or equivalent education and experience (high school or GED plus 5 years of relevant experience). The ideal candidate would have many of the following characteristics, though we will not rule out otherwise qualified candidates simply because they do not satisfy all the items described below:

  • You have a strong interest in and passion for social and economic justice, as reflected by involvement in professional or volunteer activities or study related to labor/employment rights, civil rights, racial justice, anti-poverty work and domestic economic policy.
  • You have a demonstrated and articulable commitment to NELP’s core goals of dismantling structural racism, building worker power, and reducing economic inequality
  • You have a strong experience in developing and applying a racial equity framework to programmatic and policy work.
  • You enjoy being a part of a team, whether the team is made of colleagues within your organization or the team involves people from multiple organizations. You are skilled at working collaboratively and supportively with other co-workers and teammates.
  • You may describe yourself as a “people person.” You thrive in roles that involve meeting new people and forging productive working relationships with them. You have a track-record of starting or leading new initiatives or existing projects at work, in school, or in your community.
  • You have demonstrable experience and knowledge in working in partnership with anti-racist and/or Black-led organizations.
  • You are a confident and comfortable public speaker and have experience speaking in front of a variety of audiences.
  • You enjoy writing and are able to write persuasively, succinctly and, when needed, quickly, for a wide range of audiences.
  • You are eager to learn about the complex issues NELP works on. You are able to synthesize complicated information into persuasive and digestible messages and talking points.
  • You have strong research and analytical skills.
  • You are able to work independently and creatively.
  • You are organized. You are skilled in creating your own or using existing systems for organizing and maintaining information and data and keeping track of extensive contacts. You are effective in managing your time and balancing multiple expectations and demands.
  • The following qualifications, though not essential, are a plus: Experience working with allies such as unions, worker centers, faith-based organizations, and policymakers, elected and appointed; Spanish-language fluency.

Start date and compensation:  This is a position in our Washington D.C. office. Start date will be as soon as possible. Classification and compensation for NELP bargaining unit positions is commensurate with relevant experience and education and based on NELP’s collectively bargained scales.  The Government Affairs Associate salary range for 1-5 years of experience is $47,650-$58,700. Compensation also includes an excellent benefits package, including student loan repayment assistance for qualifying participants. This position is in NELP’s bargaining unit, represented by National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW Local 2320.

To apply: Submit your cover letter, resume, three references, and two different types of writing samples on, choosing the “Government Affairs Associate” application. If you have questions regarding this announcement, please forward those to, noting “Government Affairs Associate—Application” in the subject line. No phone calls or other email inquiries please. We will consider applications on a rolling basis and hope to select the candidate to fill the position by mid-August if at all possible.

NELP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an equal opportunity, fair chance, affirmative action employer, committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

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