Senior Researcher, Work Equity

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) seeks a dynamic, experienced, and skilled person to join our Work Equity team as a Senior Researcher and Policy Analyst to advance NELP’s programs and policy campaigns, with a particular focus on addressing the impacts of occupational segregation for communities of color and directly impacted people with records. We are seeking someone with expertise and experience in rigorous racial equity focused analyses and research. This is an extraordinary opportunity to leverage your talent to join a team that is at the forefront of ensuring people obtain good jobs where equity is built into policy and culture.

Who We Are

Founded in 1969, the nonprofit National Employment Law Project (NELP) is a leading advocacy organization with the mission to build a just and inclusive economy where all workers have expansive rights and thrive in good jobs. Together with local, state, and national partners, NELP advances its mission through transformative legal and policy solutions, research, capacity building, and communications. Our victories over the last decade have impacted the lives of an estimated 100 million workers and their families. We lead and collaborate in fights for higher pay and just benefits, secure and safe jobs, and support at each stage in a worker’s life. For more information, read our annual reports and explore our website:

NELP has a team of 55 staff people based across offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Berkeley, CA, with an 11-person Board of Directors, an annual budget of $17M-$20M, and hundreds of partners in the field with whom we work to further our mission.


What You Will Do
You may be based in any of NELP’s three office locations (Berkeley, California; New York City; or Washington D.C.) and will report to the Director of Work Equity. You will work in conjunction with NELP’s staff of lawyers, policy experts, researchers, and strategic communications experts. As a member of the Work Equity team, you will advance our long-term vision to ensure people obtain good jobs where equity is built into policy and culture—that we advance at work inclusive of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, social class, conviction record, family or immigration status, and disability. Your work includes:

  • Authoring original research products combining empirical work and policy analysis that center racial equity; plus, drafting reports, op-eds, blogs, and educational materials to amplify our policy agenda.
  • Designing, analyzing, and synthesizing surveys, focus groups, or participatory research to ensure our policy agenda is responsive to the needs and experiences of workers of color and amplifies the lived expertise of Black, immigrant workers.
  • Advocating for local, state, and federal policies that will raise the labor standards for all workers by centering Black, immigrant workers and people with records.
  • Cultivating thoughtful, strategic partnerships and serving as a technical expert by providing legal, policy, research, communications, and strategic support to allies and for campaigns across the country.
  • Conducting media and literature reviews or drafting research to support amicus briefs and strategic litigation.
  • Representing NELP in coalitions, public forums, legislative and agency hearings, and in the media.
  • Sharpening the vision of our work equity strategic priorities with a racial equity framework in collaboration with our team.

Who You Are

  • You have seven+ years’ research and advocacy experience in criminal justice reform, labor and employment rights, civil rights and racial justice, or other social or economic justice issues. 
  • You have a PhD, DRPH, or Master’s degree in policy, public administration, public health, labor studies, economics, or a related social sciences field or equivalent experience.
  • You are detail-oriented and skilled at designing and implementing high-quality, thorough research and data analysis; you have training and experience using SPSS, Stata, R, or other statistical packages.
  • You have experience with large data sets (e.g., BLS, ACS, CWS) and experience analyzing government survey and administrative data.
  • You are a relationship-builder. You have strong interpersonal skills, enjoy connecting individuals, and have a track record of developing and maintaining alliances.
  • You have a proven track record of working in coalition with diverse groups, such as community-based organizations, legal advocates, labor, and worker centers.
  • You have strong project management skills. You are a strategic and clear-headed thinker and doer, have experience managing multiple projects, overseeing, and tracking details, and a track record of achieving timely results.
  • You have strong racial equity competencies and center your role in an analysis and understanding of how race, class and power shape systems in our society and culture and are continuously learning, reflecting, and growing; you support a feedback culture and operate constructively across lines of difference.
  • You are a skilled communicator in written products, with a demonstrated ability to convey complex concepts in compelling and digestible work products such as memos, reports, op-eds, toolkits, and issue briefs; and you are skilled in presenting, testifying, and engaging with the media.
  • You are self-aware, curious, and respectful with strong interpersonal skills fostering a sense of purpose and community and have high standards for holding yourself and others accountable.
  • You operate with a commitment to excellence, integrity, diplomacy, and camaraderie.

Start Date, Location, Compensation and Benefits: This position is based out of one of our three offices (Berkeley, New York City, or Washington D.C.). NELP has a hybrid model that includes an in-person office requirement, which is being phased in this year. By October 2023, staff will work in-person at least six days per month. This hybrid model seeks to leverage both the benefits of working with colleagues in-person and the benefits of flexible remote arrangements.  This position will require some travel, including for NELP internal meetings or conferences. The start date will be as soon as possible.

This position is in NELP’s bargaining unit, represented by National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW Local 2320. Classification and compensation for NELP bargaining unit positions is commensurate with relevant experience and education and based on NELP’s collectively bargained scales. Based on our union scale, here are some examples of salaries for this position:

  • with a relevant Master’s degree and 7 years of post-graduate relevant experience, the salary will be $94,200; at 12 years, then $108,500;
  • with a relevant Ph.D.  and 11 years or more of post-graduate relevant experience, the salary will be $118,500.

The job title designation of “senior” and differences in salaries are based on education and years of relevant experience.

NELP believes in work-life balance and ensuring that employees are able to care for themselves and their family members. Therefore, compensation at NELP also includes an excellent comprehensive benefits package, including full coverage of family health insurance, a medical reimbursement plan, generous vacation and sick leave, plus additional organization-wide holidays, significant contribution from employer to a retirement plan (both an unelected contribution and employer match); and for qualifying participants, up to 26 weeks paid parental leave, 12 weeks paid medical leave, 6 weeks of paid family medical caregiving leave, a sabbatical leave program, childcare/eldercare reimbursement assistance, and student loan repayment assistance.

To Apply: Candidates must be eligible and authorized to work in the United States. Go to our online application system at to submit a cover letter and resume. If you have questions regarding this announcement, please forward those to, noting the job title in the subject line. No phone calls or other email inquiries please. We will consider applications on a rolling basis; interested applicants are encouraged to submit sooner than later.

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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