Unemployment Insurance Program Director

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) seeks a dynamic, experienced, and skilled program director to advance NELP’s programs and policy campaigns, with a particular focus on unemployment insurance (UI). This is an extraordinary opportunity to leverage your talent to ensuring workers and their families receive critically needed unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

 

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: www.nelp.org

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 and will report to the Director of Work Structures. You will work in conjunction with NELP’s staff of lawyers, policy experts, researchers, and strategic communications experts. Knowledge of unemployment insurance issues is a requirement for the candidate. You will work in collaboration with staff on the following:

  • Developing new worker-informed and worker-centered strategies to improve state policies, build worker power, and improve jobless workers’ access to UI;
  • Advocating for federal policies that will ensure all people have access to the UI benefits they need;
  • Developing and advocating for policies that improve financial security with a focus on UI systems reform;
  • Fighting back against rollbacks of core labor and employment rights at the federal, state, and local level; and
  • Eliminating policies that impede access to UI core protections for immigrants, people of color, contingent, and temporary workers.

You will be responsible for the following:

  • Leading the continuing build-out of a national UI movement network, a responsive and durable network of federal, state, and local advocates working to ensure unemployment benefits empower workers and provide reliable, sufficient economic support to all workers, particularly those historically excluded.
  • Being a UI thought leader by refining a compelling vision and strategies for advancing transformative, systems change that lays the foundation for long-term economic security for Black, immigrant, and other workers of color, and their families.
  • Leading federal and state advocacy in policy priority areas by engaging key constituencies, allied organizations, and policymakers—including ongoing engagement with the U.S. Department of Labor to improve the UI system.
  • Advocating for expansive UI access, particularly for workers who have been excluded or face barriers to access, such as misclassified independent contractors and temp workers.
  • Serving as a national resource to state and federal partners and for campaigns across the country by providing research, legal, policy, and strategic support, such as developing model legislation, policy briefs, and analyses.
  • Representing NELP in advocacy coalitions, public forums, legislative and agency hearings, and in the media.
  • Drafting reports, op-eds, blogs, and educational materials, and engaging in strategic communications.
  • Supporting a workplace culture where all team members grow and develop professionally.
  • Actively contributing to NELP’s work in becoming an anti-racist organization that reflects and embodies internally the values of social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

 

Who You Are

  • You have five+ years’ advocacy experience working on unemployment insurance issues or promoting UI reform. Experience addressing racial justice, job quality, and/or worker power issues is a plus.
  • You have a JD, Master’s degree, or PhD in a relevant field, or equivalent demonstrable experience.
  • You are a relationship-builder. You have strong interpersonal skills, enjoy connecting individuals, and have a history 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 the ability and enthusiasm for developing a vision and strategies, while also being able to realize that ambitious vision through clear-sighted, strategic, and focused implementation.
  • You have strong racial equity competencies and center your role in an analysis and understanding of how race 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 skilled at conducting high-quality and thorough policy research and analysis.
  • 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/or issue briefs; and you are skilled in presenting, testifying, and/or 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.). Staff may be located a commutable distance from one of the three offices. NELP has a hybrid model that requires staff to 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 are commensurate with relevant experience and education and based on NELP’s collectively bargained scales. Based on our union scale, the UI Program Director’s salary would be $95,220-$120,640. Here are some examples of salaries:

  • with a JD and 5 years’ post-JD relevant experience, the salary will be $95,220; and at 10 years the salary will be $110,340;
  • with a PhD and 3 years’ post-PhD relevant experience, the salary will be $97,990; and at 8 years the salary will be $112,849;
  • with a Master’s and 11 years’ post-Master’s relevant experience, the salary will be $100,830; and at 16 years the salary will be $115,440.

The differences in salaries are based on education and years of relevant experience. Compensation at NELP 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 https://nelp.bamboohr.com/careers to submit a cover letter and resume. If you have questions regarding this announcement, please forward those to nelp@nelp.org, 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.  

Back to Top of Page