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A Better Balance is using the power of the law to advance justice for workers, so they can care for themselves and their loved ones without jeopardizing their economic security. Our expert team of lawyers, advocates, and other professionals are combatting discrimination and securing new rights for workers through policy work, strategic litigation, direct legal service, and public education. Join us!

Organization Description:

A Better Balance is a national legal advocacy organization dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace and helping workers care for themselves and their loved ones without sacrificing their economic security. Through legislative advocacy, direct legal services, strategic litigation, and public education, our expert legal team advances supportive workplace policies like paid leave and combats discrimination against caregivers and pregnant workers. We are dedicated to lifting up the voices of our clients and those most directly affected by our policy work and have a particular focus on centering gender and racial justice in our work.

Throughout the country, our organization has won victories in improved paid leave, equal pay, pregnancy and caregiver protections, fair scheduling, new legal recognition for LGBTQ families, and other economic justice issues. To date, we have helped to draft and pass 10 state paid family and medical leave laws, 16 state and dozens of local paid sick time or paid time off laws, more than 30 pregnancy accommodation laws, and many other family-supportive laws. We are also leaders in tackling the COVID-19 health crisis for workers by advancing stronger emergency and permanent policy measures as well as providing critical direct services and Know Your Rights public education. Our advocacy work and legal efforts have gained national recognition in dozens of outlets including The New York TimesWashington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

Position Description:

Based in Colorado, the Staff Attorney will support A Better Balance’s mission of advancing justice for working individuals, families, and caregivers.

The Staff Attorney will play a key role in helping to protect, defend, and implement several new workers’ rights protections in Colorado. In July 2020, the Governor of Colorado signed into law the country’s strongest paid sick time law, which now guarantees workers a minimum amount of paid time off for personal or family health and safety needs. Several months later, in November 2020, voters approved Proposition 118, a ballot initiative that will guarantee Coloradans 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave insurance to bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill loved one, address domestic violence and sexual assault, and respond to military family caregiving needs. Drawing on our experience with paid leave implementation and our on-the-ground presence in Colorado, the Staff Attorney will provide extensive technical assistance to stakeholders across Colorado on implementation best practices, models, and needs.

The Staff Attorney’s responsibilities will include: monitoring and providing legal assistance on Proposition 118’s implementation, including proposed regulations; engaging in public education and outreach to ensure that workers understand their legal right to paid sick time; assisting our legal helpline staff when Colorado callers have questions regarding paid leave; and defending these laws against any challenges that might arise. In addition, the Staff Attorney will support A Better Balance’s policy and advocacy efforts to build on these legislative successes by passing new nondiscrimination and workplace protections for Colorado workers.

This dynamic position will also have national implications. Although the Staff Attorney will focus on paid leave and workplace justice efforts in Colorado, the individual will also provide assistance as needed with other state’s paid leave efforts. The individual will provide technical support as needed to other paid leave campaigns and share lessons learned from Colorado, particularly around implementation, with state and national partners. As the first State to approve paid family and medical leave by ballot, the Staff Attorney can help to ensure that Colorado serves as a model for effective, inclusive paid leave policies in other states and at the federal level. The Staff Attorney will have an exciting opportunity to grow ABB’s work in Colorado, help to obtain new funding by demonstrating success, and develop this position. Funding is confirmed through 2022 with strong potential to continue and build on this work.

Qualifications:

  • 3-5 years of legal experience preferred, but there is some flexibility on this qualification.
  • A JD and admission to practice law in the State of Colorado.
  • Availability to work in Denver office and ability to periodically travel within Colorado. Open to candidates in other locations in the State who are able to commute to Denver for part of the week or who prefer a hybrid position that is both in-person and remote.
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice, work/family law and policy, gender and women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, civil rights, and/or advocacy for low-income populations.
  • Superior written and oral communication, advocacy, legal research, and analytic skills. 
  • Ability to write and conduct trainings for legal and non-legal audiences.
  • Self-motivated with demonstrated problem solving, prioritizing, time management, team-building, and organizational skills.
  • Comfort with small non-profit environment, ability to use limited resources efficiently and effectively, and ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment.

Salary and Benefits:

Salary range is $75,000 to $85,000, depending on qualifications and experience. A Better Balance has a competitive benefits package, including health and dental insurance and paid vacation, sick, family and medical leave, and personal time. We are committed to “walking our talk” and encourage a healthy work/life balance for all employees.

How to Apply:

Please e-mail a tailored letter of interest, resume, and writing sample (in one combined PDF) with the subject line “[First Name][Last Name] Staff Attorney Application” to Jared Make at jmake@abetterbalance.org. No calls please. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and we seek someone to start in late July or early August.

A Better Balance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and we value diversity, inclusion, and belonging in our workforce. We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, family status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, arrest or conviction, or any other factor protected by law.

The A Better Balance New York City, Southern, and DC Offices are recruiting rising third-year law students, judicial clerks, and recent law school graduates interested in applying for an externally funded 1-2 year public interest fellowship starting in September 2022. An NYC fellow would be based in New York City; a Southern Office fellow would be based in Nashville, TN; a DC fellow would be based in Washington, DC.

A Better Balance (ABB) is a national legal advocacy organization that uses the power of the law to advance justice for workers, so they can care for themselves and their loved ones without jeopardizing their economic security. Our expert legal team combats discrimination against pregnant workers and caregivers and advances supportive policies like paid sick time, paid family and medical leave, fair scheduling, and accessible, quality childcare and eldercare. When we value the work of providing care, which has long been marginalized due to sexism and racism, our communities and nation are healthier and stronger. We remain steadfast in working to dismantle the intersectional forms of injustice that contribute to the structural inequality working families in this country face, including but not limited to, gender injustice, racial injustice, economic injustice, health injustice, and injustice against immigrants, LGTBQIA communities, and people with disabilities, and are seeking candidates that are committed to this work.

Since our founding, A Better Balance has been working to value the labor of caregiving and to shift the debate over work-family issues from those that center the concerns of white, professional workers to a focus on the needs of low-wage workers and workers of color. We approach our work around the country with these values at the helm. Ensuring families of color have access to strong work-family policies—especially BIPOC workers who are currently the least likely to have access to these policies due to centuries of institutionalized racism, systemic barriers to economic mobility, and pervasive discrimination—is a core principle of ABB’s work.

The organization has fought for and won new paid leave policies, important pregnancy and caregiver protections, breastfeeding accommodations, inclusive protections for all families, including LGBTQ families, and victories on other economic justice issues throughout the country. Our advocacy work and legal efforts have gained national recognition in dozens of outlets including The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. We are dedicated to lifting up the voices of our clients, who are predominantly low-wage working women of color, and those most directly affected by our policy work. Our free and confidential helpline provides legal assistance and information to low-wage workers.

ABB is based in New York City and maintains a Southern office in Nashville, TN and offices in Denver, CO and Washington, DC.

Our Southern Office focuses on the issues affecting working families in the Southeast United States, where poverty rates for women and families, particularly women and families of color, are among the highest in the country and where legal protections are often scarce. Pregnant workers across the South, especially in low-wage and physically demanding jobs are forced out of their jobs when they need a modest accommodation to keep working. Workers of color are the least likely to have access to paid leave and other critical workplace rights to help them to care for their families without risking their economic security. Our Southern work thus focuses on remedying these legal gaps by enforcement and education as well as working to pass pregnant workers fairness laws, paid family and medical leave, and paid sick days laws across the Southeast and pushing back against policies that harm working families in the region including attacks on progressive local policies.

In New York, where we are headquartered, we have been leaders in many successful campaigns both in the city/state and across the country, including on paid family and medical leave laws, the fight to guarantee earned sick time to millions of workers across the country, pregnant workers fairness laws, which ensure that pregnant workers are not pushed out of their jobs when they need a modest accommodation to stay healthy, caregiver and lactation anti-discrimination laws, and fair workweek laws. Following legislative campaigns, we are working on effective implementation of these laws, creating materials, doing outreach to low-income communities, and prioritizing representation of low-income workers of color who are being denied rights we helped secure.

Our DC Office focuses on translating our legal expertise and uplifting worker voices to advance federal policies that advance justice for working families across the country who are caring for themselves and loved ones and want to maintain their economic security. Our key federal priorities include passage of a comprehensive Paid Family and Medical Leave program, protections for pregnant workers, a national paid sick time law, access to break time & space for breastfeeding workers, addressing the Black maternal health crisis, guaranteeing fair and predictable work schedules & enhancing rights of part-time workers, strengthening federal anti-discrimination protections, and more.

Potential projects in the Southern Office could focus on:

  • Increasing the power and influence of Black women in the South using advocacy tools, Know Your Rights campaigns, legislative reform, and partnering with grassroots organizations;
  • Enforcing new pregnant workers fairness laws in the South including in Louisiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Virginia; educating and empowering low-wage workers and communities of color about those laws;
  • Providing direct services to low-wage workers, especially workers of color, in particular industries or populations with uniquely Southern issues affecting working families;
  • Developing a mobile clinic to serve a particular population, such as an immigrant/refugee population;
  • Public education and enforcement of existing federal legal protections, such as pregnancy discrimination, family & medical leave, and breastfeeding protections for working families in the South; and/or
  • Addressing the needs of working parents who lack quality, affordable, and accessible child care.

Potential projects in the NYC office could focus on education and enforcement of laws both in NY and elsewhere across the country, particularly as they impact low-wage workers and communities of color:

  • Pregnancy accommodation laws;
  • Lactation laws;
  • Paid sick time laws;
  • NYC Fair Workweek Law;
  • Caregiver discrimination laws; and/or
  • Paid family and medical leave laws.

The NYC fellow could also focus on expanding laws and policies in the following areas:

  • Paid family and medical leave or paid sick time campaigns around the country;
  • Pregnancy accommodation campaigns around the country
  • LGBTQ work-family issues;
  • Quality, affordable, accessible child care
  • Defending local, progressive laws from state and federal interference (preemption); and/or
  • Other issues related to expanding work/family laws and policies in New York State and/or nationally.

Potential projects in the DC Office could focus on federal legislative advocacy in conjunction with direct services work to empower our clients with our NY office on topics including:

  • Pregnancy accommodations
  • Paid family and medical leave
  • Lactation accommodations;
  • Paid sick time;
  • Caregiver discrimination laws; and/or
  • Fair and predictable scheduling

Qualifications:

  • Law degree required by May 2022, bar admission in NY or TN by Fall 2022 preferred.
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice, work/family law and policy, gender and women’s rights, civil rights, and/or advocacy for low-income populations and ending racial, gender, health, and economic injustice.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using an approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability and socio-economic circumstance
  • Superior written and oral communication, advocacy, legal research, and analytic skills. Experience writing for legal and non-legal audiences a plus.
  • Self-motivated with demonstrated problem solving, prioritizing, time management, team-building, and organizational skills.
  • Comfort and familiarity with small non-profit environment, ability to use limited resources efficiently and effectively, ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment.
  • Experience working with diverse communities, particularly communities of color.
  • Experience with the community you propose to serve a plus.
  • Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Bengali, Haitian Creole, French, Somali, and/or Korean fluency are a plus.

Funding and Benefits

This position requires external funding, meaning it is not paid for by ABB and comes from another source. Some potential sources of external funding include the Skadden Foundation, Equal Justice Works, and Justice Catalyst. Many law schools also offer funding to law graduates in the form of fellowships. If you are selected by ABB as a fellowship candidate, we will then work together to put together a project proposal.

ABB offers a flexible and supportive work environment, with generous vacation, sick, and family leave policies. A Better Balance has an excellent benefits package, including health and dental insurance; paid vacation, sick, and personal time. We are committed to “walking our talk” and encourage a healthy work/life balance for all employees.

How to Apply

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

To apply, please e-mail the following documents with the subject line “2022 Fellowship – [First Name Last Name]” to: careers@abetterbalance.org:

  • a resume including relevant experience – note, this need not only be paid work or work you did during law school;
  • tailored letter of interest, including your connection to ABB’s work;
  • a short legal writing sample showing legal analysis, including applying facts to the law; and
  • at least two references, including one professor/instructor from law school and one supervisor of legal work.

A Better Balance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and we value diversity, inclusion, and belonging in our workforce. We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, family status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, arrest or conviction, or any other factor protected by law.

A Better Balance is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities or other medical needs. If you are an individual with a disability or other medical need and need assistance applying online, please e-mail careers@abetterbalance.org.  If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

 

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