Acceptable Use Policy

NELA is a welcoming community, we encourage new members to introduce themselves and participate in discussions. The NELA Exchange thrives in the spirit of NELA’s founder, Paul H. Tobias, who started the NELA Pledge: I agree to receive calls from NELA members and render assistance to them.

Our Mission

NELA’s mission is to empower workers’ rights attorneys through legal training, promoting a fair judiciary, and advocating for laws and policies that level the playing field for workers. And NELA’s vision aspires to a future in which all workers are treated with dignity and respect; workplaces are equitable, diverse, and inclusive; and the well-being of workers is a priority in business practices. NELA aims to be a collegial and supportive forum to further workers’ rights and for the professional development of our membership through the exchange of information, opinion, ideas, strategies, and evolving trends in employment law.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values of the National Employment Lawyers Association and essential to the achievement of our mission. When applied in unison, diversity, equity, and inclusion create meaningful representation and involvement of persons with varied backgrounds, experiences, identities, and abilities in every aspect of NELA, each with the opportunity to make robust contributions to the organization without discriminatory barriers. NELA champions the culture of participation and equal opportunity that is woven into the fabric of our mission and vision for workers and workplaces nationwide.

Welcome and thank you for being a part of the NELA community. The NELA Exchange, which includes Practice Group discussion lists (listservs), the Open Forum (listserv), resource libraries, and the online member directory, (“The Exchange”) serves to support NELA’s mission of empowering workers’ rights attorneys and its diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture of participation and equal opportunity. The Exchange was created to raise the level of knowledge in the plaintiff employment and workers’ rights lawyer community. While NELA understands reasonable people can differ and we encourage our members to offer opinions and insight, users of The Exchange should operate in a positive manner designed to encourage discussions using good faith, good will, and good intentions and keep an open mind and learning posture throughout Exchange discussions.

The Exchange is intended solely for lawyers who represent workers and is therefore restricted to Regular Members of The National Employment Lawyers Association ("NELA") whose dues are current. Paraprofessional and Law Student Members sponsored by Regular Members may also participate. Defense lawyers practicing employment law are ineligible to join NELA and are thus prohibited from using any NELA online services.

As you use The Exchange, please keep the purpose and goals of The Exchange in mind.

In addition, please be aware that many new attorneys and attorneys new to this practice area use The Exchange to learn how to practice law. If someone asks a question you believe is obvious, please bear in mind the poster could be a new lawyer or lawyer new to that particular practice area trying to learn the ropes. If you choose to respond to a post, please do so in a supportive way. Keep an open mind and learning posture throughout discussions on The Exchange.

You accept the terms of this Policy by use of NELA’s online member services, The Exchange, or any other public discussion medium hosted by NELA. NELA can modify the Policy at any time, and your continued use of these services indicates your acceptance of the modified terms. Specific services may have additional terms of service, available at the respective sites, in addition to those found in this agreement. NELA advises you to review any and all such terms of service.

Purpose and Goals

The NELA Exchange is a valuable resource for members. The purposes and goals of The Exchange are to:

  • Build a strong, inclusive, equitable, and supportive professional community;
  • Provide a forum for members to share information relevant to their practices;
  • Enable members to strategize with other members about their cases and their practices;
  • Allow members to stay up-to-date with trial results, changes in the law, and current defense tactics;
  • Educate and train members who are new to practice or a particular practice area; and
  • Further the mission and vision of NELA.

If you are unsure about whether or not to post something, please consider whether it supports at least one of these goals and whether it harms any of them.

Acceptable Use

By using these services, you agree to the following:

  • You will not use The Exchange for the benefit of employer or management clients or related practice. Postings for the benefit of or concerning representation of employers, including your own law firm, or individuals aligned with employers are prohibited.
  • You will not use slurs or epithets in your posts, including in quotations and attachments. You will not provide links to any documents containing slurs or epithets. While addressing slurs is a part of our practice as employment law attorneys, reading and hearing them still offends, upsets, and harms people. Case discussions that require inclusion of the use of a slur, including excerpts from decisions or briefs or links to outside documents, should be moved offline.
  • You will not forward, copy, or otherwise disseminate information (including the author, subject, or content) contained in a post to anyone outside of The NELA Exchange community without prior written permission of the author. Substantive legal content shared on The Exchange may be used without attribution in pleadings, briefs, and other documents related to representation of a client.
  • You must establish all necessary precautions to create a “confidentiality wall” and to otherwise prevent others, including but not limited to attorneys and staff in your firm, from having unauthorized access to and use of information from The Exchange, either directly or indirectly. If you work in a law firm with attorneys whose practice does not meet NELA membership criteria, you agree to take all measures necessary to prevent those attorneys and their support team from being able to access any email or attachments obtained from The Exchange. This means that you will not turn monitoring or management of your Exchange account over to a staff person or non-member associate or partner.
  • You will not post any material that is knowingly false, misleading, or inaccurate.
  • You will not behave in an abusive and/or hateful manner, and will not harass, threaten, or attack anyone. You will not post messages you know to be false; defamatory; unprofessional; discourteous; harassing; inflammatory; derogatory towards another NELA member; or discriminatory on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or age.
  • You will not post obscene or pornographic materials.
  • You will not use these services to violate any laws.
  • You will not impersonate any person or entity, forge headers, or otherwise manipulate identifiers in order to disguise the origin of any posting, or collect or store personal data about other users.
  • You will not post any copyrighted material, or link to any copyrighted material (with the exception of publicly available sites and pages that the legal owners of the copyrights have created to make that material freely available to the general public), unless that copyright is owned by you or by NELA, or you have been granted permission to use copyrighted material by a third party.
  • You will not use these services for the purpose of sharing or distributing viruses, licenses, registration information, or other information designed to do harm to or allow unlawful access to any computer hardware, software, networks, or any other systems.
  • You will not post advertisements or solicitations, including fundraising requests for non-profit or other organizations or for political candidates, causes, or events. But you may post advertisements for NELA Affiliate CLE events, regardless of whether there is a charge for the events, or other worker rights or plaintiff focused CLE events if there is not a charge to attend.
  • You must follow the rules for NELA elections and campaigning.
  • You will not knowingly post messages that are clearly outside of the stated topic of any Practice Group Community or disrupt a Practice Group Community by deliberately posting repeated irrelevant messages or copies of identical messages (also known as "flooding"). If you need to make an off-topic post, make sure that the subject line indicates “OFF TOPIC” or “OT” and a short description (Need referral for med mal attorney, etc.) so that members who are not interested can readily delete it.
  • You will, if asked to do so by NELA's Executive Director or designee, cease posting any content, and/or links to content, deemed offensive, objectionable, or in poor taste.

At all times, you remain solely responsible for anything found within your posts and agree to indemnify and hold NELA, its affiliates, officers, and employees, harmless from any claim or demand, including reasonable attorneys' fees, made by any third party due to or arising out of any material you submit, post to or transmit through The Exchange or other NELA online services, your use of The Exchange or other NELA online services, your connection to The Exchange or other NELA online services, your violation of this Policy or your violation of the rights of another.

NELA reserves the right to delete any message in its Exchange Communities for any reason whatsoever. Should you violate the terms set forth in The NELA Exchange Policy, your access to The Exchange may be denied temporarily or permanently, your membership may be terminated, and your service provider(s) may be contacted regarding your behavior. Furthermore, NELA expressly reserves its rights under the law to take any other actions it deems necessary.

Tips for Using The Exchange

  • Please remember that the open and real-time nature of The Exchange makes it impossible for NELA to vouch for the validity of all content posted. As such, NELA is not responsible for any messages posted or the consequences of following any advice offered within forum posts. Even though The Exchange is password protected, please note, as with all other online content, NELA cannot guarantee 100% privacy. Posting to The Exchange should be done with this understanding. The views expressed in the posts found in the Practice Group Communities and Open Forum belong solely to their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NELA.
  • Occasionally, NELA members may find themselves adverse to one another on a matter. Some NELA members serve as arbitrators, so it is also possible that a NELA member may find herself arbitrating a case involving another NELA member or having her case arbitrated by a NELA member. If you become aware that a NELA member will be in an adverse posture, you must alert that member privately. If you become aware that a NELA member serves as an arbitrator on a case you are prosecuting or defending or that a NELA member is prosecuting or defending a case in arbitration in which you serve as an arbitrator, you must alert that member privately and comply with any relevant rules governing the arbitration proceedings. When you are involved in the same matter as another NELA member and not working as co-counsel or representing common interests, NELA encourages you not to post about that matter.
  • CAUTION – be careful what you post: If privileged or confidential information is set forth on The Exchange, then it will likely lose its protected status and/or may be seen by third parties whom you would not want to see it. Do not use The Exchange to transmit privileged or confidential information. Statements concerning sensitive topics, especially those concerning the conduct of judges, and/or concerning issues of client relations or difficulties with defense counsel, should be very carefully thought out before posting. Do not defame or insult judges, arbitrators, mediators, other attorneys, expert witnesses, or anyone else in your messages.
  • Before asking for information on The Exchange, we invite you to try searching the archives. Many issues facing NELA members have been discussed on The Exchange for years. If you don’t find what you need or you need updated information you should feel free to post your query. If someone asks a question you believe has been discussed before, telling them to search the archives is not a useful response to send to the entire Exchange. It actually discourages a member from using The Exchange in the future. If that is the extent of the information you want to provide, please don’t do it, or send it privately. If you recall a specific post or discussion that answers the poster’s question, a helpful response would be a description of the discussion or link to the discussion on The Exchange.
  • Members who participate on The Exchange automatically receive daily digests containing a summary of all messages posted on The Exchange from the previous day. If you prefer to receive discussion messages in real time or wish to change your subscription settings, you can do so under the My Account tab (Community Notifications) on your Profile page.
  • Politics impacts the work we do. Accordingly, NELA does not have a rule against posting about political issues on the Open Forum, especially when those issues are related to workers’ rights or the representation of workers. NELA also understands that some members want to discuss general political issues not related or tangentially related to your practice with other members, but that some members prefer not to see general political discussion on The Exchange. To accommodate both views, The Exchange includes a “Politics Forum.” To participate in the Politics Forum, you must sign up to participate on the Politics community landing page. NELA may also use its discretion in moving posts related to politics from the Open Forum to the Politics Forum.