Nancy is an active member of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), and also its local chapters in New Hampshire (which she founded) and Massachusetts. With the support and assistance of the New Hampshire chapter and its allies, Nancy has drafted numerous pieces of employee rights legislation, located legislative sponsors and shepherded the legislation through the N.H. House, Senate and onto the Governor, including the following New Hampshire laws:
N.H. R.S.A. 354-A:21-a. Jury trials for victims of discrimination. (effective: 2000)
Prior to this law, victims of discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation had protections under state law, but they were limited to the procedures inside the state agency, the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights. The original jury trial amendment drafted by Nancy provided a jury trial option, increasing the chances of justice for employees whose employers hid crucial information from the employee during the Commission's investigation. Unfortunately, a legislative compromise also provided a jury trial option to the respondents, which, as Nancy predicted, can cause harm to employees who wish to stay at the Commission. So, in 2009, Nancy worked on another amendment to limit the jury trial option to the complainant. This proposal was introduced and passed in the N.H. House of Representatives, but was killed in the senate. She continues to work to get the statute amended so that only the employee determines the forum hearing the claims.
N.H. R.S.A. 354-A:2 now covers non-profits and educational institutions. Nancy drafted an amendment to eliminate the exemption, so that their employees now enjoy the protection of New Hampshire's anti-discrimination coverage. (effective 2006)
N.H. R.S.A. 98-E. Nancy drafted the original strong amendment to this previously weak and limited statute pertaining to free speech rights of state government employees. When the U.S. Supreme Court severely limited the First Amendment protections of government employees in the case Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006), she worked with other NH NELA members to craft language to expand state law to cover all levels of N.H. government employees (from the state house to the janitors in the schools) and to provide them with damages and attorney fees if they were retaliated against for giving their opinions on matters of public concern. The resulting law is among the most powerful protections for government employees anywhere in the U.S. (effective 2008)
N.H. R.S.A 354-A:2(XIV-b). Reasonable Accommodation for Disabled Back when Nancy chaired the N.H. Commission for Human Rights (1979-1985) the state law prohibited discrimination against the disabled, but specifically did NOT require reasonable accommodation. Simply put, Nancy was outvoted on the then 5-member Commission by commissioners who misunderstood that "reasonable" was a floating standard and a small company would not be expected to do the same accommodation as a large company. She drafted a bill requiring reasonable accommodation and, as with her other legislation, found legislative sponsors. She also reached out to the organizations and agencies whose agenda was to assist the disabled find equality. Her original bill's language underwent many changes as the Human Rights Commission and advocacy groups went up against the business interests who wanted reasonable accommodation rights limited to federal law (and federal court which is hostile to employment claims). A great team was formed and the legislative sponsors worked their hearts out. The governor signed this bill the same day he signed the bill expanding coverage to non-profits and educational institutions (see above). (effective 2006)