Bio

As the Director of Equal Opportunity Policy at Women Employed, Melissa Josephs promotes the passage and effective implementation of equal employment opportunity laws and regulations at the state and federal levels. She has deepened her expertise in workplace issues such as paid sick days, sexual harassment, fair wages, work and family, and affirmative action during nearly 25 years with the organization. She manages the campaigns to increase the minimum wage and pass paid sick days legislation in Illinois and at the federal level, and federal campaigns to strengthen anti-discrimination laws such as the Equal Pay Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Josephs has weighed in on workplace issues in media outlets ranging from the New York Times and HuffPost Live to the Chicago Tribune and WBEZ.

She leads the Illinois Paid Leave Coalition, and is a coalition member of Raise Illinois, Family Values at Work, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Employment Task Force, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights Under Law’s Advisory Committee for the Employment Opportunity and Impact Litigation Projects, and UNITE HERE’s Community Key Leaders Group focusing on hotel worker rights. 
 
Prior to joining Women Employed, Josephs was a community organizer at the Northwest Neighborhood Federation. Josephs has a B.A. in English and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a J.D. from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Articles, Publications, Appearances