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Pennsylvania Labor and Employment Law Attorney John Bielski Speaks at AFL-CIO's Workers' Rights Conference

January 25, 2013

On Jan. 18, 2013, Pennsylvania labor and employment lawyer John R. Bielski of Willig, Williams & Davidson served as a guest speaker at the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Workers’ Rights Are Civil Rights Conference. The conference was one of the various programs offered during the organization’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday observance honoring the life and work of Dr. King.

Each year, AFL-CIO hosts this observance event to reinforce the historic bond between the labor and civil rights movements and to honor Dr. King’s vision that collective action, whether at the voting booth or at the workplace, mobilizes participants to continue their work to make his dream a reality. The 2013 observance was held from Jan. 17 through 21 in Philadelphia as the country remembered and celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington that rallied hundreds of thousands of people to call for jobs and freedom.

Bielski participated in the Workers’ Rights Are Civil Rights Conference portion of the event, held at the Sheraton in Philadelphia, addressing work done by lawyers to protect the right to vote – along with Willig, Williams & Davidson’s efforts on the Pennsylvania Voter ID Law.

Having handled a wide range of matters arising under the laws and regulations governing collective bargaining, union representation, wage and hour issues and employment discrimination, Bielski regularly appears on behalf of clients in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies. These organizations include the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, Philadelphia Civil Service Commission, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, among others.

A selection of Bielski’s notable achievements include successfully defending a firefighter at an arbitration hearing challenging his dismissal for comments made about his employer; securing sanctions against a school district which refused to abide by a labor arbitration award ordering an employee to return to work; successfully prosecuting a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act claim in federal bankruptcy court on behalf of hundreds of hospital employees whose employer had terminated their positions without providing the requisite 60 days’ notice; and litigating claims of veterans denied their rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

Between 2004 and 2008, Bielski was consistently named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer Rising Star by Thomson Reuters in the area of labor and employment law, published annually in Philadelphia magazine. He attended Temple University School of Law where he served as Temple Law Review’s editor-in-chief and graduated magna cum laude. Bielski double-majored in English and philosophy as an undergraduate student at Pennsylvania State University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. Prior to entering law school, he earned a master’s degree in English from University of Virginia.

About Willig, Williams & Davidson – Willig, Williams & Davidson ( is one of the largest and most respected union-side labor law firms in the United States. The firm has offices in Philadelphia, Media, Jenkintown and Harrisburg, Pa., as well as Haddonfield, N.J. Founded in 1979, Willig, Williams & Davidson focuses on representing labor unions, employee benefit funds and individual working people and their families on a variety of legal fronts, including national, regional and local contract negotiations; dispute resolution through mediation, arbitration and litigation; tax and benefit law compliance issues; discrimination and other employment matters; prepaid legal services for union members; and workers’ compensation matters in Pennsylvania and beyond.

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