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Main Office: Philadelphia, PA (215) 656-3600
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Attorney's Practice Areas

Employee Benefits



 

Louise F. Pongracz

Louise “Wendy” Pongracz is a partner in the employee benefits department of Willig, Williams & Davidson. As a labor and benefits practitioner with nearly 25 years of experience, Wendy counsels and represents public and private-sector single and multi-employer funds in a comprehensive range of employee benefit issues.

Resident in the firm’s Philadelphia office, Wendy offers counsel and support to clients in the Chicago area as part of the firm’s Of Counsel relationship with Illinois Advocates, LLC. She counts among her notable achievements the clean-up of a large health and welfare fund that required benefits to be normalized, crooked vendors to be terminated and outstanding payments to be collected.The end result was a cleanly run operation that could be turned over to successor funds.

Wendy is also a consistent lecturer and frequent author on topics ranging from benefits in labor negotiations to compliance with federal benefits laws and regulations, including ERISA, IRC, HIPPA and COBRA matters. Wendy is a frequent lecturer on ERISA and health care compliance issues for the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. She previously served as hearing officer for the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission and prior to practicing law worked with non-profit organizations Common Cause and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.

Wendy earned her legal degree from Northeastern University School of Law in 1985. She graduated cum laude from Bucknell University in 1980, where she earned departmental honors in Philosophy and received the Barrows Graduation Prize in Classics.

Education

  • Northeastern University School of Law, J.D., 1985
  • Bucknell University, B.A., Cum Laude, 1980

Experience

  • Willig, Williams & Davidson, Associate, 1989-2004; Partner, 2004-Present
  • Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission, Hearing Officer, 1987-1988
  • Fineberg & Feld, Associate, 1985-1987

Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, 1985
  • United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 1985
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 1989
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1989

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, 1985-Present
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association, 1989-Present
  • Philadelphia Bar Association, 1989-Present

Speaking Engagements

  • "LGBT work Policies, Legal Prections, and the Recent Same Sex Marriage Rulings", Pennsylvania Assoication of Boroughts Conference, Harrisburg, PA, with Ryan A. Hancock, August, 2015
  • Panelist: "The Affordable Care Act – What Practitioners Need to Know," Philadelphia LERA, Philadelphia, PA, 2014 
  • “Continuing Development on the ACA,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute Labor Law Symposium, 2014
  • “The Details – Don’t Get Tripped Up” International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Boston, MA, 2014
  • Healthcare and Bargaining Workshop, AFL - CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, San Francisco, CA, 2014
  • “Negotiating a PBM Contract” and “Employer or Fund? A Grab Bag of Compliance Issues,” International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Las Vegas, NV, 2013
  • “ERISA Basics: Health Care and Bargaining in an ACA World,” AFL - CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, Washington, D.C., 2013
  • “ACA and Collective Bargaining,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute Labor Law Symposium, Philadelphia, PA, 2012
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Pennsylvania Bar Institute Labor Law Symposium, 2011
  • "Appropriate Policy and Documentation Standards" for health & welfare funds in light of the many statutory and regulatory standards adopted in 2009. International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Orlando, FL, 2009
  • Instructor: “Certificate in Public Plans – Welfare Plans I,” International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Chicago, IL, 2008
  • “Health Benefits in Labor Negotiations,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Harrisburg, PA, 2005
  • “Essentials of Public Sector Benefit Administration,” International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Brookfield, WI, 2004, 2005
  • “HIPPA: Where Do Lines Need to be Drawn in the Workplace?,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA, 2004

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