Passionate about defending the rights and livelihoods of workers and their unions, Alaine William has made their representation her life’s work. In recognition of her stature as an authority on public employee labor law, she is frequently engaged as a consultant to other law firms. Her practice focuses on counseling public sector labor unions and protecting the rights of their members around the country. Alaine has argued before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on behalf of clients more than two dozen times and frequently represents clients in state and federal courts in trials and appeals.
In the arena of public influence, Alaine’s contributions include drafting and defending Pennsylvania legislation on behalf of public sector labor unions to require all nonmembers in a bargaining unit to pay fair share fees for benefits negotiated on their behalf, thereby enhancing the economic and political power of public sector unions in Pennsylvania. The legislation ultimately resulted in increased wages, benefits and job security for countless employees throughout the commonwealth. Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME, Alaine has been involved in advising clients throughout the United States on compliance and litigation.
Alaine has also successfully represented 150 disabled state employees who faced termination from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, enjoining the furlough sought by the Commonwealth and saving the employees’ jobs. She won significant legal rulings prohibiting state and local governments from reducing or changing pension benefits for existing employees in Pennsylvania. Alaine was also involved in legal action to stop efforts by the Governor of Pennsylvania to privatize the state lottery, saving workers’ jobs and ultimately millions of dollars of revenue used to fund services for the state’s senior citizens. Other notable achievements include expanding the value and worth of interest arbitration awards for correction officers and court employees in Pennsylvania; filing numerous lawsuits to secure payment for public employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act when legislative bodies have failed to enact budgets, and representing more than a thousand University of Pennsylvania graduate students who chose to unionize following the historic National Labor Relations Board decision in 2000 regarding graduate students at New York University.
In addition to serving as an advocate for Pennsylvania workers and unions, Alaine is a frequent lecturer and advisor to other law firms on critical and timely topics. She recently addressed the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) at its 39th Symposium, discussing mandatory fees after Janus, presented at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Public Services Conference on post-Janus planning and spoke at the Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Arbitrators on Post-Janus Implementation.
WHAT INSPIRES ME ABOUT MY WORK
"I was inspired to go to law school to be able to give back — to represent working men and women and help them better their lives. I’ve spent nearly 40 years representing labor unions and it has been truly a labor of love.”
AWAY FROM WORK
"I love to spend time with my family -- husband, daughter, son, daughter in law, two granddaughters and three granddogs. Shortly after we were married in 1974 my husband and I moved to Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was an Advisor to the Minister of Justice, and I taught an English class to Afghan Judges and Lawyers. That trip was the start of a lifelong love for discovering new cultures. With children in tow, we traveled throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South America and South Africa. We continue to explore new destinations and look forward to introducing our granddaughters to distant places."