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Willig, Williams & Davidson Labor and Employment Law Attorneys Serve as Faculty for Pennsylvania Bar Institute's 2012 Labor Law Symposium

January 2, 2013

Deborah R. Willig, Alaine S. Williams and Louise F. Pongracz, Pennsylvania attorneys with labor and employment law firm Willig, Williams & Davidson, served as faculty for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Labor Law Symposium on Nov. 29, 2012 in Philadelphia. Willig was a course planner for the program while Williams and Pongracz presented about principal labor law issues such as collective bargaining and the Affordable Health Care Act. Other topics covered during the program included social media issues under the NLRB, public sector law, corporate campaigns and neutrality agreements, specialty health care and ethical issues in labor law, to name a few.

A labor and employment law attorney, Willig has led Willig, Williams & Davidson since the firm’s founding in 1979. She has been involved in representing a wide range of labor unions including public school teachers and employees; public health, social and recreation workers; firefighters; teamsters; and orchestra musicians. Her work for both public and private sector unions includes contract negotiations, presenting interest and grievance arbitrations and advising clients on internal union governance and staff matters. Willig also maintains an active practice in the representation of employee benefit funds, including jointly administered funds in the public and private sectors. She served as the first female Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association and continues to be a role model for women lawyers.

A named firm partner, Williams is an authority on public employee labor law. She focuses her practice on labor and employment law, representing public sector labor unions and protecting the rights of workers. Her efforts have included 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. Among other notable achievements, Williams 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.

Pongracz is a partner in the employee benefits department of Willig, Williams & Davidson. A labor and benefits practitioner with nearly 25 years of experience, she counsels and represents public and private-sector single and multi-employer funds in a comprehensive range of employee benefit issues. Pongracz 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. She is also a frequent lecturer and author on topics ranging from benefits in labor negotiations to compliance with federal benefits laws and regulations, including ERISA, IRC, HIPPA and COBRA matters.

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 Philadelphia and beyond.

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