Willig, Williams & Davidson
July 2014                Main Office: Philadelphia, PA (215) 656-3600                Toll Free: (800) 631-1233
News from Willig, Williams & Davidson

Supreme Court Preserves 'Fair Share' Fees for Full-fledged Public Employees

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Harris v. Quinn. A 5 to 4 majority of the Court maintained more than 35 years of precedent upholding agreements to require payment of fair share fees by state and local government employees. Because of the very unique employment relationship between the State of Illinois and workers who provide private, in-home health care services under Illinois' Medicaid waiver programs, however, the Court held that the union representing this limited group of workers could not collect fair share fees if those workers elected not to become dues-paying members of the union.

Read more about the Supreme Court's decsion on fair share fees...

Congress Relaxes Restrictions on Political Activity by Certain State and Local Government Employees

In May, the federal Office of Personnel Management issued its final rule implementing the Hatch Act Modernization Act of 2012. The Hatch Act is a federal law that regulates the political activities of many public employees at the local, state, and federal levels. The recent changes to the Act have eliminated longstanding restrictions on state and local government employees who wish to run for political office.

Read more about these relaxed restrictions for public employees...

How Social Security Benefits Affect Pennsylvania Child Support

Social SecurityWhen a parent involved in a child support matter receives Social Security Disability payments, the normal child support calculation guidelines are replaced with a supplemental and more complex analysis. This supplemental process is intended to reflect the additional income and unique nature of Social Security Disability insurance benefits.

Social Security Disability insurance, or SSD, is a federal disability insurance program that pays benefits to individuals who have been classified as disabled pursuant to federal guidelines. When a parent receives SSD, their dependents are also eligible to receive a monthly benefit of up to 50% of the monthly benefit of the parent (this is called the "derivative benefit"). In such cases, derivative benefits may be proportionally reduced so that no "family" may receive more than 150-180% of the disabled person's benefit.

Read more about SSD and Pennsylvania child support...

Same Sex Marriage in Pennsylvania: An Employee Benefits Perspective

Last year's U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor significantly changed the legal landscape for same-sex marriage. In that case, the Supreme Court held that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defined "marriage" to mean only a union between a man and a woman and "spouse" to refer to a person of the opposite sex, was unconstitutional as a violation of equal protection pursuant to the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The landmark Windsor decision means that same-sex marriages performed in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage must be treated the same as opposite-sex marriages for purposes of federal law.

Read more about the impact of same sex marriage laws in Pennsylvania...

Attorney Insights – Marianne Henry Saylor Presents 'Defining Workers' Compensation in Pennsylvania'

Attorney Insights Video
Pennsylvania workers' compensation attorney Marianne Henry Saylor reviews the basics of workers' compensation law in Pennsylvania. Saylor explains that the law covers wage loss benefits for time missed from work and medical expenses related to treatment, but not pain and suffering. Click here to watch the full video...

Attorney Insights – Scott M. Orloff Discusses the Family Law Practice at Willig, Williams & Davidson

Attorney Insights Video
Pennsylvania family law attorney Scott Orloff says the seven family law attorneys at Willig, Williams & Davidson are able to draw on the insight from other firm attorneys on everything from workers' compensation to real estate. In addition, his own background in tax matters adds a component of experience many other family law attorneys lack. Click here to watch the full video...

Featured Practice Area: Family Law

The Domestic Relations / Family Law Group at Willig, Williams, & Davidson is committed to helping clients get through some of the most difficult times in their lives as smoothly as possible. From cases of divorce to child custody to support, no client is just a fee or just a file to Willig, Williams & Davidson. The firm understands that its attorneys are dealing with people's lives and families, and that influences everything they do for a client, from the initial consultation to the final settlement of assets. Read more about the firm's Family Law practice here...

Workers' Compensation Q&A – Did You Know?

Our firm often answers questions about workers' compensation. Here are some of the most frequently asked:

Special Announcement: Willig, Williams & Davidson Named to Honor Roll of Legal Organizations Welcoming Women Professionals

WIP Honor Roll

Deborah Willig was breaking glass ceilings even before she was out of law school and she and the other partners at Willig, Williams & Davidson are committed to running a law firm where all attorneys can flourish, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or religion.

That commitment to diversity has earned the firm a spot on the prestigious Honor Roll of Legal Organizations Welcoming Women Professionals. An initiative of the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession, the Honor Roll recognizes organizations that have implemented programs and initiatives that help women lawyers continue and advance in their careers. Read more about WIP Honor Roll here...

Attorney Happenings and Headlines

Willig, Williams & Davidson attorneys are very active in the community and often serve on boards, speak at industry events, and make news headlines. Here are some of the firm's latest goings on:

Labor Attorney Richard Poulson Quoted on Protecting Act 111 for Police Officers and Firefighters
Willig, Williams and Davidson Attorney Richard G. Poulson was quoted in news coverage of his testimony before the Pennsylvania General Assembly in in defense of police officer and firefighter collective bargaining rights under Act 111.

Attorney Matthew Slater Earns Workers' Compensation Law Specialty Certification
Associate Matthew W. Slater has been certified as a specialist in the practice of workers' compensation law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Workers' Compensation Law Section. Philadelphia is home to fewer than 100 certified workers' compensation lawyers – four of whom are Willig, Williams & Davidson attorneys.

Congratulations to Our 12 Attorneys Named to the 2014 List of PA Super Lawyers
Willig, Williams & Davidson is proud to announce that 12 of our attorneys have been recognized as 2014 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers. Attorneys named to this list are those who have been identified by their peers as high performers in their practice areas. Only 5 percent of all Pennsylvania lawyers achieve Super Lawyers status each year.

Attorney Emma Rebhorn Joins Firm
Willig, Williams & Davidson is pleased to announce that Emma Rebhorn has joined the firm as a new associate. The daughter of two proud union members, Emma became committed to the cause of organized labor as an undergraduate at Columbia University, and then began her legal career as an assistant general counsel in the legal department of the United Steelworkers International Union (USW), the largest industrial union in North America.

Attorney Amy Rosenberger Led CLE at PBI Technology Institute
Labor and employment lawyer Amy L. Rosenberger presented "Electronic and Social Media and the Workplace: Emerging Issues (Intermediate)" at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's Technology Institute CLE program in June.

Copyright © 2014 Willig, Williams & Davidson.

Willig, Williams & Davidson is one of the largest and most respected union-side labor law firms in the United States with offices in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Jenkintown and Media, Pa., as well as Haddonfield, N.J. The firm's accomplished and diverse legal team focuses on representing labor unions, employee benefit funds and individual working people and their families. Its attorneys work with clients to find practical and efficient solutions to the problems that they face in a variety of legal forums, including national, regional and local contract negotiations and dispute resolution through mediation, arbitration and court litigation. The materials contained in this correspondence have been authored or gathered by Willig, Williams & Davidson for informational purposes only. This correspondence is not intended to be and is not considered to be legal advice. Transmission of this document is not intended to create, and receipt does not establish, an attorney-client relationship. Legal advice of any nature should be sought from legal counsel. In some states, this correspondence may be considered attorney advertising.