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Ogletree Deakins’ Phillip Russell to Testify Before the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce

   |   Press Release

TAMPA, FL – October 11, 2011 – Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. (Ogletree Deakins), one of the nation’s largest labor and employment law firms representing management, announced today that Phillip Russell, a shareholder in the firm’s Tampa office, will testify at the hearing “H.R. 3094, The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act” (WDFA) before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce. Russell’s testimony will take place on Wednesday, October 12 at 10 a.m. Testimony will be available via a live webcast from the Committee’s web page.
Russell will testify that the WDFA, introduced by Committee Chair Rep. John Kline (R- Minn.), can protect the rights of all employees in a workplace to vote on unionization and their right to information from all sides before a vote. The WDFA would prevent fragmented workforces in which management would be forced to negotiate multiple contracts with multiple groups of employees or have fundamentally different sets of policies, pay, and practices for employees. In contrast, the recent National Labor Relations Board Specialty Healthcare decision and its proposed election rules would allow unions to determine which group or “unit” of employees will vote in the union election before any meaningful response from their employer.

According to the fact sheet submitted by Rep. Kline’s office, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act:

  • Ensures employers are able to participate in a fair union election process. The legislation provides employers at least 14 days to prepare their case to present before a NLRB election officer and an opportunity to raise additional concerns throughout the election hearing.
  • Guarantees workers have the ability to make a fully informed decision in a union election. No union election will be held in less than 35 days, giving workers a chance to hear both sides of the debate. Important issues that can determine how a worker votes will be decided before ballots are cast.
  • Reinstates the traditional standard for determining which employees will vote in the union election, restoring a standard that was developed through years of careful consideration and Congressional guidance.
  • Protects workers’ privacy by empowering workers to choose the type of personal contact information that is provided to the union.

About Ogletree Deakins

Ogletree Deakins is the nation’s third-largest labor and employment law firm, representing management in all types of employment-related legal matters. The firm has 600 lawyers located in 40 offices from Miami to Los Angeles. In addition to handling labor and employment law matters, the firm has thriving practices focused on business immigration, employee benefits, and workplace safety and health law. Ogletree Deakins represents a diverse range of clients, including more than half of the Fortune 50 corporations in the United States. For more information, please contact Ryan King, public relations manager, at (404) 870-1742.

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