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About WF
Staff and Board of Directors


Senior Advisor
Paula Brantner

Paula Brantner served Workplace Fairness as Executive Director from 2008 to 2016 and as Program Director from 2003 to 2007.Paula was the Program Director for Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, and the Working America Education Fund, from 2007-2008. From 1997-2001, she was the senior staff attorney at the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), heading NELA's amicus, legislative/policy, and judicial nominations programs. An employment lawyer for over 25 years, Brantner has degrees from UC-Hastings College of the Law and Michigan State University's James Madison College. She continues to advise the organization on website strategy and content and oversee WF's Content Licensing for Legal Websites program through her business PB Work Solutions, LLC;  and she also serves as the organization’s primary press contact and expert on a variety of employment law topics.

Administrative and Development Director
Shannon Elka Rusz

Shannon Rusz has been associated with Workplace Fairness since 2009. She previously worked as Content Manager, working with staff and interns to keep our extensive legal content up to date. She now also manages administration, development, and communications for WF. Shannon is an attorney practicing in the Annapolis, Maryland, area. She received her undergraduate degree in economics from Virginia Commonwealth University where she graduated magna cum laude. Her Law degree is from The George Washington University Law School. 

Board of Directors

Wayne Outten
Outten & Golden LLP
New York, NY

WAYNE N. OUTTEN is one of the founders of Workplace Fairness, formerly known as the National Employee Rights Institute (NERI), and has remained involved in various capacities since 1994. Wayne has committed himself, through Workplace Fairness and many other organizations, to advocating for workers’ rights nationwide.

Wayne is founding and managing partner of Outten & Golden LLP. His practice focuses exclusively on representing employees. He co-chairs the firm’s Executives and Professionals Practice Group. his practice focuses on representing senior employees and professionals in all aspects of employment, including negotiation of employment, compensation, severance, expatriate, and secondment agreements.  His notable recoveries include $12 million in a discrimination/retaliation case, $18.9 million in a breach-of-contract case, and $72.0 million in a compensation case.
His Recognitions include “Best Lawyers in America”; Top 100 New York Metro Super Lawyers; Best Lawyer's "Lawyer of the Year 2010" for Labor and Employment Law - NYC and "Lawyer of the Year 2012" for Litigation - Labor and Employment in NYC; Lawdragon's 500 Leading Lawyers in America (2006); Lawdragon's 500 Leading Plaintiff Lawyers in America (2007); and Lawdragon "legend" (2015).

Wayne is also a founding member and/or leader in many organizations, including National Employment Lawyers Association and its New York affiliate, the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section (Chair, 2015-2016). He has lectured and written extensively on negotiation, mediation and arbitration of employment disputes and on employment and severance agreements. More at http://www.outtengolden.com/lawyer-attorney/wayne-n-outten.

Vice President
Darnley D. Stewart
Outten & Golden, LLP
New York, NY

Darnley D. Stewart has served as Vice President for Workplace Fairness since 2013. She is a partner at Outten & Golden LLP in New York, Co-chair of the Discrimination & Retaliation Practice Group, and Co-chair of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ) Workplace Rights Practice Group. Darnley is admitted to practice in New York and is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Employment Lawyers Association (“NELA”) and its New York affiliate (“NELA/NY”). More at http://www.outtengolden.com/lawyer-attorney/darnley-d-stewart.

Vice President
Frederick Gittes
Gittes Law Group
Columbus, OH

Frederick M. Gittes is Vice President of the Board of Workplace Fairness and has been with the organization for 16 years, lending his expertise in both employment law topics and board leadership. He is former president of the National Employment Lawyers Association and the Ohio Association for Justice. He was appointed Chair of the Civil Rights Committee of the Ohio State Bar Association for five years and elected Chairperson of the OSBA's Labor and Employment Law Section. He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America for over twenty years, in areas of practice including Employment Law, First Amendment Law and Communications Law. Fred has been honored in Ohio Super Lawyers for over a decade, including selections as one of the top 100 lawyers in Ohio and top 50 in Columbus. More at http://www.gitteslaw.com/frederick-gittes.

Walt Auvil
Rusen & Auvil, PLLC
Parkersburg, WV

Walt Auvil is another long-time member of the board and supporter of Workplace Fairness. He is the current Managing Attorney of The Employment Law Center, PLLC, since 1989. His practice is focused on representation of employees in employment-related litigation. He was Law Clerk at the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals from 1981 to 1983. Publications include Employment at Will, A State-by-State Survey. Mr. Auvil is also Chair, West Virginia State Bar Employment Law Committee of the West Virginia State Bar.  More at https://www.linkedin.com/in/waltauvil.

Connie McGuire
Washington, DC

Connie McGuire currently serves as the Treasurer for the Board of Workplace Fairness, lending her financial expertise to assist the organization in realizing its’ goals and mission with the best use of revenue and donated funds.  After a career working as the head of accounting and finance departments for both non-profit and for-profit organizations, Connie has most recently taught in the Business and Economics Department of Montgomery College in Maryland.  She also serves on the boards of two other community non-profits.

Heidi M. Allison
Allison & Taylor, Inc.
Rochester Hills, MI

Heidi Allison currently serves as a board member for Workplace Fairness, lending her expertise in public and press relations. One of her passions is assisting job seekers with ground-breaking advice and discussion about career advancement. Currently Heidi & Martin Yate facilitate the Career Center at WorkplaceFairness.org, offering expert advice and assistance to job-seekers and those seeking career advancement. More at https://www.allisontaylor.com/blog/alexandra-allison-ceo-allisontaylor-reference-checking/.

Shireen Mitchell
Digital Sisters, Inc. and Stop Online Violence Against Women 
Washington, DC

Shireen Mitchell offers Workplace Fairness her expertise as a non-profit board member, as well as in digital communications and social media. She is an award winning technological woman of color, founder, author, speaker, social entrepreneur, nonprofit leader, advocate, diversity analyst, and a political, digital & social strategist. Shireen is a native New Yorker who spent time playing video games, and designing BBS boards and gopher sites before the Web went worldwide. Shireen has served as a nonprofit board member for over a decade. She is currently on the boards of Workplace Fairness, Center for Partnership Studies, and Chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations. More at https://about.me/digitalsista.

Fran L. Rudich
Klafter Olsen & Lesser LLP
Rye Brook, NY

Fran Rudich serves on the board for Workplace Fairness, lending her unique expertise in employment law, particularly in the class action arena. Fran concentrates her practice in complex litigation and class action matters, with a particular emphasis in representing employees in all aspects of employment law, particularly sexual harassment, various issues of discrimination, and cases involving violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Fair Labor Standards Act, and state wage and hour statutes. Fran has been the lead attorney in numerous multi-million dollar employment discrimination jury verdicts against major national entities and corporations. More at http://klafterolsen.com/attorneys/fran-l-rudich/.

Douglas Scherer
Touro Law Center
Huntington, NY

Douglas Scherer has served on the board of Workplace Fairness since 1994. He is a member of the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center since 1983. He is a Professor of Law since 1984 and Founder and Director of the Legal Education Access Program (LEAP Program), the Law Center’s academic support and mentoring program for students of color since 1990. He is Founder and Co-Chair of the Law Center’s Annual Employment Law Trial Practice Conference, conducted jointly with the National Employment Lawyers Association. More at https://www.tourolaw.edu/AboutTouroLaw/uploads/faculty_cv/Scherer_Douglas_2.pdf.


Wayne Outten
Outten & Golden, LLP
New York, NY

Paul Tobias
Tobias, Kraus & Torchia
Cincinnati, OH

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