Debra Katz Joins SEIU Advisory Board

Katz, Marshall & Banks partner Debra Katz joined the advisory board for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The prominent service workers union has undergone a tumultuous couple of weeks that has resulted in major personnel changes across the organization.

SEIU Executive VP Scott Courtney resigned following complaints about relationships with female staffers. At around the same time, a top Chicago organizer was fired for sexual misconduct and questions about nepotism. Finally, this past week, Kendall Fells, an organizing director resigned due to reports of abusive behavior toward women.

These changes all occurred within the Fight for 15 movement, an undertaking for a $15 minimum wage that started with fast food workers, but has spread across other industries.

Current and former staffers claim that this is not the first time they have complained about unfair and abusive treatment. In October, the union launched an investigation to review their policies and problems with implementation.

In an effort to prevent similar situations in the future, the union also formed an external advisory group to provide an “outside, objective perspective.” In addition to Ms. Katz, the board will consist of Cecilia Muñoz, former White House Domestic Policy Council director; and Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center.

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