"I'm telling you that you did a terrific job. You got a huge amount of money for your client. I'm a little astounded. I'm not really sure why [the defendant] agreed to pay it, but they did....This is the best result I have ever seen for a no or limited damages single employment case. The best."
-Hon. Harold E. Kahn, San Francisco Superior Court, April 2016

BRYAN SCHWARTZ

A smart and tenacious litigator, Bryan Schwartz has represented clients' interests before a wide range of adjudicative bodies: from the United States District Court, to United States Courts of Appeals; from California Superior Courts to the California Supreme Court; from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, to the Merit Systems Protection Board; from the United States Department of Labor, to labor arbitration before the American Arbitration Association and other organizations. Mr. Schwartz has helped many grateful clients get their careers back on track after employer wrongdoing derailed them, obtaining tens of millions in recovery for employees across the country.

Mr. Schwartz's efforts on behalf of whistleblowers and discrimination victims have been publicized worldwide, from The Washington Post to the Wall Street Journal, from National Public Radio to MSNBC, from Voice of America to India's Hindustani Times. Mr. Schwartz has developed a niche in Federal employees' unique claims, and has led multi-plaintiff, class and collective actions involving overtime and other wage violations under state and federal laws across the country. 

Before founding his own firm in 2009, Mr. Schwartz led the San Francisco, California, office of Nichols Kaster, LLP. Previously, Mr. Schwartz practiced with the Washington, DC-based firm of Passman & Kaplan, PC, and clerked for the Hon. Franklin Van Antwerpen, currently a senior member of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Mr. Schwartz is the Chair of the State Bar of California's Labor and Employment Law Section, which has over 7500 members. He is immediate past President of FAIR, a non-profit foundation dedicated to increasing diversity in the plaintiffs' employment Bar and to workers' rights education, and a member of the Executive Board of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) and the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society's Employment Law Center.

Mr. Schwartz has chaired the Annual Meeting of the Labor and Employment Law Section, and the State Bar's Advanced Wage and Hour Conference. He helped to initiate CELA's statewide Employee Justice Fellowship, to aid law students of all backgrounds in entering the practice of representing workers, and CELA's annual Diversity Summit, by which hundreds of labor and employment lawyers gather to discuss how to create leadership opportunities for diverse attorneys in the field and overcome bias in the profession. Mr. Schwartz appeared as amicus curiae before the California Supreme Court on behalf of CELA in several critical cases, including Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court, Kirby v. Immoos Fire Protection, and Duran v. US Bank.

Mr. Schwartz is one of California's most prolific speakers and authors on employment law subjects. He has presented often to the State Bar, the National Employment Lawyers Association, CELA, and elsewhere, from NPR's "Your Legal Rights" radio show, to the ABA's Commission on Disability Rights, to the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, to JAMS (the arbitration and mediation provider). His articles have been published in the California Labor and Employment Law Review, Plaintiff Magazine, and other media. The firm's blog is a resource to jurists, attorneys, and workers nationwide.

As a young man, Mr. Schwartz was elected the International Programming Vice President of the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization and President of Cornell University's student government. After graduating from Cornell and before law school at the University of California at Berkeley, Mr. Schwartz was a Federal Investigator (bilingual-Spanish) at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a campaign manager, and a school teacher in Costa Rica. Also a professional photojournalist, Mr. Schwartz has traveled to nearly 50 countries on five continents, is the author of Scattered Among the Nations and is President of the non-profit organization, Scattered Among the Nations. Mr. Schwartz is past President of Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland, California.

Contact Mr. Schwartz.

ADMISSIONS

California Supreme Court
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
United States District Court for the Central District of California
United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
United States District Court for the Southern District of California
United States District Court for the District of Columbia

Mr. Schwartz has also been admitted by special permission (pro hac vice) in 14 District Courts nationwide.


EDUCATION

J.D. 2000, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley
B.A. 1994, Cornell University, magna cum laude
 

COMMITTEES 

State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section
Chair

California Employment Lawyers Association
Executive Board Member

Foundation for Advocacy Inclusion & Resources
Board Member

Legal Aid at Work
(formerly Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center)
Board of Directors, Member

Legal Aid at Work
(formerly Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center)
100th Anniversary Campaign, Co-Chair

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

2017 National Employment Lawyers Association Wage & Hour Seminar, Litigating Wage & Hour Cases: Challenges & Opportunities, "How to Settle Without Settling," Panelist (April 2017)

The State Bar of California, The Challenge of Fair Employment in a Pluralistic Democracy: Comparing Israel’s and California’s Laws, Moderator (November 16, 2016)

UC Berkeley School of Law, Small, Midsize & Boutique Law Firm Panel, Speaker (September 26, 2016)

2016 State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting, “Happy Lawyering: a Discussion with Prof. Deborah Rhode,” Moderator (April 2016)

2016 Impact Fund, 14th Annual Class Action Conference, “Class Action Settlement Ethics,”  Moderator/Panelist (February 2016)

2015 State Bar of California Advanced Wage and Hour Seminar, Wage and Hour Trivia Luncheon, Host (July 2015)

2015 CEB San Francisco Seminar, "Whistleblower Law: Views from the Inside," Speaker (June 2015)

2014 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section Trial Demonstration Seminar, "Litigating a Disability Discrimination Case," Conference Chair (November 2014)

JAMS San Francisco Seminar, "Updates on the Legal Landscape of Wage & Hour Cases and the Increasing Focus on PAGA," Speaker (November 2014)

2014 National Employment Lawyers Association Federal Sector Conference, "Representing Federal Employees: Navigating A Complex Landscape," Steering Committee Member, and "EEOC Class Actions," Moderator/Panelist (October 2014)

JAMS San Francisco Seminar, "Resolving Wage & Hour Mass Actions: The ever-changing landscape," Speaker (May 2014)

2014 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting, "Economic Realities Test and Martinez v. Combs –Determining Who the Employer Is Under FLSA and California Law," Speaker (April 2014) 

ABA Commission on Disability Rights, 4th National Disability Rights Law Conference: Breaking Down Barriers to Employment and Education, "Are you Screening for Disabilities?" Speaker (April 2014)

2014 California Employment Lawyers Association Annual Wage and Hour Conference, "Emerging Trends in Wage and Hour Class Actions," Speaker (April 2014)

Impact Fund, 12th Annual Class Action Conference, "Class Action Settlement Issues" Moderator / Panelist (February 2014) 

Temple Beth Abraham Panel Discussion, "The Crisis of Labor and Sex Trafficking: Legal and Community Action," Moderator (February 2014)

2014 California Employment Lawyers Association Seminar, "Marketing Your Law Practice," Panelist (February 2014) 

2013 UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law Panel, "Careers in Labor and Employment Law," Moderator (November 2013)

National Public Radio, KALW San Francisco 91.7 FM "Employment Law -- ADA Issues in the Workplace," Speaker (November 6, 2013)

San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, "Top 5 Discovery Motions," Panelist (August 2013) 

2013 State Bar of California's Third Annual Advanced Wage and Hour Conference, "Wage Claims Against Insolvent Defendants: Litigating and Settling Actions Worth More than the Defendants," Steering Committee Member/Moderator (July 2013)

2013 California Employment Lawyers Association Diversity Summit, "Diversity in the Employment Bar: Overcoming Bias," Steering Committee Member/Moderator (June 2013)

2013 State Bar of California New Lawyers Conference, "Nuts & Bolts of an Employment Practice - for New Employment Lawyers," Faculty Member (January 2013)

2012 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting,
Chair (November 2012) 

2012 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting, "Litigating a Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) Case," Moderator (November 2012)

2012 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting, "Wage and Hour Litigation 101," Moderator (November 2012)

2012 California Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference,
"The Future of Wage and Hour Class Actions," Panelist (October 2012)

2012 State Bar of California's Second Annual Advanced Wage & Hour Conference, Chair (July 2012) 

2012 State Bar of California's Second Annual Advanced Wage & Hour Conference, "Wage and Hour Class Arbitration Issues Post-Concepcion and Stolt-Nielsen," Moderator (July 2012)

California Employment Lawyers Association, 2012 NorCal Summer Law Clerk Orientation, "Law and Motion Practice," Speaker (June 2012)

National Public Radio, KALW San Francisco 91.7 FM "Your Legal Rights: a Discussion on Employees' Rights on Computers at Work," Speaker (June 13, 2012)

2012 California Employment Lawyers Association's Northern California Diversity Summit, Chair (May 2012)

Winston & Strawn's eLunch Briefing, "Brinker, Kirby, Duran, Concepcion, and Dukes — What's Next for Wage and Hour Class Actions — a Plaintiff's and Defense Counsel Perspective," Speaker (May 2012) (Click here to listen)

2011 California Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference,
"How to Increase Diversity in the Plaintiffs' Employment Bar," Diversity Luncheon Speaker (October 2011)

2011 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section, Annual Meeting, "Nuts and Bolts of a Successful Plaintiffs' Practice," Moderator (October 2011)

2011 Willamette University College of Law (Salem, Oregon),"Seeking Social Justice Through Administrative Law," Speaker (October 2011)

2011 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section, First Annual Wage & Hour Conference, "Wage and Hour Litigation After ATT Mobility v. Concepcion," Co-Chair (July 2011)

2011 California Employment Lawyers Association, Litigation Basics Seminar, Chair and Presenter (June 2011)

National Public Radio, KALW San Francisco 91.7 FM "Your Legal Rights: a Debate on the ATT Mobility v. Concepcion Supreme Court Decision, and How it Affects Your Rights in the Workplace," Speaker (May 4, 2011)

2011 Golden Gate University School of Law, "Discovery Challenges," Panelist (April 2011)

2011 UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Lawand California Employment Lawyers Association Panel, "Careers in Employment Law," Moderator (March 2011)

2010 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting, "Strategically Positioning Your Disability Discrimination Case for Trial," Co-Chair / Moderator (October 2010)

2010 National Employment Lawyers Association Convention, "How to Create & Grow Your Solo Legal Practice," Panelist (June 2010)

2010 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law Section Public Sector Conference, "The First Amendment in the Public Sector: Do Privacy and Free Speech Still Exist?" Moderator (May 2010)

SCORE (Counselors of America's Small Business Owners, a partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)) Meeting, "How to Avoid Hearing From Someone Like Me - Tips for Small Businesses From a Plaintiffs' Employment Lawyer," Speaker (December 2009)

2009 UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Lawand California Employment Lawyers Association Panel, "Hot Topics and Recent Victories in the California Employment Law Plaintiffs' Bar," Moderator (November 2009)

2009 State Bar of California Labor and Employment Annual Meeting, "Gaze Into Our Crystal Ball as We Reveal Labor and Employment Trends for the Future," Moderator (June 2009)

2009 UC Hastings Women's Law Journal Symposium, Ongoing Struggles for Economic Equality: Challenges Faced by Women and Marginalized Communities,"Low-Wage Workers in the Economic Crisis," Panelist (February 2009)

2008 National Employment Lawyers Association Convention, "Advanced Strategic Thinking in Whistleblower Cases," Panelist (June 2008)

2007 National Employment Lawyers Association Conference, Representing Workers in Individual and Collective Actions Under the FLSA, "Encouraging Wage & Hour Actions Against State & Local Public Employers," Panelist (October 2007)

2007 San Francisco Hillel Business and Law Mentorship Program, "Don't Sell Out: Keeping Jewish Values in Your Career and Life," Keynote Speaker (February 2007)
 

PUBLICATIONS

"Vital Signs of the Rule of Law in California's Workplaces"
 California Labor & Employment Law Review, Message from the Chair, Bryan Schwartz (April 2017)

"California Labor and Employment Law Section Survey: We Are Only Mostly Satisfied"
California Labor and Employment Law Review, Author, (November 2016)

"Top 10 Tips for Your Next Class Action Settlement Mediation"
Impact Fund, Author, (February 1, 2016)

"Using Unpaid Intern Labor? It'll Cost You"
Plaintiff Magazine, Co-Author (June 2015)

"If You Employ Nurses, Know Their Disability Rights" Bloomberg BNA, Health Law Reporter, Author, (May 28, 2015)

"2014 Gave More Clarity on Liability for Wage Violations," Daily Journal, Author, (December 2014)

"PAGA: A Decade of Victories,"Today's Workplace, Co-Author (August 20, 2014) (Reprinted in Plantiff Magazine, September 2014; and in Advocate, the Journal of Consumer Attorneys Associations for Southern California, September 2014)

"Civil Rights at 50," California Labor & Employment Law Review, Co-Author, (July 2014) 

"Duran v. U.S. Bank: An Analysis," California Employment Lawyer Association eBulletin, Author (June 2014)

"Class-action settlement principles to take with you into mediation," Plaintiff Magazine, Author (April 2014)

"The Unclean Hands and After-Acquired Evidence Defenses," California Labor and Employment Law Review, Co-Author (September 2012) 

"Wage-and-hour class actions: The sky is falling (or is it?)," Plaintiff Magazine, Author (September 2012) (Reprinted as the cover story in Advocate, the Journal of Consumer Attorneys Associations for Southern California, October 2012)

"Plaintiffs Win A 'Great Victory' in the Long-Awaited Brinker Meal and Rest Period Decision," California Employment Lawyers Association Bulletin, Author (April 2012)

"How to Win Court Approval For Your Class-Action Settlement – Learn to Avoid Delays That Occur if the Court Rejects or Requires Modification of Your Settlement," Plaintiff Magazine, Co-Author (April 2010)

"How We Killed Berkeley's Naked Guy"San Francisco Chronicle, Author (June 1, 2009)

"In the Name of Security, Insecurity: The Trend to Diminish Employee Rights," The Labor Lawyer, Vol. 21, No. 1, Co-Author (Summer 2005)

Federal Employees Legal Survival Guide, 2nd Edition, Contributing Author (2005)


AWARDS
2016 Top 75 Labor & Employment Attorneys in California Daily Journal

2016 Northern California "Super Lawyer" Super Lawyers Magazine

2015 Top 75 Labor & Employment Attorneys in California Daily Journal

2015 Northern California "Super Lawyer" Super Lawyers Magazine

2014 Northern California "Super Lawyer" Super Lawyers Magazine

2013 Northern California "Super Lawyer" Super Lawyers Magazine

2012 Northern California "Rising Star" Super Lawyers Magazine

2011 Northern California "Rising Star" Super Lawyers Magazine
 

MEMBERSHIPS

National Employment Lawyers Association
California Employment Lawyers Association
California State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section
 

LANGUAGES

Spanish (fluent)
Portuguese (conversational)
Russian (basic)
Hebrew (basic)