Francis Santos Hired as Joseph V. Kaplan Workers’ Rights Fellow

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Francis Santos Hired as Joseph V. Kaplan Workers’ Rights Fellow

Francis Santos Hired as Joseph V. Kaplan Workers’ Rights Fellow

August 16, 2023 – Bryan Schwartz Law welcomes Francis Santos as the firm’s fourth Joseph V. Kaplan Workers’ Rights Fellow. He joins the firm after graduating from the University of California Berkeley, School of Law, where he received a law degree with certificates in Public Interest & Social Justice and International Law.

Mr. Santos served on the editorial board of California Law Review during law school, publishing articles that concern novel legal issues that intersect with numerous areas of law, in both California and the federal system. He also worked with the International Human Rights Law Clinic, to support legal advocacy and litigation efforts in challenging life without parole sentences across the country. He also worked as a Racial Justice Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where he supported the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program in developing legal cases that challenge occupational licensing regulations, discriminatory educational policies, and minimum wage exclusions.

Mr. Santos is an international student who was born and raised in the Philippines, and he speaks native Tagalog. He moved to the United States seven years ago in search of a better life for himself and to support his family back home. From his experiences working in this country and back in the Philippines, Mr. Santos understood all too well how one’s employment dictates how well one can live their life. Being a paycheck away from not being able to pay rent or afford food can be some of the scariest moments in a worker’s life, especially when they have to care for a family. Helping individuals resolve these matters favorably can make an enormous difference in a person’s life, and Mr. Santos seeks to continue to do that work.

Mr. Santos’s fellowship is named for Joseph V. Kaplan, Esq., the founder of Passman & Kaplan in Washington, DC, a law firm that was dedicated to workers’ rights for over 30 years, where Mr. Schwartz first began private practice. Mr. Kaplan died in 2020 from complications of Covid-19. A Washington Post tribute to Mr. Kaplan is here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/lawyer-for-federal-workers-rights-political-satirist-and-civil-war-buff-dies-of-covid-19/2020/08/20/798e0e7e-dcb1-11ea-8051-d5f887d73381_story.html.

“Joe was the person who taught me what it means to be a strong and passionate advocate for workers,” said Mr. Schwartz of the fellowship. “We lost Joe and so many others to Covid-19, but it is a fitting tribute to him that the next generation of civil rights lawyers be trained in his honor.”

“I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to continue the work of assisting workers as the Joseph V. Kaplan Workers’ Rights Fellow,” added Mr. Santos, upon commencing the fellowship. “I look forward to honoring his legacy, and embodying the principles that he stood for,” he said.

Since 2009, Bryan Schwartz Law has dedicated itself to continuing the struggle for civil rights and equal employment opportunity, and helping Americans from every background to achieve their highest career potential. The firm focuses on individual, class, and collective actions involving discrimination and retaliation, harassment, denied disability accommodations, whistleblower reprisal, wage and hour violations, federal employees’ rights, and severance negotiations.

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