Fran became a lawyer in order to help defend many forms of resistance during the height of the Vietnam anti-war movement. After practicing as a criminal defense attorney with a number of public defender offices, she taught juvenile law and supervised a criminal law clinic at the University of San Francisco School of Law.
Having been an active union member throughout her work life, she switched her emphasis in the mid-70’s to defending the rights of workers. She consulted with and later worked for the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, training administrative law judges, attorneys and investigators.
Between 1980 and 1984, she worked for the State of California, Department of Industrial Relations, and among other tasks, managed the criminal Bureau of Investigations at Cal/OSHA. This unit prosecuted companies when workers were killed or maimed as a result of unsafe or unhealthful conditions on the job. She also worked from 1984 to 1991 for the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, developed an occupational safety and health program for them, and was involved with a variety of construction trade union issues.
Since 1984 she has been an active member of numerous Cal/OSHA regulatory advisory committees, including ones for asbestos, lead, diacetyl and several other toxic substances, ergonomics, fall protection, injury and illness prevention programs, rebar caps, hand washing facilities for women in the trades and multi-employer worksite responsibilities. She also has participated in various Federal OSHA committees.
- New York University School of Law (J.D., 1972)
- Northwestern University (B.A., 1968)
- Working America Education Fund, Board Member. Working America is the community arm of the AFL-CIO and has over 3 million members.
- Worksafe, Co-Founder
- International Commission for Labor Rights, Board Member
- KidsCareEverywhere, Board Member, an organization dedicated to transforming pediatric care in under-resourced communities by donating state-of-the-art medical software to public hospitals and training physicians and medical providers in software utilization.
- National Lawyers Guild Labor & Employment Committee, Steering Committee and Membership Chair
- AFL-CIO Lawyers’ Coordinating Committee
- Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California
- National Lawyers Guild
- American Association for Justice
- Consumer Attorneys of California
- Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association