A passionate Kazan Law attorney just received a special honor from a workers safety group and all of us at our mesothelioma law firm feel honored and proud. Frances Schreiberg, a longtime Kazan Law Of Counsel attorney who works on pro bono cases for us, has just had a new annual award launched in her honor. It is aptly called the Frances Schreiberg Pro Bono Award.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines moral compass as “a natural feeling that makes people know what is right and wrong and how they should behave.” In the workday world, where workers continue to be put at risk for death, disease and injury whether due to asbestos exposure, faulty machinery, chemical fumes or myriad other causes, Fran serves as a moral compass for the community. She gives a voice to those who are too fearful to speak up and she empowers the unempowered.
Before I convinced her to work for Kazan Law in 1991, Fran worked for:
- the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, training administrative law judges, attorneys and investigators
- the State of California, Department of Industrial Relations, and among other tasks, managed the criminal Bureau of Investigations at Cal/OSHA where she prosecuted companies when workers were killed or maimed as a result of unsafe or unhealthful conditions on the job.
- 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 and other workplace safety hazards. In 1987, Fran and I were part of a concerned group trying to restore Cal/OSHA when powerful business interests temporarily succeeded in dissolving it. That group was the nucleus of WorkSafe and Fran has been involved with WorkSafe ever since.
WorkSafe, headquartered in Oakland, California, remains dedicated to eliminating workplace hazards. It is fitting that the group has created an annual Frances Schreiberg Pro Bono Award to be presented at their annual anniversary celebration. This year’s inaugural recipient at WorkSafe’s 31st anniversary celebration was Julius Young, a partner at the Oakland firm Boxer & Gerson.
Sophie Noero, Worksafe’s program administrator commented afterwards, “It was a wonderful event, and I am so thrilled that we were able to acknowledge and celebrate Fran’s and the firm’s invaluable support of Worksafe in front of so many members of our community.”
We are too.