Protecting Workers’ Rights

Focusing on the Rights of Federal Employees

News from Passman & Kaplan: Joseph V. Kaplan (1953-2020)

News from Passman & Kaplan:  Passman & Kaplan, P.C. mourns the loss of Founding Principal Joseph V. Kaplan, who died last night as a victim of the coronavirus pandemic at the age of 66.

A Philadelphia native, Joe spent his entire legal career of over 40 years defending the rights of employees. Joe first started working in labor law in 1978 while also studying for his LLM. After receiving his LLM, Joe started work in July 1979 with the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). Joe stayed at NTEU for seven years, rising to the position of Assistant Director of Negotiations. In August 1986, Joe started his professional association with Ed Passman, joining the former firm of Passman and Broida as an associate. Joe left Passman and Broida in 1989 to start his own law practice.

On January 1, 1990, Joe and Ed founded the firm of Passman & Kaplan, P.C. as Founding Principals. Over the following 30 years, Joe tirelessly fought for employees and unions, including winning a number of precedent-setting victories for clients. Joe also mentored a generation of federal employment lawyers, with the rolls of current and former P&K attorneys who Joe taught now making a mark in legal practice nationwide.

Joe was a widely published author in the field of federal employment law. Joe was the principal author of all three editions of Passman & Kaplan's Federal Employees Legal Survival Guide, as well as co-author of Litigating Federal Sector Employment and Labor Disputes: A Practitioner's Handbook and author of many other publications. Joe was a highly-sought lecturer on federal employment law issue, including frequently speaking at NELA conferences, the EEOC's EXCEL conference, the FDR training conference, and various Society of Federal Labor and Employee Relations Professionals (SFLERP) conferences. Joe was an Adjunct Professor at American University's Washington College of Law and an Adjunct Instructor with American University's Department of Public Administration and Policy; he also served previously on the faculty of Central Michigan University.

Joe became a Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Inc. since 2008. He served for 3 years as National President for SFLERP. Joe was past Vice President and a longtime board member of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA), the local affiliate of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). Joe was also frequently involved in the rulemaking advocacy and lobbying efforts of MWELA and NELA.

In his personal life, Joe was a proud family man, and is survived by his wife, Ellen, three daughters and two grandchildren. Joe was a passionate student of Civil War history and an avid cook. Joe was also extremely actively involved in community theater. In particular, Joe was the longtime president of Hexagon, active contributing to and participating in their musical-comedy revues while raising money for worthy charities.

We here at Passman & Kaplan deeply mourn the loss of our friend, mentor and colleague. We hope to honor his legacy by continuing the fight to defend the rights of employees, even though we know that such a giant in this field can never be replaced. May his memory be for a blessing.

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