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Milwaukee Employment Law Blog

Sprint settles wage-and-hour class-action lawsuit

Sprint’s business sales employees might be forgiven if they ask management of the company “Can you hear me now?” After news that Sprint recently reached a $3.65 million settlement with sales employees, there is no doubt that management has finally heard them.

The settlement earlier this month brought to an end a nine-year class-action wage-and-hour lawsuit that began when nearly 4,000 Sprint sales employees claimed the phone company failed to pay commissions they were owed after the merger with Nextel in 2004.

Whistleblowers In Defense Contractor Lawsuit To Receive $4.4M

Branches of the United States military often rely on contractors to provide services to benefit the Armed Forces. Defense contractors employ civilians to perform these services. Yet, if a defense industry contractor seeks to pad its own bottom line through overbilling, the federal government may not necessarily be able to detect fraudulent billing practices. For that reason, the federal False Claims Act allows private individuals to bring forth information about unfair and unlawful billing practices to protect taxpayers and the government from fraudulent practices.

Branches of the United States military often rely on contractors to provide services to benefit the Armed Forces. Defense contractors employ civilians to perform these services. Yet, if a defense industry contractor seeks to pad its own bottom line through overbilling, the federal government may not necessarily be able to detect fraudulent billing practices. For that reason, the federal False Claims Act allows private individuals to bring forth information about unfair and unlawful billing practices to protect taxpayers and the government from fraudulent practices.

Long-term disability insurance explainer

We read with interest a recent article on a personal financial news website about two programs that help employees who are unable to continue working because of injury or illness. Both are familiar to regular readers of our Milwaukee employment law blog: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and long-term disability insurance (LTD).

Kiplinger points out that only about one third of all U.S. employees have LTD insurance coverage. Like Social Security Disability, LTD benefits are income replacement for workers who have a serious medical condition that prevents them from continuing their careers.

Are you too old to read this?

The short answer: of course you are not too old to read this newest post on our Milwaukee employment law blog. However, that doesn't mean you might not be considered too old to read employment ads on Facebook placed by Amazon, Ikea, T-Mobile, Cox Media Group and hundreds of other companies allegedly targeting their ads away from job-seekers in their 50s and 60s.

The companies apparently use Facebook's targeting capabilities to ensure that their job ads will only be seen by younger Facebook users. A labor union that represents 700,000 media workers has filed a class action lawsuit in federal court alleging age discrimination.

DOJ Joins Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Construction Contractor

In late April, media outlets around the nation’s capital reported that problems were detected with concrete that was poured in a $2.6 billion project to extend rail service to Dulles International Airport. More recently, news reports emerged that allege that a subcontractor knowingly allowed the defective concrete panels to be installed in the project.

A former lab technician at the concrete company filed a whistleblower lawsuit in 2016 to address the potential fraud against the government. The Department of Justice announced on May 16, 2018 that it was joining in the lawsuit. The court file related to the lawsuit was also unsealed on the same day.

Son of Milwaukee area business owner accused of sexual assault, more

The growing Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha is known for its natural spring water that was long ago believed to have healing properties. More recently, the city of about 70,000 has become known for its health care businesses and commitment to its parks and library.

A few days ago, the son of the owner of the city’s Superior Crane found himself facing serious charges of sexually assaulting workers, sexual harassment and exposing himself at work. The 28-year-old has been arrested on six charges of fourth-degree sexual assault and a pair of charges of lewd and lascivious behavior.

Owners Of Methadone Treatment Clinics Settle False Claims Act Lawsuit

Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE and other government health programs often provide suppliers, clinics and healthcare facilities with reimbursements for a wide range of services.  Healthcare fraud may occur anywhere throughout the spectrum of healthcare services, including allegations involving medical device suppliers, medical practitioners and treatment providers.

The federal government recently settled a False Claims Act lawsuit with that alleged two substance treatment clinics and the owners of the facilities on the East Coast doubled-billed Medicaid for services associated with methadone treatment. The lawsuit also alleged that some services were never performed, although the clinics sought reimbursement from government programs.

Protecting whistleblowers from retaliation

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been beset in recent years by scandals, including here in Wisconsin at the Tomah facility about three hours northwest of Milwaukee. The scandals that have plagued VA hospitals across the nation have come to light because of the bravery of whistleblowers who will not turn a blind eye to misconduct.

The fight to stop fraud against the federal government goes beyond the initial headlines, however. Far too often, whistleblowers must contend with unlawful retaliation after they shine a light on malfeasance. Fortunately, an experienced employment law attorney can protect a whistleblower.

Wisconsin retailer sued for age discrimination

Led by an aging Baby Boom generation, the graying of America is well underway. While many Milwaukee-area employers embrace the shift toward an older workforce, some are resistant to the change and even push older employees out to make way for younger hires.

A 60-year-old retail salesperson south of Milwaukee recently filed a complaint under provisions of Wisconsin's fair employment law, accusing her former employer of cutting her salary and diverting her sales to younger employees before firing her.

Home oxygen supply company settles healthcare fraud lawsuit

Many people in the Milwaukee area rely on medical device suppliers to provide needed equipment for their ongoing care. Home oxygen supplies are often necessary for individuals with respiratory conditions, including many forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, to facilitate breathing. Medicare covers the rental costs for many patients who use stationary or portable equipment to supply oxygen.

The rules allow Medicare to cover the costs of rental equipment during the first 36 months with few restrictions on the need for the equipment. Once that period has lapsed, Medicare requires proof that the oxygen equipment is necessary and that the patient is actually using the equipment. A recently settled lawsuit alleged that a home medical equipment supplier in the Southwestern United States billed Medicare without the necessary proof that patients needed or used the equipment. The lawsuit further alleged the company may not have even provided oxygen to some patients, but billed Medicare for reimbursement anyway.

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