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Milwaukee Employment Law Blog

Lawsuit accuses Walker administration of wrongful discharge, more

Days ago, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was narrowly defeated in a bruising bid for re-election. But the two-term governor's battles are not over, as a former state employee alleges in a filed lawsuit that she was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for speaking out against sexual harassment.

The former state Department of Children and Families civil service employee and current Milwaukee County Board supervisor also claims she was fired for refusing to provide false data and for speaking out against a Walker political ally.

Ex-coach cites "smoking gun" voicemail in age discrimination suit

Though it's early in the new season, the Milwaukee Bucks are off to a surprisingly good start, sitting atop the NBA's Central Division. The Cleveland Cavaliers, one of the Bucks' fiercest rivals, occupies the division cellar, however.

The Cavs' woes mounted a few days ago when former assistant coach Jim Boylan, 62, filed an age discrimination lawsuit against the organization, claiming that the team did not pick up the option in his employment contract because it wanted someone younger in that role.

Whistleblower in mortgage fraud lawsuit to receive $1.98M

The federal government has vast resources, but detecting fraud in programs and contracts is no easy task in the normal course of business. The False Claims Act (which was initially enacted during the President Lincoln years) allows private individuals to file a lawsuit on behalf of the government to expose fraud and recover unlawfully obtained taxpayer money. Whistleblowers receive a percentage of any verdict or settlement that arises from the lawsuit.

Businesses in a wide variety of industries engage in transactions that are tied to government contracts or government programs. The housing market is a vital part of the American dream. Most people in Wisconsin are aware of the meltdown in the housing market in 2008. The Federal Housing Administration backs many mortgage loans across the nation - that backing is funded through taxpayer dollars. Fraud in the mortgage industry harms homeowners and taxpayers alike.

A year of disability discrimination

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently closed out its fiscal year, giving observers an opportunity to look back and assess the enforcement areas in which the EEOC was most active over the past 12 months and to consider where it might be going in the next year.

A recent article about the federal agency pointed out that it was particularly aggressive in protecting workers from employer disability discrimination. One of the employers targeted was a retailer with several outlets in the Milwaukee area: Bath & Body Works.

Pilot fired for reporting safety issues fights back and wins

When someone is in a serious accident and needs to be flown to a Milwaukee hospital by air ambulance, it's likely that one of the last things on their mind is whether the aircraft is sound or not. But medical aircraft are like all other planes and helicopters: they need to be regularly maintained and inspected to ensure safety.

Yet an Alaska company eager to hide safety issues with its aircraft fired a pilot who reported the problems to the Federal Aviation Administration. A federal judge recently awarded the Anchorage man about $750,000 in his employment law claim.

Former University of Wisconsin student sues for sexual harassment

Less than a hundred miles north of Milwaukee sits one the 26 campuses in the University of Wisconsin system. The Oshkosh satellite was recently hit with news that a former student has filed a lawsuit against the Board of Regents and a former art professor who the school determined had sexually harassed her.

The lawsuit says that both the University of Wisconsin system and former professor violated her Title IX and Constitutional rights. The school “acted with deliberate indifference” to the professor’s “sexual harassment of the plaintiff,” the suit filed in U.S. District Court states.

Whistleblower gets $5.4 million in lawsuit settlement

Surrounded by mountains and forest, Kalispell, Montana, is the gateway to one of the nation’s natural wonders: Glacier National Park. The beautiful scenery is a backdrop to an ugly scandal focused on the 138-bed hospital that takes its name from the town. The medical center has been roiled by charges that physicians there took illegal kickbacks and defrauded the federal government.

Kalispell Regional Healthcare recently agreed to pay $24 million to settle the whistleblower lawsuit that blew the lid off of the scheme. According a news source, it’s the largest False Claims Act recovery in Montana’s history.

Doing the right thing: Judge allows whistleblower suit to continue

On its website, Bayada Home Health Care urges its employees to “do the right thing.” Three former employees believe they’ve done just that by filing a whistleblower lawsuit that accuses Bayada of fraudulent Medicare billing.

Though all three signed separation agreements that released the company “from any and all claims,” U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg said their lawsuit can proceed. When denying Bayada’s motion to dismiss the suit that, he noted that though the separation agreements cover the former employees’ False Claims Act claims, the releases could not be enforced.

Whistleblower says pharmacy engaged in wrongful ‘swapping’

There is a difference in how government health care programs reimburse health care providers for Medicare Part A services as compared to Part B and Part D Medicare services. Some commentators believe that the different arrangements tempt some health care providers to create schemes to increase profits through reimbursement.A whistleblower says that he noticed a billing discrepancy in the way a Kentucky-based pharmacy company that serves nursing homes negotiated its prices under Part A when dealing with nursing home facilities. He initiated a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that the institutional pharmacy service provider used a scheme, commonly referred to as “swapping,” to defraud Medicare.

Judge rules Wisconsin’s transgender care denial is sex discrimination

A federal judge recently ruled that Wisconsin’s exclusion of health insurance coverage for medically necessary gender reassignment surgery violates the federal Civil Rights Act. U.S. District Judge William Conley said the denial of coverage for two University of Wisconsin-Madison employees who are transitioning to female is a form of prohibited sex discrimination.

Conley said the coverage exclusion also violates a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that prohibits discrimination.

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