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Milwaukee Employment Law Blog

UPS workers deliver message with racial discrimination lawsuit

Every day, you can see the distinctive brown United Parcel Service trucks crisscrossing Milwaukee as their drivers pick up and drop off packages. While UPS can deliver your parcel anywhere in the world, the company is struggling with a serious employment law matter right here at home.

Nineteen workers at a UPS distribution center are suing the company over racial discrimination and harassment, claiming management at the center “enabled, tolerated, and purposefully promoted and encouraged a culture of racism and racially discriminatory conduct."

Medical Records Are Important For Successful LTD Insurance Claims

A disabling injury or medical condition can affect a worker’s ability to continue to work during the lengthy recovery period. Many workers anticipate the potential impact with long-term disability insurance. However, most workers are not familiar with the process of pursuing claims under LTD insurance policies. Medical records are important in LTD claims at every stage of recovery.

In some instances, the insurance company may not seem to agree with a person’s treating doctor. The insurance providers have their own physicians who read the documents provided in the insurance claim. Moreover, the insurance company medical review may include a patient’s entire medical file. Without ever speaking with the patient, the insurance company doctors may decide a condition does not qualify for benefits. Moreover, after initially providing LTD benefits, the insurance companies often decide to terminate benefits, even when the patient’s primary doctor says the person is not yet able to return to work.

Techs triumph: Comcast and contractor agree to $7.5 million settlement

Though Comcast is the nation's largest internet service provider and biggest cable TV company, its services and products aren't widely available in Milwaukee. If the company does make inroads here, it might well do so with O.C. Communications Inc., a contractor that provides Comcast with the technicians who go into customers' homes to install cable TV.

O.C. Communications Inc. says on its website that it "is only as good as its employees." But details of how O.C. Communications treats its employees were revealed in a federal wage-and-hour class-action lawsuit and those details paint a different picture. Techs complained that they were not paid overtime and that many were denied meal breaks and had to buy their own tools.

Instacart faces class-action lawsuit over wages and tips

Instacart's pitch is simple and appealing: use the company's app on your phone to order groceries, then a "personal shopper" picks up the items from the store and delivers them to your Milwaukee home at a time that's convenient for you. While customers might be pleased with the arrangement, some of Instacart's independent contractors (they're the "personal shoppers") are not as happy.

The company is facing a class-action lawsuit over wages and how its workers are paid. According to a news source, Instacart guarantees workers a minimum of $10 per job, but the lawsuit says the company is offsetting the wages with tips workers receive from customers.

Man says female employer forced him into sex and then fired him

Many of our Milwaukee readers will recall that two years ago, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that about 10,000 sexual harassment complaints were filed in 2017. The overwhelming majority (83 percent) were filed by women. While the #MeToo movement has helped more female victims of workplace harassment speak out and take legal action to stop the behavior, far too often the sexual harassment of men is dismissed or derided in our culture.

We read recently of a man who argues in his sexual harassment, sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit that his rights were violated and his career damaged by a female former employer.

Can an HR director be held personally liable in an employment lawsuit?

There are no good reasons for supervisors, managers or Human Resources directors to encourage or allow sexual harassment or discrimination based on race, religion, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or age in the workplace. First and foremost, these behaviors are unlawful. Secondly, they cause real harm to victims.

But those in positions of workplace authority should have selfish reasons for not allowing or encouraging discrimination or harassment: doing so can cause tremendous damage to not only your career, but your financial health as well.

Nurse settles discrimination, retaliation lawsuit

Milwaukee is home to several hospitals recognized nationally for quality of care. Though health care facilities are dedicated to healing, some need to repair their own unhealthy work environments. Workers are far too often subjected to various forms of abuse by supervisors and colleagues - and then subjected to unlawful retaliation after reporting harassment or discrimination.

We read recently of a hospital nurse who was subjected to discrimination and retaliation after - ironically - she experienced health problems at work.

Pharmacy settles fraud claim over unverified ADD prescriptions

A national pharmacy chain that operates locations throughout Wisconsin has settled a whistleblower lawsuit that alleged the company filled prescriptions without verifying their medical necessity. Medicaid rules require pharmacies to verify medical necessity for certain stimulant medications before seeking reimbursement from the Medicaid program. The rules serve a gatekeeping role to ensure that taxpayer money that is used to purchase prescription drugs only pay for medications that are medically necessary, according to Matthew D. Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

In the recent lawsuit, workers noted that the pharmacy chain allegedly was not verifying medical necessity for stimulant prescriptions, such as those that are designed to treat such as attention deficient disorder, before seeking funds from Medicaid to pay for the medications.

Wisconsin software maker named in disability discrimination suit

If you drive about 90 miles due west of Milwaukee, you'll come to Verona, a modest suburb of Madison. The town of about 10,000 residents is home to Epic Systems Corporation, a company that boasts that its software is used to manage nearly two-thirds of all medical records in the U.S.

Epic was recently named in a disability discrimination lawsuit by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). The organization says Epic's software does not allow blind health care workers to have access to electronic medical records.

Mortgage lender accused of fraud in whistleblower claim

A former quality control manager for a Southern mortgage company says that the lender engaged in wrongful activities to increase chances that loans would be approved, according to a recent whistleblower lawsuit. The alleged scheme used several tactics, including burying information in the notes section of forms instead of the reporting section, approving unqualified borrowers and falsifying borrower documents. The goal was to boost profits for the lender in loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

The whistleblower first noticed abnormalities when an elderly borrower complained about be lied to by the loan officer in a reverse mortgage process, according to the lawsuit. After reviewing the files, the former quality control worker says that she found that the loan officer was not licensed in the state where the allegations arose. She claims that the paperwork was not in order and the loan officer took funds before the borrower signed documents confirming his Intent to Proceed.

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