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Milwaukee Employment Law Blog

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.

Au pairs get back pay in $65 million class action suit settlement

They worked from Milwaukee to Miami and from Memphis to Mesa to Minneapolis and beyond. Au pairs worked in homes across the U.S., providing affordable child care, as well as cooking, cleaning, shopping and other household chores.

A few days ago, the companies authorized by the State Department to recruit young foreigners to serve as household assistants reached a $65.5 million settlement in a class action wage and hour lawsuit that had demanded back pay for the workers.

Wisconsin Gov. Evers signs order protecting LGBTQ state employees

When Wisconsin voters went to the polls in November of last year to choose a governor, they elected Tony Evers over incumbent Scott Walker. The change in direction was apparent on Evers' first day in office, when he signed an executive order that prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ state employees.

His order did not stop there. Evers also directed officials to put standard terms in vendor contracts requiring the state to hire only on the basis of merit. That means that companies getting taxpayer monies cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Wisconsin state prison employees complain of harassment, retaliation

The Fox River flows quietly by the Wisconsin state prison in Allouez. Inside the maximum security facility known as the Green Bay Correctional Institution, changes are coming a little less quietly.

A recent investigative report revealed that employees at GBCI have repeatedly complained of harassment and retaliation by supervisors in a workplace described as "negative, unprofessional" and "unbearable."

Turkeys And iPads Were Used To Entice Business In Whistleblower Claim

A company on the East Coast that provides audiology services has agreed to settle a whistleblower lawsuit involving claims of unlawful enticements and inappropriate examinations, according to the Department of Justice. Authorities say that the health care company allowed unlicensed individuals to conduct unsupervised audiology tests on patients who were covered by Medicare or Tricare.

The business admitted billing the government programs for reimbursement in violation of the False Claims Act, according to court documents. Additionally, federal officials say that the audiology services provider used unlawful enticements to attract government health care beneficiaries. Included in the promotions were offers of gift cards, turkeys, as well as a contest where beneficiaries of Medicare or Tricare could enter to win an iPad.

UPS settles religious discrimination lawsuit for $4.9 million

The familiar brown-uniformed drivers dart in and out of their familiar brown-colored trucks, dropping off and picking up packages across Milwaukee. Like everyone else in the nation, UPS drivers have freedom of religion and the right to worship as they see fit.

Those rights were recently reaffirmed when UPS agreed to a $4.9 million settlement of a religious discrimination lawsuit. The company had been accused of discriminating against male job applicants who have beards or long hair in accordance with their religious beliefs.

2018 was a year of fighting back against workplace sexual harassment

Like every year that preceded it, 2018 has been a tumultuous one. We don't yet know how history will judge it, but 2018 might well be remembered as 365 days of political outrage and turmoil. It might also be remembered as the year in which the MeToo movement emerged as a force for positive change, enabling people to more effectively report and stop sexual harassment in the workplace.

Milwaukee's flagship National Public Radio station, WUWM, recently aired a report on the movement's impact over the past year, talking to survivors and victims and what MeToo has meant to them.

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