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August 2014 Archives

Whistleblower reports overpriced parts in federal contract

A former assistant controller of a subsidiary of an aircraft company has filed a lawsuit in Milwaukee against her employer after she was terminated. According to the former employee, she was fired as a result of her whistleblower action. According to the woman, her former employer inflated the price for parts sold to the United States government as part of a federal contract.

Former manager sues Moody's for billions

Some investors in Wisconsin might not know that a man who used to be a manager for Moody's Investors Service filed a qui tam complaint against the company after he was fired for blowing the whistle on its practices. The filing was submitted and sealed on Feb. 24, 2012, but after the U.S. government decided not to intervene, the complaint was unsealed on May 30.

Involuntary wellness program in violation of ADA

On Aug. 20, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against a Wisconsin company for how it handled its company wellness program. The lawsuit alleges that a woman who was employed by Orion Energy Systems, Inc., was retaliated against and then fired for not participating in the program. According to the EEOC, the company's policy regarding the wellness program was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Disputing denied disability benefits

As some readers in Wisconsin may know, certain individuals are able to seek federal disability benefits. However, even if an employee has adhered to the relevant guidelines for applying for long-term benefits, he or she might still be refused coverage. Many long-term disability benefits policies are handled directly by an employer or purchased as insurance. However, some insurers might not immediately provide benefits to an eligible employee.

Whistle-blower protections in Wisconsin

Health care employees in Wisconsin may benefit from learning more about the protections for whistle-blowers provided by the state. The protections are guaranteed under the Health Care Worker Protection statute that was introduced in 1999. People who report standard of care violations in good faith are indemnified against retaliation from their employer. Concerns regarding hospital errors and nursing home complaints have been on the rise, as the frequency of each has increased over the past few decades.

What is the FMLA?

Wisconsin employees may want to know some specifics about the Family and Medical Leave Act and whether they are covered by it. This law helps employees to take leave when they have a situation that interferes with their ability to work.

New executive order will blacklist certain contractors

Wisconsin employers who have been found guilty of violating certain labor laws may be paying for these violations due to a new executive order. The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order that was signed on July 31 will require the mandatory disclosure of violations of certain employee rights when a company bids on a federal contract, commencing in 2016.

LinkedIn employees to be compensated for unpaid wages

Wisconsin employees will probably be interested to learn that LinkedIn has agreed to pay almost $6 million in back wages and damages to 359 of its employees in California, New York, Nebraska and Illinois. The payments, which average a little more than $16,000 per employee, are designed to compensate the employees for unpaid overtime, according to a statement issued Aug. 4, 2014, by the U.S. Department of Labor.

What protections does the ADA afford employees?

The Americans with Disabilities Act is meant to afford individuals in Wisconsin who are disabled with protection from discrimination in the workplace. Interestingly, the protections offered by the act are not only extended to those who suffer from disabilities. Those who have relationships with a person, such as a worker with a disabled spouse, might also be covered by the act.

Case against Apple may have implications for Wisconsin employers

Apple is facing a lawsuit that claims the company failed to provide adequate opportunities for meals and breaks to its employees. The case states that Apple also failed to pay out final paychecks to employees in an expedient fashion. The suit claims that the practices are widespread throughout its operations.

Whistleblower laws may protect workers

Wisconsin employees who have made certain reports about an employer's activities may be protected by state and federal law. The types of protection that are available are based on the type of claim that was made, the employer's identification, state law and case law. Additionally, contract or tort causes of action may be available for an employee who was retaliated against.

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