Employment News & Info

An industry expert is now $700,000 richer after receiving the first ever whistleblower award given to a company outsider. An anonymous person known only as an industry expert received $700,000 for coming forward with information. The company in question was not identified. The help given to the Securities and Exchange Commission by this expert is making headlines. The groundbreaking award marks the first time a company outsider has been remunerated for information, as all previously rewarded whistleblowers went to those working at companies being investigated.

Whistleblower Reward Program

The expansion of this whistleblower reward program is a “game changer.” In the past, industry experts sometimes claimed to know about suspicious activity – like that of the Bernie Madoff case – but did not come forward because no such reward was offered to outsiders. The news of this reward program expansion highlights the possibility for anyone with information about unethical behavior to come forward and be rewarded. Industry experts can offer a unique perspective into complex and often confusing fields. Their knowledge is priceless when it comes to understanding potential abuse.

Speaking Up Against Unethical and Illegal Practices

Speaking up about unethical behavior is difficult no matter the context, but it’s especially hard when you’re employed at the company in question. Those who work outside the company face backlash as well, which is why the whistleblower in this case has been kept anonymous. The award money serves as as incentive for people to come forward with their insider knowledge, but also as a kind of insurance policy for the whistleblower. Whistleblower retaliation is illegal, and consequences can be enforced for anyone demoted, terminated, or treated unfairly for reporting illegal practices.

Since the program began in 2011, the SEC has awarded more than $55 million to nearly two dozen whistleblowers.

Whistleblower Protection Attorneys

Are you aware of illegal practices going on at your workplace, but are afraid of being retaliated against if you report them? Or maybe you have already reported illegal practices, and have been fired or demoted? If so, you may want to speak to an experienced whistleblower attorney.

There are federal laws in place that protect and reward whistleblowers that shed light on individuals or companies that are engaged in fraudulent activities. For more information visit our Whistleblower Protection page, or contact us to discuss your situation.

Papa John’s Franchisee Gets Jail Time

A wage violation is typically punished by fines and penalties, but this is not always the case. It is possible for a business owner to get jail time for not properly compensating their employees.

According to a recent news report, a New York business owner who owns nine Papa John’s franchises was sentenced to 60 days in jail, and must pay more than $500,000 in restitution for failing to pay wages under state law. This type of crime is usually a misdemeanor, however, the owner also pleaded guilty to falsifying business records which is a felony.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman added the following: “Wage theft is a crime and a Papa John’s franchisee is now going to jail for cheating his employees and trying to cover it up.”

The investigation showed that employees regularly worked more than 40 hours per week, but were not paid overtime. Instead, they were only being paid straight time.

To make matters worse, the business owner attempted a cover up by creating a fictitious employees and recording the overtime under those names.

The Wages and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The Wages and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal act that regulates the wages and hours of employees.

A few reasons the FLSA is important include:

  • It establishes a minimum wage
  • Requires overtime for non-exempt employees
  • Prohibits forms of child labor
  • Prohibits unequal pay based on gender

Not Being Fairly Compensated? Contact Us.

If you believe that your employer has violated the law or failed to properly pay you your wages, our Virginia Employment Attorneys are here to help. Contact us to setup a consultation to discuss your situation. Call toll free 877-544-5323.

QSI Business Solutions, a staffing agency located in Georgia, violated federal law by refusing to hire an applicant after finding out she was pregnant.

According to the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the company refused to place a woman for employment after learning she was pregnant. When the woman called for an opening, she was asked if she was currently pregnant. Upon confirming that she was, she was told she could not be placed for the job as she was a safety risk.

This type of discrimination is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The EEOC was unsuccessful in reaching a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process, leading to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Rome Division.

The EEOC is seeking back pay, punitive, and compensatory damages for the victim.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Pregnancy discrimination details the wrongful treatment of a woman because of her pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to her pregnancy.

Many women are unaware of the fact that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is in place to protect them against discrimination due to pregnancy regarding any aspect of employment, including: hiring, firing, job responsibilities, pay, layoff, promotions, benefits, and training.

In the event that a woman is temporarily unable to perform her job duties as a result of a pregnancy related medical condition, the employer is required to continue to treat her in the same manner as any other temporarily disabled worker.

Virginia Employment Lawyer – Do You Have A Case?

Have you been discriminated against at work as a result of your pregnancy? If so, you have legal rights. Contact Virginia employment attorney Cindra Dowd to discuss your legal rights 877-544-5323.

Tonya Mallory, the former CEO of Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc., is being sued by the federal government for her alleged participation in a “kickback scheme.” According to the government, the company defrauded health insurance programs.

According to sources, the woman is one of five defendants named in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in South Carolina.

Four months ago, the federal government unsealed whistleblower complaints against Mallory, the company, and several others.

The company itself is not involved with the most recent lawsuit due to the fact that it agreed to pay the government a hefty sum to settle the allegations. In the settlement, HDL admitted to making mistakes.

A company statement noted the following:

“So, while many of our competitors remain subject to that investigation, we are pleased to have put this matter in our rear view mirror.”

Since Mallory did not settle in April, like HDL, she is now faced with a lawsuit involving the federal government.

Whistleblower Protection

Are you aware of illegal practices going on at your workplace, but are afraid of being retaliated against if you report them? Or maybe you have already reported illegal practices, and have been fired or demoted? If so, you may want to speak to an experienced whistleblower attorney.

There are federal laws in place that protect and reward whistleblowers that shed light on individuals or companies that are engaged in fraudulent activities. For more information visit our Whistleblower Protection page, or contact us to discuss your situation.

Mississippi HomeCare of Picayune, a home healthcare provider based in Mississippi, will pay $100,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a worker who suffered a seizure while on the job. Upon returning to work, the woman requested an accommodation to help her better perform certain computer related tasks. The lawsuit alleges that the company ignored the request and made no attempt to assist the woman. Furthermore, her employment was terminated approximately one month after the request.

The EEOC alleged that this behavior violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). After an unsuccessful attempt to reach a pre-litigation settlement, the EEOC filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Southern Division.

To go along with $100,000 paid to the victim, the company agreed to a two-year consent decree that requires it to provide ADA training to employees.

Disability Discrimination Lawyer

According to the law, an employer is required to provide reasonable accommodations to any employee or applicant with a disability, unless doing so would cause a significant expense or difficulty for the company. If you feel you have been discriminated against due to a disability, either as an employee or job applicant, you may want to contact an employment attorney. If you’d like to speak with Employment attorney Cindra Dowd about your situation, contact us to setup a consultation 877-544-5323.

A new holiday recognizing whistleblowers has been proposed by the National Whistleblower Center. July 30, 1778 is the day the Continental Congress enacted the first whistleblower law – and the day proposed to honor whistleblowers each year. Senator Chuck Grassley recently convinced the Senate to pass a resolution urging on this celebration, but nothing has been made official yet.

The push for such a celebration comes after a series of high profile whistleblower cases in the public eye. Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning are just two such whistleblowers charged with leaking classified information in recent months. Of course, one person’s leaker or traitor is another’s whistleblower. In any case, we should be thankful for the sacrifices of such people willing to risk their reputation for exposing the truth.

The eighth annual Whistleblower Summit was recently held in Washington, D.C. to help honor the proposed July 30th celebration. Organized by the Make it Safe coalition, the summit provides a support network for those feeling isolated by their whistleblower status. It aims to change the public perception of whistleblowers from traitors to heroes. The summit also hopes to provide lobbying training to those who could assist in the passing of transparency legislation.

Though Whistleblower Appreciation Day has not yet been made official, its mission remains vital to our country and what it stands for. As the role of the whistleblower continues to evolve and change, it is important that we recognize the role they play in our corporations and government throughout the nation.

Whistleblower Protection Attorneys

We are experienced whistleblower attorneys and are here to help. For more information visit our Whistleblower Protection page, or contact us to discuss your situation 877-544-5323.

E&P Electrical Contracting Company of Norfolk, Virginia has been ordered by the U.S. Department of Labor to pay approximately $87,000 to several workers who were underpaid for their contribution to building a new school in the area.

Reports state that the Labor Department began an investigation into the company late last year, finding that the company violated wage laws for seven employees working on the project from November 2013 to November 2014.

The company classified the workers as general laborers, not electricians, to get around paying them a fair wage.

The company must now pay the employees unpaid wages and overtime.

Not Being Fairly Compensated?

If you believe that your employer has violated the law or failed to properly pay you your wages, our Virginia Employment Attorneys may be able to help. Contact us to discuss your situation 877-544-5323.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, Children’s National Medical Center has agreed to pay $12.9 million to settle a false claims case.

The department alleges that the medical center inaccurately reported overhead costs on applications and cost reports, which were then used to calculate reimbursement rates to the Department of Health and Human Services. Furthermore, it is believed that the center misreported its available bed count, leading to additional payments from the Virginia and D.C. Medicaid programs, as well as Medicare.

According to reports, all claims resolved in the case remain allegations, as no liability was determined and the center did not admit fault. The Children’s National Medical Center has made it clear that the allegations had no impact on the level of patient care.

The CEO of Children’s National Medical Center added: “Consistent with our commitment to compliance and transparency, and with the full support of our board, we actively cooperated with the government to bring the matter to a prompt and responsible resolution.”

The settlement also brings an end to a whistleblower lawsuit from a former worker. He will receive approximately $2 million in recovered funds for his part in the case.

United Airlines Inc. has agreed to pay approximately $1 million to settle a federal disability lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the lawsuit, the company’s competitive transfer policy was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This law is in place to ensure that employers provide disabled employees or applicants with reasonable accommodation.

The United Airlines competitive transfer policy meant that disabled workers often times competed for vacant openings in order to continue their employment with the company.

United is set to pay $1,000,040.00 to a former group of disabled employees. Furthermore, the company will make changes to its ADA reassignment policy, provide regular reports to the EEOC, and train the appropriate employees in regards to the changes.

The EEOC first filed the lawsuit in June 2009. While there have been many roadblocks over the past six years, the case has finally been brought to a close.

Have you been a Victim of Disability Discrimination?

The law requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee or applicant with a disability. However, the exception is if this will cause an undue hardship for the employer.

Disability discrimination is a major concern. If you have been discriminated against due to a disability, either as an employee or job applicant, you may want to contact a Virginia employment attorney. If you’d like to speak with our Virginia Employment Lawyers, call us at 877-544-5323 to setup a consultation.

The city of Hampton is facing a federal lawsuit from more than 100 police officers seeking back overtime pay.

The lawsuit was first filed against the city in July 2014. At the time, 105 police officers were included in the lawsuit. According to recent reports, another 105 have joined. With a police department of 227 officers, this means that almost every officer is suing the city for OT back pay.

The lawsuit claims that officers are owed overtime pay spanning a period of five years. It alleges that officers had to take “comp” time for working overtime, as opposed to cash payments. Furthermore, the lawsuit notes that the officers were not properly compensated for hours spent on tasks such as maintaining vehicles.

While the city continues to deny the allegations, the lawsuit moves forward.

Wage, Hour, and Overtime Employment Lawyer

Cindra Dowd is an experienced Virginia employment law attorney. Mrs. Dowd was one of the lead attorneys helping Norfolk and Portsmouth police officers overcome similar overtime and wage issues recently. If you believe that your employer isn’t compensating you according to state and federal laws, you may want to speak with an experienced employment lawyer. If you’d like to speak with Cindra Dowd about your employment issue, contact us at 877-544-5323 today.