Employment News & Info

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.

Source One Staffing, Inc., a Chicago based staffing agency, will pay $800,000 to settle multiple U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) discrimination claims.

The EEOC filed two lawsuits against the company, citing violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Some of the more specific charges are as follows:

The EEOC first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process, but was unsuccessful in doing so. This led to two lawsuits in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.

Of the $800,000 set to be paid, $700,000 will go directly to victims of retaliation and harassment.

 

OK Concrete, a concrete company based in Wichita-Falls, Texas, has been sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for disability discrimination.

According to the agency, a company driver was hired in March 2012. Two months earlier, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The EEOC said that the man successfully completed all the necessary training. However, he did notify management that he would require several days off after his health benefits kicked in, as to receive cancer treatment. A few hours later his employment was terminated. The EEOC alleges that the termination was a direct result of his disability.

After trying to reach a pre-litigation settlement, the EEOC filed Civil Action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. A regional attorney for the EEOC noted the following: “Sometimes when employers learn of a cancer diagnosis, it leads to assumptions, even fears, about whether that employee will be able to do the job.”

Americans with Disabilities Act

Firing a qualified worker for a disability is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The law forbids discrimination associated with any aspect of employment, including: hiring, firing, layoff, promotions, job responsibilities, pay, training, benefits, and any other job related detail. The law also requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee or applicant with a disability. As noted above, the exception is if this will cause an undue hardship for the employer.

Have you been a Victim of Disability Discrimination?

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.

Jenny R. Yang, well known for being the Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), recently announced the 16 members of the agency’s Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace.

Earlier this year, Yang announced the creation of the Select Task Force, which will focus on how to address and prevent workplace harassment.

She noted the following:

“Through creation of this Select Task Force, I hope we will reach more workers and more in the employer community so we can understand the challenges they face and promote the practices we’ve seen work. I really look forward to the results.”

The Select Task Force is made up of 16 members, ranging in location around the United States. These professionals come from a variety of backgrounds, including but not limited to: academia, legal practitioners, organized labor, and social science.

For a complete list of Special Task Force members, visit this page of the EEOC website.

Even though it is impossible to completely do away with all forms of workplace harassment, the formation of this task force is a step in the right direction.

Local 28 of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association, located in New York City, has agreed to create a back fund pay for workers to settle a race discrimination lawsuit.

The union will pay roughly $12.7 million over five years, while also providing remedial relief, to resolve the claims brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), as well as others.

The settlement came about after negotiations between the union and the EEOC, the City of New York, the New York State Division of Human Rights, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and several Hispanic and black union members.

The case is on hold until July 14th, at which time the court will consider approving the settlement.

The EEOC added the following, which shows just how serious this case truly is:

“Over the 44-year history of this case, the federal district court issued a number of rulings that Local 28 discriminated against non-white journeypersons on the basis of race, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

Do You Need an Employment Lawyer?

The law strictly forbids race/color discrimination in any aspect of employment, including: hiring, firing, job responsibilities, pay, layoff, promotions, benefits, and training. It is against the law to harass an applicant or employee because of their race or skin color. Harassment is a broad term that covers a variety of situations. For example, this could include a racial slur or making derogatory remarks.

Where you denied a  job opportunity because of your race? Are you being discriminated against because of the color of your skin? These are serious situations that should be dealt with accordingly. Contact a Virginia Employment Lawyer 877-544-5323.

Gregory Packaging, a Georgia-based manufacturer of juice products, will pay $125,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The lawsuit charged that the company fired a worker from its facility after learning he was HIV-positive. Despite his ability to perform the job, as well as his good performance, the company admitted to terminating his employment because of the disease.

This type of conduct is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

After first attempting to reach a settlement, the EEOC filed the lawsuit in September 2014 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Discriminating against a person because of a disability is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The law forbids discrimination associated with any aspect of employment, including: hiring, firing, layoff, promotions, job responsibilities, pay, training, benefits, and any other job related detail.

In addition, the law requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee or applicant with a disability. As noted above, the exception is if this will cause an undue hardship for the employer.

Have you been a Victim of Disability Discrimination?

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.