Whistleblower lawsuits, or qui tam actions (Latin for "he who sues on behalf of the king"), have been the vehicle through which private citizens have been targeting fraud on behalf of the government since the Civil War, when Congress began actively soliciting information on companies that were profiting from the conflict.
Here's a not-often considered barometer for assessing whether the economy is experiencing an uptick in activity and worker movement: the amount of media coverage and litigation concerning noncompete and confidentiality agreements.
Saying that, "The best economic stimulus plan is a paycheck," Jeanette Smith, the executive director of South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice, lauds the recent collaborative efforts of government agencies and private groups to curtail widespread wage theft by employers across a wide range of professions and salary levels in Florida.
An employee of an ambulance service company was asked by her employer to prepare a written response regarding a customer complaint against her. The employee says that she asked for the assistance of a union representative in the matter, but was denied.
There is certainly internal acrimony and a butting of heads at the FDA, where, for the second time this year, the allegations made by numerous FDA scientists concerning health issues related to CT scanners and other medical devices have been shot down by investigators.
Some years back, Mark Razin was an employee of Healthcare Financial Advisors Inc. ("HFA"), a company that worked with hospitals on patient-related cost reports. A central goal of the services provided by HFA to its clients was to obtain for them the highest possible dollar amounts on Medicare reimbursements.
We noted in a previous blog post (October 4) the angst and passions kindled in many Georgia residents when the topic of non-compete agreements comes up. Georgia has long been among only a handful of states with law that voids an entire non-compete agreement if any aspect of it is deemed illegal. Most states, by contrast, enable a judge to strike a specific provision if it is found to be against public policy and uphold the remainder of a contract executed between an employer and worker.
Last week, I posted a local Craigslist job listing from a cliche of a sexist boss. Our intrepid discriminator sought a "Smart, Sexy, Young, Female" with mad fax machine skills to assist him in his Washington area office; we ridiculed him.
Cheryl Eckard, a GlaxoSmithKline ("GSK") quality-assurance manager, headed a group of scientists that inspected a pharmaceutical plant in Puerto Rico in 2002. The group was responding to a number of FDA complaints citing manufacturing violations at GSK's Cidra facility.
Alanna Taylor sums up the conundrum perfectly. She worked as a project manager under a U.S. Army contract. When she filed a gender discrimination lawsuit, the Army said she was a contractor and not a federal government worker. On other occasions, though, she was deemed the opposite.