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Corporations are Retaliating Against Whistleblowers at an Alarming Rate

Retaliation against corporate whistleblowers is becoming epidemic, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has launched an aggressive lobbying campaign against the nation’s most impactful whistleblowing laws.

According to the Ethics Resource Center (ERC), 45 percent of U.S. workers have observed misconduct at their companies; 65 percent reported the misconduct and 22 percent report being retaliated against for doing so. Stephen Kohn, of the Whistleblowers Protection Blog, says this is an all-time high.  In 2007, an ERC survey showed that only around 10 or 11 percent of whistleblowers reported retaliation, according to Corporate Counsel. More Corporations are Retaliating Against Whistleblowers at an Alarming Rate

Most U.S. Supreme Court Justices Side with Fired Air Marshall who says he is Protected Under Whistleblower Law

The fate of an ex-air marshal who claims he was trying to protect the public from a potential terrorist attack is in the hands of the United States Supreme Court.

Robert J. MacLean says he received a briefing in 2003 concerning a terrorist threat affecting long-distance flights. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) contacted MacLean two days later informing him that the agency was canceling assignments requiring an overnight stay in an effort to cut costs. Fearing the move could put public safety at risk, MacLean complained to his superiors. When his concerns went ignored, he contacted a reporter for MSNBC. The resulting media attention quickly led to a reversal of the travel policy, according to The New York Times (Times.) More Most U.S. Supreme Court Justices Side with Fired Air Marshall who says he is Protected Under Whistleblower Law

A Flood of Wage Theft Lawsuits is Sweeping the Nation

Employers beware: An increasing number of workers are filing lawsuits over wage theft.

A flood of wage theft cases is sweeping California and the nation, filed by workers who claim their employers violated minimum wage and overtime laws. Many employers are accused of erasing work hours and illegally confiscating workers’ tips, according to CNBC.com. More A Flood of Wage Theft Lawsuits is Sweeping the Nation

Former Blue Cross Blue Shield Medical Director Claims he was Sued for Fighting Illegal Insurance Practices

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota is facing a claim filed by the company’s former medical director, who alleges the company ignored his concerns about unethical insurance practices.

The whistleblower alleges that pointing out what he described as illegal insurance practices cost him his job. Dr. Kenneth Fischer, former director of behavioral health for Noridian Mutual Insurance Co., which does business as Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBSND) North Dakota, claims BCBSND’s practices were costing its customers millions of dollars in higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs, according to WDAY.com. More Former Blue Cross Blue Shield Medical Director Claims he was Sued for Fighting Illegal Insurance Practices

Deceased Plumber’s Family Blames Employer for Asbestos-Related Mesothlioma

The family of a now-deceased, life-long plumber has filed a lawsuit against a local plumbing company, claiming it is responsible for repeatedly putting the man in contact with asbestos, which led to his fatal mesothelioma.

While working for A. Mormile Plumbing & Heating, the man was repeatedly exposed to asbestos fibers and dust, the lawsuit claims. The suit alleges the company should have been aware that their asbestos products would result in the release of asbestos fibers into the air, creating danger and risk of injury and harm to those breathing it in., leaderherald.com said. More Deceased Plumber’s Family Blames Employer for Asbestos-Related Mesothlioma

New York Restaurant Chain to Pay $1 Million To Settle Federal Charges

A New York restaurant chain has agreed to pay just over $1 million for failing to fairly pay employees.

The U.S. Labor Deapartment said Asian Moon of Garden City and Massapequa Park, and Golden Rod in New Rochelle agreed to settle the federal charges after being accused of failing to pay 255 workers minimum wage and overtime. Most of the violations occurred in Long Island. Vickie Sue Lee, the chain’s president, was also a party to the settlement, said Newsday. More New York Restaurant Chain to Pay $1 Million To Settle Federal Charges

Family Dollar Wage Class Action Lawsuit Settles

1,700 New York store managers have reached a preliminary settlement to an overtime class action lawsuit filed against the discount store Family Dollar.

According to the Associate Press, the Matthews, North Carolina-based company said it will pay a maximum of $14 million, however the terms have not been finalized, and the settlement must still garner court approval, a process that has not started yet. More Family Dollar Wage Class Action Lawsuit Settles

U.S. Wage and Hour Lawsuits Reach 20-year High

As the recession continues and the unemployment numbers remain higher than average, workers across the country are fighting for fair wages. In fact, according to Bloomberg, wage, hour, and overtime lawsuits have reached a 20-year high.

According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, in 2000, the total number of wage and hour lawsuits reached 1,854, while the number of federally filed lawsuits in the year ending March 31, 2012 hit 7,064. More U.S. Wage and Hour Lawsuits Reach 20-year High

Internship Class Action against Fox Expanded

The two interns who filed a class action lawsuit against Fox Searchlight are trying to amend the lawsuit to “broaden the scope of the case to include all interns who participated in Fox Entertainment Group’s internship program.”

The Hollywood Reporter writes that a court filing says that an investigation “shows that the same hiring, personnel and company policies that applied to Searchlight interns applied to all interns who participated in FEG’s internship program.” More Internship Class Action against Fox Expanded

United Airlines Settles Skycap Wage Lawsuit of $250,000

A federal judge has approved a final settlement between United Airlines and contracted skycap workers after the workers filed a lawsuit saying United violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by paying them less than minimum wage, and by not allowing them to keep all tips made, USA Today reports.

The lawsuit said the skycaps had to pay the $2 fee imposed by the airline for each passenger bag that was checked curbside to the airlines, to the airlines. Because not all customers paid the fee, the skycap employees sometimes had to pay the fee out of their tip money. Skycaps are generally paid less then minimum wage because most of their wage is paid by tips by airline passengers. However, the lawsuit alleged that because the skycaps were not allowed to keep all their tips, the airline was not entitled to take the tip credit against minimum wage laws. More United Airlines Settles Skycap Wage Lawsuit of $250,000