Workers’ Bill of Rights and Recent Whistleblower False Claims Act Cases

In this segment of ‘Weekly Employee Rights Update’, we aim to provide our employee subscribers with timely educational information from recent cases and laws.

San Francisco Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights: Attorneys at Stephen Danz and Associates continue to see drastic movement in employee rights in California – especially in the northern part of the state.  For example, the Formula Retail Employee Rights Ordinances or the San Francisco Formula Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights (“Bill of Rights”) just passed giving employees in this area more guidance and clarity.  The three most relevant changes are (1) retail establishments must provide their employees with two weeks’ notice of work schedules including schedule changes, (2) employees who are on-call and have a schedule change with less than a seven day notice will receive compensation, and (3) part-time employees will now receive the same starting pay, access to time off, and eligibility for promotions as their full-time counterparts in similar positions.  See FAQ for more detail or contact our area offices in San Francisco, Oakland and Menlo Park for more information.

Whistleblower False Claims Act Law Suits on the Rise: An upswing in False Claims Act cases is spreading through the state (and country).  Last week, we even saw several False Claims Act law suits taken up by the Department of Justice.  In one instance, shipping companies reached a five million dollar settlement with the government when a qui tam plaintiff (“relator”) brought a claim that the companies padded their invoices to the government (charged for higher weights) when they offered relocation services to military personnel.  In another case, a relator alleged that a large hospital group named HCA Holdings, Inc. rendered unnecessary medical procedures.  The hospital group argued that the ex-employee did not provide enough detail backing his allegations.  This is an interesting and growing area of controversy.  Courts require any party claiming fraud to provide specific allegations in the complaint.  Within the False Claims Act, relators must meet a specificity level often referred to as “particularity.”  In California, the district courts apply a more lenient approach than other parts of the country by only requiring the relator to provide “particular details of a scheme to submit false claims paired with reliable indicia that lead to a strong inference that claims were actually submitted.”  Please see the following page to learn more about the False Claims Act.

If you believe that you suffered an employment law matter related to your employee rights or know of possible fraudulent activity by your employer against the government, prompt action to preserve your rights is critical.  Contact the experienced employment law attorneys at Stephen Danz & Associates for a free consultation to discuss your circumstances and legal options.