The Fraud List
Beginning, appropriately enough, during the week following Labor Day, Beasley Allen is launching a series of stories examining employment law. Specifically, we will take a look at the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other regulations that govern the workplace.
First established in 1938, the FLSA set a national minimum wage, set a prescribed threshold number of hours for a work week (usually 40 hours per week), guaranteed time-and-a-half for overtime in certain jobs, ensured proper break times and set other important labor laws Americans recognize today.
A major issue involving the FLSA is the establishment of a minimum wage. There is currently legislation pending in the U.S. Congress to change the minimum wage law. Currently, the only workers guaranteed overtime pay are those that work more than 40 hours a week and earn less than $23,660 a year. The new legislation would require employees to make between $42,000 and $52,000 per year before they could be considered eligible for overtime exemption.
For the next nine weeks, each Thursday we will examine a topic of employment law. This is a complex area of law that covers federal and state statues, as well as administrative issues and judicial precedents. Some topics will include:
1. An overview of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
2. The Minimum Wage and proposed FLSA overtime reform
3. How open-source businesses like Uber are challenging employee classifications
4. Wage and Hour Law – When should you be compensated as “on the clock?”
5. Whistleblowing and Retaliation – FLSA anti-retaliation provisions
6. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and Unions
7. Worker’s Compensation statutes of limitation and eligible claims
8. Workplace Safety including OSHA requirements
9. Wage Theft in the Retail Sales Industry
This is the fourth installment in The Fraud List: Fair Labor Series Since 1938, the Wage and Hour Division of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has protected working class citizens from exploitation from their employer by ensuring time and a half for overtime pay in certain jobs. While overtime compensation is widely acceptable in most positions, not every worker qualifies to receive overtime, and not every employer is willing to play by the rules. In order to be qualified to earn overtime compensation, an employee must work more than 40 hours a week and earn less than $23,660 a ... Read More
This is the first installment of The Fraud List: Fair Labor Series There’s no doubt that the United States would not be the country it is today without the laws created by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Sadly, many foreign countries still allow businesses to employ child labor, pay unfair wages for extended amounts of work and even refuse medical bills from injuries sustained while on the job. In the United States, in 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into action the beginnings of the FLSA, and thus, changed the course of the American workforce forever. The FLSA has put into place ... Read More
Adventist Health System is a non-profit health care organization run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based organization network encompasses about 45 hospital campuses in 10 Southern and Midwestern states in addition to a number of urgent care centers, home health care and hospice centers, and nursing homes, making it the largest Protestant-affiliated non-profit health care provider in the U.S. Adventist Health says its organization “incorporates Christian values at every level of service” and conducts its business “with integrity, honesty and fairness,” yet somehow these values have led it into numerous multimillion-dollar settlements to resolve allegations of fraud, most ... Read More
Community Health Systems Inc. is the largest for-profit operator of general acute-care hospitals in the United States, with more than 200 hospitals in a network that spans 29 states. On its website, the Franklin, Ten.-based corporation says its hospitals “are dedicated to providing quality healthcare for local residents and contribute to the economic development of their communities.” But as The Fraud List demonstrates, some of the nation’s biggest corporations can also be some of its biggest fraudsters. Earlier this year, Community Health Systems Services and three New Mexico hospitals in its network agreed to pay the U.S. government $75 million ... Read More
Pfizer is an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation with roots stretching back to 1849. But it was only in relatively recent years that the company began to grow exponentially by acquiring its competition and expanding its reach through extremely aggressive, sometimes illegal marketing campaigns. New York City-based Pfizer and its subsidiary companies have also engaged in numerous other schemes to boost profits, such as rebate fraud targeting Medicare, Medicaid, and other government health care programs, unlawful kickback schemes, marketing drugs for unapproved off-label purposes, misleading regulators about the safety of certain products, and other alleged misconduct. On Sept. 2, 2009, the ... Read More
CVS Caremark is the pharmacy benefit management and drugs-by-mail division of CVS Health, a Woonsocket, R.I., based company currently ranked by Fortune Global 500 as the 35th largest corporation in the world in terms of revenue. As both the owner of nearly 70,000 retail pharmacies and the manager of pharmacy services for thousands of clients, the CVS family of companies is well positioned to make enormous profits in the health care field. The corporation manages pharmacy benefit services for employers, health insurance companies, unions, government employee groups, managed care organizations, and other health care plan providers throughout the U.S. CVS Caremark, ... Read More
The pharmacy benefit management industry is ferociously competitive. These companies process prescription drugs and pharmacy services to insurance companies, nursing homes, and other clients, using their size and clout to negotiate lower prices. Cincinnati-headquartered Omnicare Inc. is the largest provider of prescription drugs and pharmacy consulting services to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in the U.S. It is also one of the top violators of federal laws designed to protect the integrity and viability of Medicare, Medicaid, and other taxpayer-funded government health care programs. Omnicare’s rap sheet shows that for more than a decade, the company has engaged ... Read More
DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc. is a Fortune 500® company that offers a variety of health care services throughout the U.S., but is best known for its DaVita Kidney Care division, which operates 2,200 outpatient kidney dialysis clinics in the U.S. and nearly 100 others globally. DaVita treats about 174,000 U.S. patients for chronic kidney failure and end-stage renal disease, meaning that it bills Medicare, Medicaid, and other government health insurance programs for hundreds of millions of dollars in reimbursement claims every year. According to its 2014 annual report, 58 percent of DaVita’s revenue came from Medicare, with an additional eight ... Read More
Fresenius Medical Care is the largest provider of kidney dialysis services and products in the U.S. The company’s North America division treats more than 170,000 patients in 2,200 dialysis clinics located in 50 states and territories. Many of Fresenius patients are Medicare beneficiaries who require dialysis to treat end-stage kidney disease and other chronic illnesses, which means that the company submits several thousand reimbursement claims to the Medicare program every year. On May 26, 2011, federal authorities announced a settlement between Fresenius, its affiliated companies, and the U.S. government, which underscored how fraud became almost institutionalized, reaching into the upper levels of ... Read More
Go to Medtronic’s website and you’ll see lots of features touting how this Minneapolis-based medical device manufacturer builds communities, gives to people in need, enhances life for people in all reaches of the globe, and other philanthropic achievements. Not as widely advertised is its history of chronic corporate misconduct – a long rap sheet that includes violating government contracts and trade laws, engaging in illegal kickback schemes to boost its sales, and submitting false claims to Medicare and other government health care programs – a scheme that effectively takes money out of taxpayers’ pockets and deposits it into Medtronic’s multi-billion-dollar ... Read More