Menu Map and Directions

Troy Michigan Employment Law Blog

Recent whistleblower suit against United Healthcare unsealed

The federal government, through the Medicare program, purportedly pays bonuses to medical insurance companies that provide high-quality coverage to Medicare and Medicare Advantage customers. The companies that perform the best with the fewest customer complaints are given these financial incentives. However, though United Healthcare has been highly rated and well rewarded for its high rankings, a federal judge recently unsealed a whistleblower suit that alleges serious misconduct within the company. United Healthcare has customers throughout the nation, including many senior clients in Michigan who may be interested in the details of these allegations.

According to two employees who filed the suit, executives within the company allowed the existence of two separate books that recorded customer complaints. Along with these allegations, there have been complaints lodged against some sales agents who purportedly engaged in offering unethical incentives to customers to sign up for a specified time period. Another sales associate was accused of forging signatures on customer contracts.

Workers with disabilities face workplace discriminaton, too

Prior to the Americans with Disabilities Act, having a disability was challenging in the United States, including in Michigan. After all, public buildings were not accessible to those with disabilities, for example. Even though this has since been addressed, several hurdles still remain for those with disabilities -- specifically in the workplace.

Adults who have disabilities in the United states are confronted with many complex issues, including stigmas, higher poverty rates and usually lower rates of education. These issues only add to the challenges of finding jobs while having disabilities. Some economists have suggested that the Americans with Disabilities Act has actually made it even less likely for company owners to hire those with disabilities, due to the costs of providing them with accommodations.

Compensation-related workplace discrimination

Finding a job that one really likes can be a bit of a challenge. When one does and he or she puts everything into it, it can be difficult to learn that one's efforts are not being fairly compensated. Unfortunately, compensation-related workplace discrimination is a problem in Michigan and elsewhere.

The gender-based equal pay problem has been in the news quite frequently over the last year, primarily from female movie stars claiming to be paid less than their male co-stars. This is not just a problem in Hollywood, though; it stretches into every field of employment. What do the laws say about equal pay, and what can one do it he or she is not being compensation appropriately?

Employment disputes over arbitration agreements

Finding the right job can be a challenging thing to accomplish. When one finally does, signing an employment contract without reading it may result in one giving up his or her rights to pursue legal options in order to resolve employment disputes. How is this possible and what can Michigan residents do about it?

Everyone is guaranteed their day in court, right? Wrong. If a person signs an employment contract that includes an arbitration agreement, he or she is giving away that right. Why would anyone do that?

When can a wrongful termination lawsuit be filed?

Those in Michigan who have been let go from their places of employment have every right to question whether their employers were justified in firing them. In many cases the answer will be yes, they were, but there are other cases when the answer will be no. Employers have the right to make decisions for their companies, but firing for certain reasons could result in them facing wrongful termination lawsuits.

When is a wrongful termination lawsuit not considered justified? Many employers hire staff as at-will employees. These means that they can be released from their jobs whenever an employer deems it necessary, as long as the firing was not based on retaliation or discrimination.

Michigan workplace discrimination: Religion

Religious freedom is a right granted to all who reside in America. While people are able to worship how they may, it does not stop others from discriminating against them. Unfortunately, in Michigan and elsewhere religious discrimination can follow people into their places of employment. Workplace discrimination of this or any other kind, however, is not to be tolerated.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, religious discrimination is defined as treating an employee or potential employee unfairly due to his or her religious affiliation. When it comes to employers, this means that they cannot refuse to hire, fire, decline promotions, provide reduced benefits or unfairly compensate an employee for his or her time -- among other things -- because of the religious beliefs that he or she holds. Doing so could land an employer in a legal mess.

Michigan employment disputes: Employee classification matters

When taking a job in Michigan or elsewhere, how one's employment status is classified really matters. Numerous employment disputes arise over employers misclassifying employees so as to avoid paying overtime and benefits. Those who believe that their work status was purposely misclassified may have legal recourse.

Recently, in another state, an employee for United Van Lines filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming that it misclassified his job status. In doing so, for more than a decade, the company allegedly got away with failing to pay him for his hours worked and held him responsible for covering numerous job-related expenses out of his own pocket -- such as truck lease payments, truck repair and fuel, among others. This has supposedly resulted in him making less than minimum wage.

When can one file a wrongful termination lawsuit?

When an employer deems it necessary, he or she has the right to fire an employee. There are various reasons, though, in which firing is illegal. Michigan residents who have been released from their jobs under any one of the following circumstances may pursue wrongful termination lawsuits in order to seek compensation for their losses.

The first issue that will be discussed is discrimination. Federal law prohibits employers from firing an employee because of his or her race, religion, gender, age, disability or a number of other factors. These are what are called protected classes.

Workplace discrimination due to one's nationality is not okay

America is often referred to as the great melting pot. People come to this country from all over the world in search of better lives for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, in searching for employment or even after work is obtained, some individuals who have made their homes in Michigan and elsewhere face workplace discrimination due to their nationality. This, of course, is not okay.

People are afraid of what they do not know or understand. It is simple psychology. However, when it comes to hiring and employing someone, the only things that should matter are the skills that person possesses and how that individual's knowledge and experience will benefit one's company.

Whistleblower in Caterpillar case could see big payout

It has been a rough few years for big machine builder Caterpillar. While, overall, the company is still seeing massive profits, the Internal Revenue Service is fighting hard to collect about $2 billion in taxes the business supposedly owes. The whistleblower in this case no longer works for Caterpillar, but if his information leads to tax collection, he could see a big payout. Michigan residents who take stances similar to this man could also be paid for taking action.

According to a recent report, the IRS raided Caterpillar headquarters in early 2017 in order to gather information that investigators hope will lead to the collection of taxes that the company paid to Switzerland instead of the United States by claiming that the income was produced by its overseas department. A former accountant for the company, however, claims that this is not the case; rather, the income was generated on American soil but the figures were adjusted to make it look like it was not so that the company could enjoy the smaller tax rate that it negotiated with Switzerland. When he made his case to his employers, this individual claims that he was retaliated against. Ultimately, he ended up leaving the company in 2012 because of this issue.

The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers Super Lawyers dbusiness Top Lawyers Panel Member of ICLE Michigan 10.0Shereef H. Akeel Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms | U.S News and World Report | Civil Rights Law Tier1 Troy | 2017 Rated by Super Lawyers | Shereef H. Akeel | 10 Years

Office Locations facebook twitter linkedin google plus

Akeel & Valentine, PLC
888 W. Big Beaver Rd., Suite 910
Troy, MI 48084-4748
Phone: 248-918-4542
Toll Free: 888-832-1706
Fax: 248-269-9119
Map and Directions

Dearborn office
360 Porter St., Suite 200
Dearborn, MI 48124
Phone: 248-918-4542
Toll Free: 888-832-1706
Fax: 248-269-9119
Map and Directions

Back to top

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business.