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How to File a Qui Tam Complaint

In a qui tam lawsuit, a private individual brings an action on the government’s behalf. The False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. §3729-3733) authorizes qui tam actions against parties who have defrauded the federal government. The whistleblower bringing the action, also called a relator, must inform the United States of...

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Is Catcalling Sexual Harassment?

Some people might think that catcalling (such as whistles, suggestive comments, and sexual advances) at their workplace is just an unpleasant part of their job that they have to endure. This is untrue. Some might be asking, is catcalling sexual harassment? The answer is yes in many circumstances.  If...

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No-Poach Whistleblower

In general, it is illegal for employers to agree not to compete for employees. This means that employers cannot agree not to solicit another employer’s employees. These agreements are called “no-poach” or “no-hire” agreements and they are illegal. In addition, employers cannot agree not pay their employees the same...

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Who Can File a Qui Tam Lawsuit?

Qui tam laws originated in 14th century England and enabled private citizens to enforce the king’s legislative priorities. The king paid them a bounty if they won.  During the Civil War years, President Lincoln encouraged Congress to codify whistleblower bounty, or “qui tam,” laws to help prevent fraud by...

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Unlimited Vacation Plans: Are They Legal?

“Unlimited vacation”—sounds great, doesn’t it? Company after company, from Netflix to Goldman Sachs, have switched to so-called “unlimited vacation” plans. Employers market these plans as pro-employee benefits. But are they really? “Unlimited paid time off is positioned as if it’s an amazing benefit for employees, where in fact it actually...

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What Is the False Claims Act Statute of Limitations?

Fighting fraud has been a priority of the federal government for hundreds of years. The False Claims Act, originally passed in 1863, imposes legal liability on anyone who tries to defraud the federal government. Those committing fraud against the federal government may be liable for three times the government’s...

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Employee Stock Disputes Are On the Rise — Don’t Lose Your Promised Equity

Employee disputes regarding stock options and equity agreements are on the rise. In one example, an employee recently sued his employer alleging that they lured him from his prior, higher-paying job with the promise of a stock grant based on a non-existent stock program. For example, in March 2022,...

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Sexual Assault and Harassment Claims No Longer Subject to Secret Arbitration

On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act. This new law—a result of the #MeToo movement—means that employers cannot force employees into secret arbitration for claims of sexual harassment or sexual assault. Since arbitration generally tends to favor employers over employees, this law...

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How Do You Win a Whistleblower Retaliation Claim? California Courts Weigh In

State and federal law protect employees who “blow the whistle” on their employers. These protections are intended to encourage people who have information about their employers’ unsafe or fraudulent practices to come forward. But how do you prove whistleblower retaliation? The whistleblower laws protect employees who report illegal employment...

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Equal Pay Violations Remain Common Across Industries

At the end of the fiscal year and beginning of the new year, employers often give raises and bonuses. These pay adjustments are often made in the secrecy of annual reviews and Zoom one-on-ones that obscure any transparency into the process. Employees who ask questions are often told their...