“Unclean Hands”? Whistleblowers Who Are Caught In the Thick of the Fraud

Potential whistleblowers are sometimes afraid that if they bring their employer’s fraudulent scheme to light, the government will come after them for being involved in the fraud. While certainly possible, it is exceptionally rare. After all, the vast majority of money recovered by the federal government in False Claims Act cases comes from cases initiated by whistleblowers; scaring off whistleblowers would not be good business for the Department of Justice. Read More ›

“No One Buys Groceries With Stock”: SCOTUS Grants Cert To Decide Stock Options Compensation Case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday announced that it will review a Seventh Circuit decision finding income from $13.3 million given to employees was taxable. Read More ›

Genetic Tests: Regulation, Risk, and Reward

Direct to consumer genetic testing promises that with a couple dollars and a test tube filled with saliva, anyone has the power to look inside their DNA to assess health risks. In contrast to a traditional genetic test performed and interpreted by a physician, a direct to consumer (DTC) genetic test allows individuals to test themselves and bypass the physician and insurance provider. Read More ›

Lyme Disease Testing: A Regulatory ‘Wild West’

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the United States. Diagnosis and treatment stir confusion and controversy among patients, doctors, and alternative care providers. Some have capitalized on this confusion, creating a market for laboratory developed tests to diagnose the disease. Read More ›

The California Supreme Court Doles out a Win to Plaintiffs with PAGA Claims

As a result of the recent case, Williams v. Superior Court (July 13, 2017, No. S227228) ___Cal.4th___ [2017 Cal. LEXIS 5124], employees received a big win on PAGA (Private Attorney General Act) class action claims.  Read More ›

Ninth Circuit Overturns Dismissal Of False Claims Case Against Gilead, Clarifies Types Of Falsity That Give Rise To Liability

On July 7, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in United States ex rel. Campie v. Gilead Sciences, laying out the standards for pleading plausible claims under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) in whistleblower cases filed under the False Claims Act.  United States ex rel. Campie v. Gilead Sciences, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12163 (9th Cir. July 7, 2017) (“Campie”). Read More ›

AB 488: Expansion of FEHA’s Definition of “Employee” Is Part of Employee-Centered Legal Trend

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects the right to seek, obtain, and hold employment without discrimination because of race, religion, sex, age, disability, or sexual orientation, among other characteristics.  Under the FEHA, the definition of “employee” in Section 12926 of the Government Code previously excluded individuals with disabilities granted special licenses to work at nonprofit sheltered workshops, day programs, or rehabilitation facilities.  Employers are still permitted to pay these individuals less than the minimum wage, but before January 1, 2017, there was no recourse under FEHA if these individuals were being discriminated against or harassed.  Now, they are afforded the same FEHA protections, thanks to Assembly Bill No. 488. Read More ›

California’s Nursing Homes Place Profits Over Employee and Resident Rights

Tens of thousands of Californians work in the state’s Skilled Nursing Facilities (“SNF”) and Assisted Living Facilities (“RCFE”).  Much of this workforce is underpaid and overworked.  Workers who care for senior citizens are the front line for preventing abuse and neglect.  Sadly, the companies that employ these workers frequently place hard working nursing staff, including Registered Nurses (“RNs”) and Licensed Vocational Nurses (“LVNs”) and Physical and Occupational Therapists in difficult if not impossible situations because they place profits over quality care.  When elder abuse occurs employers are often quick to blame low level staff when the root cause of the abuse is systematic under-staffing and poor training. Read More ›

U.S. Supreme Court Speaks on the False Claims Act

On December 6, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court, in State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby, Docket No. 15-513, slip op. (S.Ct. December 6, 2016) (“State Farm v. Rigsby”), found that failure to keep a False Claims Act (“FCA”) complaint under seal for the required 60 days was not sufficient to warrant a dismissal with prejudice.   Read More ›

Drug Addiction Rehabilitation Scams Profit Off of Addicts and Insurance

As drug addiction in the United States continues to gain national attention, the drug addiction rehabilitation industry booms. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates the addiction rehabilitation market is about $35 billion each year. While most of the industry provides life saving services for individuals struggling with addiction, some run scams to profit off of addicts and their insurance policies. Read More ›