Jay Holland represents individuals and businesses in workplace disputes. Over 33 years, he has litigated and negotiated settlements for thousands of clients facing employment issues. Jay also represents senior-level executives in contract and severance negotiations. He is nationally known for representation of whistleblowers under the federal False Claims Act in cases involving government contract fraud.
Q: What does it take to be a whistleblower?
A: It takes specific knowledge of the fraud and persistence. I recently settled several cases under the False Claims Act regarding fraud in healthcare. In one, two surgeons blew the whistle on another who owned a medical device company, sold devices to himself and charged the hospital for them. The hospital then charged Medicare for the devices. Consequences were not just monetary; driven by profit, the doctor performed numerous unnecessary surgeries. Medical device and pharmaceutical companies may also violate the False Claims Act by providing trips, expensive outings and meals and paying for advertising for health care providers with the expectation of influencing use of their products.
Q: Is what is happening to me in my workplace sexual harassment, and what can I do about it?
A: Under federal and state law, it’s unlawful to harass a workplace applicant or employee because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
Unfortunately, sexual harassment is a recurring issue. Start by reporting the harassment internally, pursuant to your company’s policies. The company is required to conduct a thorough investigation. If that doesn’t happen, you can file a complaint with the EEOC or state agency, which can conduct an investigation. You can also file a lawsuit. The law forbids retaliation for reporting discrimination or harassment. You should try and do everything you can with the help of the law to ensure harassment doesn’t happen again.