Main Navigation
The Garber Law Firm A Professional corporation
678-383-9792 Free Consultation
“It's not the size of the dog in the fight ... it's the size of the fight in the dog.” - Mark Twain -

Georgia Employment Law Blog

Can an employer dock pay from a salaried worker?

Employees who have an annual salary rather than an hourly wage enjoy a lot of benefits. They have more freedom regarding what time they arrive and leave work. However, some salaried employees may hear from an employer that the company will dock their pay in the event that they fail to meet certain criteria. It begs the question, "are employers allowed to dock salaried employees' wages?"

In general, employers cannot dock a salaried worker's pay. This is in direct violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. However, an employer may still threaten this if the employee takes too much sick leave or vacation time off work. You should know your rights and realize when an employer crosses a line. 

What happens to your job when you acquire a medical condition?

Most people are aware of federal laws that protect employees from discriminatory behavior. One such law covers people who have all types of physical and mental health challenges. Another protects those who have to take time off for maternity leave or to care for family members.

What if you were previously healthy but have now developed an illness that affects your ability to work? Do the laws protect you under this situation?

When medical referrals go too far

It is true that much of what goes on in the healthcare business is based on credibility, networking and word of mouth. However, there is also a great deal of money in the industry that comes directly from the government.

Doctors and hospital workers get plenty of perks, and people appreciate the work they do. They may even get gifts from patients and business partners. Additionally, physicians work within this network to refer patients to specialized care. Why does all this matter when it comes to government funds?

Whistleblowers, Lincoln’s Law and a primary offender

Due to its origins during the Civil War, the False Claims Act (FCA) is sometimes called “Lincoln’s Law.” Those who run afoul of the FCA may be defrauding the government.

Fraud often occurs in the health care sector such as in Medicare or Medicaid. However, pharmaceutical companies are among the primary offenders, and whistleblowers bring their misdeeds to light.

Do you work in a hostile work environment?

If you dread going to your Georgia job each day because your workplace seems to be full of strife and negative employee-to-employee relationships, your workplace may constitute a hostile work environment. While “hostile work environment” has no one-size-fits-all definition, it represents one or more forms of harassment that may give you grounds for a lawsuit against your employer.

Given the lack of a precise definition of hostile work environment, judges and juries look to the circumstances surrounding your alleged harassment, including the following factors:

  • What kind of harassment tactics did your co-worker use?
  • How long did this harassment continue?
  • How intense was it?
  • To what extent did it negatively affect your productivity and performance?

3 ways employers discriminate against pregnant women

There is often no reason a woman who is pregnant isn't capable of working as usual, but sometimes employers discriminate against pregnant employees. There is actually a variety of ways that pregnant women experience workplace discrimination.

The law protects pregnant women from discrimination. A pregnancy discrimination lawyer is a professional who focuses on this particular area of the law, and it is a good idea to schedule a legal consultation to discuss the particulars of your case

3 things whistleblowers need to know

If you have discovered that your employer is committing some sort of fraud, you may be wondering if you should become a whistleblower. The government and various industries rely on whistleblowers to sound the alarm when some sort of corrupt practice is going on behind the scenes in business. 

Often, employees are aware of wrongdoing but are reluctant to call it out for fear of employer retaliation and getting fired. However, the law protects whistleblowers because you should not be punished for doing what is right. Here are three tips that can help you learn more if you feel you may need to blow the whistle on your employer or company:

What should I do if my employer is committing fraud in Georgia?

Sometimes, employees discover that their employer is engaging in illegal practices, such as fraud. This can put the employee in a complicated position in which he or she must decide what to do with this knowledge. 

The federal government has a program to help employees who suspect their employer is committing fraud that harms the government. If you suspect your employer is committing fraud and you want to know how to proceed in terms of properly reporting this suspicion, here is some information that can help guide you.

Must I go on leave if I become pregnant?

As an employed Georgia woman who may be thinking about starting a family, you should be aware that pregnancy discrimination still exists in the workplace. Before you laugh this off as a ludicrous possibility, consider the case of a female Walmart employee right here in Georgia.

Last summer a woman employed at the Walmart Distribution Center located in Atlanta developed morning sickness symptoms while at work. She asked for permission to take an early break; however, her supervisor told her that this was a “special privilege” for which she needed a doctor's note. Not wishing to make trouble, she gave up the idea of an early break and kept working to the best of her ability. She did, however, see her doctor shortly thereafter and obtained his statement saying she should not do any heavy lifting at work during her pregnancy.

Understanding the common forms of government fraud

You might suspect that someone in your company is committing a form of wrongdoing, but you either lack the proof or you fear that reporting it may come back to you in the form of retribution. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon fear for those working in government positions. Government fraud is also common, ranging from untruthful benefits recipients to employees or managers defrauding the entities they work for. Your connection to government work in Georgia makes it important to understand the different types of fraud that can cost the government - and consumers - billions of dollars.

Government fraud is largely financially-driven. For example, health care practitioners might receive additional compensation by providing false or misleading information on their claims forms, or ordinary consumers may be dishonest in filling out applications or reporting changes in their income to receive government benefits. Some of the types of government fraud you might witness can include the following:

  • Medicaid and Medicare fraud - false claims by recipients, health care practitioners overcharging for services or prescriptions
  • Health care, hospital and pharmaceutical fraud - practitioners overcharging or charging for services not rendered, charging for patients who do not exist, charging for a service that was medically unnecessary, charging for an expensive prescription when the drug was a generic version
  • Financial industry fraud - money laundering, false or fraudulent mortgage claims through the Federal Housing Administration, false certification of eligibility for government funding, failing to follow funding regulations
  • Construction fraud - providing substandard materials and workmanship, falsifying documents and progress reports, not following contract regulations, accepting bribes or illegal kickbacks
  • Energy fraud - falsifying research data or other information for grant purposes, defrauding the government of gas and oil royalties, using grant money for personal reasons