How Whistleblowers Can Prevent Crises Like The Baby Formula Shortage

August 1, 2022

by M&S Staff

Op-Ed: A Please To Baby Formula Employees

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Richard Condit and Cleveland Lawrence III, the co-chairs of Mehri & Skalet’s whistleblower practice, recently published an op-ed titled “Baby Formula Employees, We Need You to Blow the Whistle” in Whistleblower Network News about the importance of whistleblowers in preventing crises like the baby formula shortage.

“We need workers to speak up. Without baby formula whistleblowers, there is little chance that regulators can effectively identify and quickly address threats to public health.”

Read more here.

Inflated Car Insurance Premiums In California

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Mehri & Skalet is proud to represent policyholders in their case against the CSAA Insurance Group, alongside co-counsel Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho and Consumer Watchdog. The lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, alleges that the auto insurance company overcharged its customers by at least $150 million during the pandemic.

The suit alleges that during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many CSAA customers were required to stay at home with their cars in their driveways, the company charged inflated premiums, violating the protections of Proposition 103 and orders issued by the California Insurance Commissioner to reduce its rates. The complaint also alleges that CSAA acted unfairly at a time of great hardship for many Californians. CSAA’s profits on its auto insurance business skyrocketed 665% in 2020.

“The California Insurance Commissioner singled out CSAA as one of three companies that most flagrantly violated its orders to refund excessive premiums. Our pre-filing investigation shows that his identification of CSAA was fully justified,” said Jay Angoff, a partner at Mehri & Skalet.

Read more here.

Hiring Discrimination In The Cook County Sheriff’s Office

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Mehri & Skalet, along with co-counsel Willenson Law LLC and Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd, is challenging entry-level hiring practices at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, where, on average, white applicants for correctional officer positions have been four times more likely to receive job offers than Black applicants. Most of the disparity arises due to three specific steps of the hiring process: two written tests and a physical “abilities” test that disproportionately disqualify Black applicants.

M&S is challenging the validity of those tests, contending that their only demonstrable effect is to disproportionately disqualify Black applicants, without any demonstrable relationship to expected job performance, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. M&S is also arguing that there are readily available alternative ways to make hiring decisions that would both reduce or eliminate the racially disparate impact and better predict job performance, vastly improving hiring outcomes.

On August 8, 2022, the federal district court in Chicago granted M&S and co-counsel’s motion to certify four classes, allowing the case to proceed as a class action on behalf of hundreds of Black applicants for correctional officer positions. Earlier in the case, the district court had denied a class certification motion, but M&S appealed and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit overturned that denial. M&S’s team on the case is led by M&S partners Mike Lieder and Josh Karsh.

Save The Date: Whistleblower & Labor Employment Conferences

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Mike Lieder, partner at Mehri & Skalet, will be speaking with Jerry Maatman of Seyfarth Shaw on “Class Actions in Employment Cases” at the Virginia Bar Association’s Virginia Labor and Employment Conference in Charlottesville on Sept. 9.

Register today.

Flyer for the Workplace Promise Institute 2022 Conference flyer in Pensacola Beach, Florida. The event will take place from September 7th to the 9th

Mehri & Skalet attorneys Richard Condit and Ezra Bronstein will present on private sector whistleblower protections and whistleblower reward programs at the Whistleblowers of America’s Workplace Promise Institute conference Sept. 8-9. M&S is proud to be a sponsor of the conference.

Register today.