Veterans Affairs David Shulkin received an additional $2.1 billion for the Veterans Choice Program in a bill passed the beginning of August. Secretary Shulkin said the funds will be used for modernization projects, comprehensive public-private sector partnerships, and construction of new facilities. As Secretary Shulkin stated: “I think health care’s changed to become more ambulatory and people are getting more care using technology at home. We are trying to build a modern system, not replicating an old system.” He also said that partnerships are important when veterans cannot get care through the VA, either because they live too far away from the nearest VA facility, or the wait times at their nearest VA facility are too long. Secretary Shulkin further stressed the necessity of working more closely with the Department of Defense to obtain electronic health records to speed up the process of receiving care.
Imagine being constantly mocked by your supervisors for using too much toilet paper. That’s what Tracey Boudine, age 50 claims in her lawsuit against Wise Public Relations. Tracey claims she was teased about her need to use the bathroom and her need as a women to use toilet paper more frequently when using the bathroom. Further, her bosses put a limit on how much toilet paper she could use. No limitations were placed on male employees. She claims she was relegated to using bathrooms in nearby gyms and fast food restaurants. As a result she spent a lot of mental energy worrying about basic biological functions. She also claims she was denied by her supervisors access to more lucrative clients which were given to male employees. Tracey complained to the company’s founder and president but her concerns were ignored. Tracey’s lawyer then sent a letter to the company claiming Tracey suffered discrimination and possibly harassment on the basis of her gender. Within hours of receiving the letter she was fired from the company. The company claims they don’t tolerate any form of harassment or discrimination. They are confident there was no wrongdoing. Boudine in her suit is seeking lost wages,… Continue Reading Fired Over Toilet Paper
Debt settlement can seem like a better option than bankruptcy, especially now that increased regulation and enforcement have forced settlement companies to do what they promise and persuade at least some of a borrower’s creditors to forgive a portion of the debt owed. But in many ways, bankruptcy is a better option than debt settlement. Freedom Financial Network, which is the largest debt settlement company, states that half of its customers eventually settle at least three-quarters of their debt, but the process can take three to four years. Similarly, the amount of forgiven debt is usually reported to the IRS and is taxable as income. With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, however, debts are erased in three to six months, and state laws protect most if not all of what filers own. Also, credit scores begin to recover immediately after the process is complete. And bankruptcy halts collections, including lawsuits, and can end wage garnishments.
We are delighted that three of our staff members have decided to pursue a career in law and are starting law school this fall. As pictured, they are left to right: Allison Cullens – Albany Law School; Austin St. Laurent – Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and Charles Terranova – University of Buffalo Law School. We wish you good luck and we’re confident you’ll become outstanding attorneys.
Virginia Tucker was 60 and the second oldest employee in the maintenance department of Chobani’s yogurt plant in Idaho. She claims her younger male supervisor in a supervisors’ meeting said she should be given negative performance ratings because she was a threat to the company. He felt she should be fired before she sued. Virginia also said her younger male supervisors pulled a humiliating prank against her in the crowed lunch room and laughed at her. Tucker complained to the state human rights commission and the EEOC. She was fired the following day. The company claims she was fired for failing to perform a proper procedure while working on a piece of equipment. Her suit claims the company didn’t follow their handbook procedures in her firing and that the state’s Department of Labor investigation found she hadn’t violated any company procedures. The suit also claims she was replaced by a younger, less experienced male. She is seeking lost pay, benefits, damages, and attorney and court fees.
Mr. Freedman I would like to thank you for the opportunities that you have blessed me with being able to work for your wonderful firm and the amazing friendships and connections that have blossomed. I truly enjoyed the working environment that you have cultivated here and I am saddened to be leaving on such short notice. The experience I have gained here will greatly assist me during my law school coursework and I cannot thank you enough for that. Austin
The VA continues to receive bipartisan support in Congress and last week President Trump signed the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act. This Act should make it easier for vets to challenge VA disability benefits claim decisions. Last update for the bill in terms of the law was in the 1930s. VA Secretary Sulkin said he feels Democrats and Republicans agree work must be done when it involves veteran issues.
Last week, President Trump signed the Arla Harrell Act into law, which is intended to secure VA benefits for World War II veterans who were exposed to chemicals in experiments. The bill, sponsored by Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt of Missouri, passed in the Senate the week before. Arla Harrell is one of an estimated 400 surviving WWII veterans who were exposed to chemicals such as phosgene gas, mustard gas, and lewisite as part of an international testing operation. Participants in the test were sworn to secrecy by threat of court-martial until the government lifted the oath in the 1990s. Prior to this date, participants could not tell their doctors the nature of their ailments.