North Carolina News & Analysis

  • NCDOL issues scam alert over bogus labor law poster pitches

    In an article published in its bimonthly Labor Ledger, the North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL) has urged businesses across the state to be on the lookout for suspicious correspondence after it recently received multiple reports of companies using scare tactics or threatening language to sell labor law posters to employers. Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry stated: "These scams surface several times a year, and businesses, upset about receiving the correspondence, contact us. The threats of fines are bogus and should be ignored. The [NCDOL] provides free sets of labor law posters to businesses."

  • 4th Circuit declines whistleblower protection

    An employee wasn't engaged in protected activity under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act's (SOX) whistleblower provision, according to a recent ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (whose decisions are binding on North Carolina employers). The case provides an important overview of the protections provided to employees who report employer conduct they reasonably believe violates one of six categories listed by Congress: mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, securities fraud, shareholder fraud, or violations of any Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule or regulation.

  • North Carolina state employees get paid parental leave

    Governor Roy Cooper has signed an executive order granting paid parental leave to state employees beginning September 1. Under the order, eligible state employees can take paid parental leave for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child under the age of 18. The state estimates 56,000 employees will be eligible for the leave.

  • EEOC remains active in North Carolina

    The Charlotte office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues to be active in filing enforcement lawsuits in the state. The EEOC recently announced the settlement of one case and the filing of another.

  • DOL updates opinion on independent contractors for the gig economy

    Under the Trump administration, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has taken a decidedly industry-friendly approach to the independent contractor analysis. If there was any doubt before, that was made clear by its recent issuance of a whopping 10-page opinion letter examining the nature of the relationship between a virtual marketplace company (think Uber) and the "gig" workers they employ (e.g., Uber drivers).

  • Supreme Court ruling raises stakes in Title VII claims

    If an employee files a timely Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge, can she later raise new discrimination allegations after the filing deadline has passed? That's the issue addressed in a new decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. Spoiler alert: The answer is no, unless the employer—or more accurately, its attorney—doesn't notice. To understand the Court's ruling, it's helpful to understand the EEOC's role in discrimination claims.

  • Agency Action

    NLRB reveals rulemaking plans. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in May announced its rulemaking priorities, which include proceeding with its rulemaking on a standard for joint employment. The Board's agenda also includes plans for rulemaking in the following areas: representation-case procedures; standards for blocking charges, voluntary recognition, and the formation of bargaining relationships in the construction industry; the standard for determining whether students who perform services at private colleges or universities in connection with their studies should be considered employees; and standards for access to an employer's private property.

  • Workplace Trends

    Think you've made a hire? Maybe not. A survey from staffing firm Robert Half shows that more than a quarter of workers (28%) have backed out of a job offer after accepting the position. Why would a jobseeker do that? The survey says 44% of those changing their minds backed out after receiving a better offer from another company. For 27%, a counteroffer from their current employer led to the change of heart. In 19% of the cases, the jobseeker reported hearing bad things about the company after receiving the offer. The cities where jobseekers are more likely to renege are San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Austin, and Miami.

  • 4th Circuit denies female professor's pay discrimination claim

    The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (the federal appeals court with jurisdiction over North Carolina) recently rejected a female college professor's claim that she was paid less than two other male university employees because of her gender. The court found the employee had not shown the other two employees she compared herself with performed work that was substantially equal to hers. The court's decision provides helpful guidance for employers reviewing their pay practices to ensure employees are being paid in a nondiscriminatory manner.

  • Court upholds NC jury's finding of age discrimination

    A recent 4th Circuit decision has affirmed a jury's finding that a North Carolina employee was a victim of age discrimination. The ruling serves as a reminder that once a jury has made a decision, it's very difficult for it to be overturned.