South Carolina News & Analysis

  • Managing impact of stay-at-home orders and remote work on paid leave benefits

    The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented changes to all facets of our lives, especially our work. Employers have faced incredible challenges of rushed remote work arrangements, meeting new workplace safety requirements, staying abreast of legal and regulatory requirements, and returning employees to work in the safest way possible. Most HR professionals and managers must be thinking of how much they need a vacation!

  • Employer's informal Google search didn't create race bias claim

    An employer's informal background check on a new hire via Google didn't support a race discrimination claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia employers) recently ruled. The case provides good insights on when such searches might create a viable legal claim.

  • Offering help to distressed and potentially suicidal employees during pandemic

    We are living in trying times. We and the people we work with have had to deal with numerous hardships, which will continue indefinitely. Some have lostor at least been separated fromfamily and friends. Some are suffering from lack of contact because of social distancing, quarantines, and isolation orders. Some have sustained a loss of income or employment-related changes. All of us (some more acutely than others) face the fear of contracting COVID-19 through contact with others at work or elsewhere. All of us have undergone the shock of living a life that is not the normal we have become used to. And all of us are probably wondering what the future holds and whether the old "normal" will ever return.

  • Preschool teacher loses appeal on defamation claims

    In an opinion issued in May 2020, the Tennessee Court of Appeals provided guidance regarding the application of the common interest privilege and its impact on defamation and invasion of privacy claims within the employment setting. The practical impact of this guidance may provide some degree of protection for employers in their discussions and communications about their employees.

  • You've been WARNed, but are you covered?

    Undoubtedly, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) has popped up on your radar during these times of economic uncertainty arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Any number of articles, posts, tweets, and webinars are out there to help you issue-spot as you consider whether the actions you are contemplating constitute a plant closing or a mass layoff. You know the WARN Act requires 60 days' notice of these events— if their definitions are satisfied— but do you know if you are a covered employer under the Act?

  • Previous accommodations fail to cancel obligation to engage in interactive process

    The 6th Circuit (which covers Kentucky and Tennessee) recently reversed the dismissal of a disability discrimination claim against an employer. The employee had requested a transfer to another position, but the appellate court said the employer failed to engage in the interactive process in good faith.

  • CBA preempts Muslim flight attendant's religious bias claim, 6th Circuit confirms

    An airline flight attendant said her Muslim beliefs prevented her from serving alcohol, but she can't sue the company for requiring her to sell booze on its planes because her claim fell under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the 6th Circuit recently ruled.

  • Pandemic sparks unexpected question: What if workers unwilling to return?

    Restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic are beginning to ease in many parts of the country, and employers are starting to call back the millions of workers who joined the ranks of the unemployed a few months ago. Many workers are champing at the bit to get back to work, but others are hesitant. And that can put already-struggling employers in a bind.

  • Q - A: Determining the validity of a wage garnishment notice

    Q We received a wage garnishment notice for an employee who has been laid off temporarily, but the documents don't look legitimate. What do we look for to confirm if this is a legitimate wage garnishment we need to follow?

  • Cutting-Edge HR

    HR pros respond to crisis by linking laid-off workers with employers. As unemployment soared past record highs during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, some HR professionals and their organizations launched efforts to bring together companies laying off or furloughing employees with companies in urgent need of workers. People + Work Connect was designed by chief HR officers from Accenture, Lincoln Financial Group, ServiceNow, and Verizon, according to an announcement from Accenture. The People + Work platform is designed to enable companies to share the experience and skills of their laid-off or furloughed workers with other companies on the platform that are seeking workers. Censia also announced its ReadyToHire initiative, which allows companies to add their displaced employees to a specialized website to help them find jobs with organizations that are hiring. In addition to allowing employers to put people on the ReadyToHire list, individuals can add their own names. The company's AI technology matches workers to open positions suitable for their skills. Both initiatives are free to use.