South Carolina News & Analysis

  • 6th Circuit narrowly defines which employees are 'similarly situated' in race bias case

    The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (which has jurisdiction over Kentucky and Tennessee employers) has dismissed an African-American state trooper's race discrimination claim even though a Caucasian trooper who engaged in similar misconduct was treated better.

  • An HR manager's New Year's resolutions

    The start of a new year is often a great opportunity for self- reflection; and with the new year come plans and determinations to improve ourselves in various ways. A recent study has shown, however, that 80% of New Year's resolutions are abandoned by February—and a lack of goal clarity and discouragement are usually the culprits.

  • It's time to consider adopting no-vaping policy at work

    The rising prevalence of vaping presents new challenges for employers. Employees are frequently running outside, taking bathroom breaks, or closing their office doors for at least 10 minutes at a time to vape, greatly affecting productivity. More important, you might be alarmed by the health risks associated with vaping, especially if a catastrophic health episode happens at work. Recent media reports have captured the nation's attention about people who are ending up in the hospital—or dying—from vaping-related health problems. To avoid liability, you'd be wise to consider your state and local laws and adopt policies to ban workplace vaping.

  • Company's computer trespass claim against former employee is allowed to proceed

    A North Carolina trial court recently denied a request to dismiss a company's computer trespass claim against its former employee and his new employer. The company alleged he accessed and used, without authorization, information contained on its cloud-based computer server using his previously provided username and password after his employment ended in order to compete with it on behalf of his new employer.

  • Foot problems that limit worker's ability to stand and walk are a disability

    An employer terminated an employee with chronic foot "issues" because it couldn't accommodate his continuing medical restrictions. When the former employee sued, the employer argued his foot problems didn't constitute a "disability" under the law and asked the court to dismiss his claims without a trial. The court declined, finding the extent of the employee's issues and their resulting impact on his ability to stand and walk were sufficient to send his case to trial.

  • Fido-friendly: what you should consider before becoming a pet-friendly workplace

    It's no secret there's a growing trend among companies to develop pet-friendly policies that allow employees to bring their favorite animals to work. The benefits of a pet-friendly workplace—often seen touted across social media—include increased productivity, retention, and well-being. Although corporate giants such as Google and Amazon have embraced this new culture and demonstrated its success, a pet-friendly workplace may not be for everyone or every company. The following are some things you should consider before becoming a pet-friendly workplace.

  • Firefighter's fiery comments are protected speech

    The 6th Circuit recently allowed a firefighter's First Amendment retaliation claim to proceed to trial but dismissed his religious discrimination claim. Let's take a look.

  • How to protect your assets—and people—from costly litigation and poaching in 2020

    As we trot forward into 2020, many of my clients are thinking about two very important questions. First, how can they make their businesses more efficient by avoiding employment litigation in state and federal courts? Second, what can they do to ensure retention of top-level employees and prevent competitors from taking their best and brightest talent?

  • Coping with loss in the workplace requires more than just implementing a policy

    Perhaps no other subject in the workplace requires more sensitive treatment than the death of an employee. Bonds among people who work together every day can be strong, and coworkers can be left reeling from the loss of one of their own.

  • Cutting-Edge HR

    Political talk disruptive? 'Guardrails' can help. The Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM) Politics at Work survey, released in November, reveals that 42% of respondents have personally experienced political disagreements at work, and 34% say their workplace isn't inclusive of differing political perspectives. What should you do about such disruptions? SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. says companies shouldn't try to quash political conversations. "But what they can do is create inclusive cultures of civility where difference isn't a disruption," he says.