South Carolina News & Analysis

  • Federal Watch

    Bill gives paid parental leave to 2 million federal workers. A bill including a provision to grant federal workers up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave has passed as part of a larger defense bill backed by President Donald Trump. The bill passed the Senate on December 17 and had previously passed the House. Its expected to provide paid parental leave for more than 2 million federal workers and was backed by Ivanka Trump, the presidents daughter and a key adviser. The parental leave part of the bill was supported by many Democrats and opposed by many Republicans. It was one of the legislative compromises reached during the runup to the impeachment fight.

  • ACA wends its way back to the Supreme Court

    he U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral arguments on religious exemptions to the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) requirement that employers cover birth control in their healthcare plans. Sixteen attorneys general filed an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief with the Court in which they argued that forcing companies with religious objections to birth control to pay for it violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

  • Dispute over bonus plan defeats wage and hour claim

    After an employer changed the terms of an employee bonus plan, a misunderstanding developed and led to a finding that the employees' claimed wages hadn't been "agreed upon," resulting in rejection of their wage and hour suit.

  • NC court says formerly homeless vet was volunteer, not employee

    A North Carolina federal judge recently held that a formerly homeless veteran performed services as part of a homeless rehabilitation program for his own benefit, rather than for the benefit of the organization running the program. As a result, he wasn't entitled to be paid for the hours he worked because he was properly classified as a volunteer under applicable wage and hour law. Companies using unpaid volunteer programs in the ordinary course of business should pay attention to this case because its analysis can help them determine whether their "volunteers" truly meet the volunteer test.

  • Suspension becomes a termination, which becomes retaliation

    When an employee responded to a suspension notice by sending an e-mail stating simply, “I sue,” his employer fired him. Unsurprisingly, he sued, and an appeals court found his termination was retaliatory.

  • NCDOL releases workplace fatality figures

    Each year, the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Division of the North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL) reports on the number and nature of workplace fatalities in the state. Unfortunately, this year's report shows an increase in fatalities, matching a decade high.

  • Ready for the future of recruiting? AI in the spotlight

    Some tout the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in hiring as a means of quickly and efficiently screening job applicants and, perhaps more important, removing human bias from hiring. But others point to AI doing just the opposite—actually introducing bias into the process. Regardless of the pros and cons, employers need to realize AI isn't going away and is instead gaining ground in various facets of the workplace.

  • Sorting out rules on joint employment: DOL, NLRB, EEOC all involved

    Figuring out when a joint-employment arrangement exists can be like traveling a dusty, winding road. When will the dust settle, and where will the road go? Those questions haven't been completely answered. One answer became clear in January when the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced its final rule on joint employment. But the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) also is at work on the issue, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is working on a rule. Here's a look at where the issue stands.

  • H-1B update for 2020 brings good news for employers

    Finally there's a bit of good news for employers relying on H-1B visas. The H-1B cap lottery will take place in March/April 2020, and they will be able to register electronically in advance for a small fee to find out if they are successful, without going through the time and expense of preparing an H-1B petition.

  • Is 'OK, Boomer' age discrimination? Supreme Court might tell us

    Life may be a meme—or at least it may seem that way sometimes, especially after a meme embodying intergenerational conflict recently worked its way into arguments in an age discrimination case before the highest court in the land. At oral arguments in Babb v. Wilkie, Chief Justice John Roberts asked one of the advocates if using the phrase "OK, Boomer" during the hiring process was age discrimination.