Employers that end up violating the—unintentionally or not—don’t face an additional problem under North Carolina law.
The supposed problem: At-will employees in North Carolina can sue their employers if they’re terminated and the discharge violates public policy.
Why it’s not a problem: Fortunately, failing to follow the intricacies of federal laws and regulations doesn’t violate public policy.
Recent case: Gwen Herndon sued her former employer, TIAA-CREF, for allegedly failing to comply with the FMLA. Her attorneys also added a state claim of wrongful discharge, arguing that by violating the FMLA, TIAA-CREF destroyed its right to fire Herndon without a good reason. Firing her, they argued, violated public policy.
The court disagreed and dismissed the case. (Herndon v. TIAA-CREF Individual and Institutional Services, No. 3:09-CV-120, WD NC, 2009)
Final note: You may wonder why attorneys try to sue employers under so many different theories and why they often tack on state claims. More claims in the same case means that the case becomes more expensive for the employer. That, the employee’s attorneys think, may make it more likely the employer will agree to settle the case.
But the main reason is that, by trying different claims, they multiply the chance that one will stick. Plus, some federal laws have limits on the amount of money an employee can collect, while many state laws lack those limits. A jury is free to order employers to pay as much as the jury believes the case is worth.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/10289/when-federal-compliance-and-nc-law-collide-violating-fmla-doesnt-end-at-will-employment "
- What managers need to know about pregnant employees
- You won't work Sundays?! EEOC guide explains religious accommodations
- Keep your credibility intact: 12 lessons from the courtroom
- Congress passes new law expanding family medical military leave
- Instead of firing after FMLA and disability leave, consider reasonable accommodations