The HR Specialist: North Carolina Employment Law

Before the Randleman Police Department moved to new facilities last Novem­­ber, Chief Steve Leonard ordered an inventory of the evidence room. The tally found that $7,800 in cash was missing.

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A federal judge has affirmed a jury award to a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Mike Adams claimed university administrators praised him when he was an atheist, but black-balled him after he became a Christian.

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Hard on the heels of enactment of a new North Carolina law designed to eliminate tenure for public school teachers, the Robeson County Schools have reluctantly developed a point system to rank its teachers. No one, it seems, likes it—not school administrators and not teachers.

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The union that represents employees at the Smithfield Foods plant in Tar Heel put on the feed bag in March to publicize efforts to organize employees at another company’s plant nearby. The goal: To build support for forcing a union election at the Mountainaire Farms poultry plant in Lumber Bridge.

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It doesn’t take much to get a lawsuit going. Employees just have to show that discrimination may be the reason why they weren’t promoted or failed to receive benefit of employment that was afforded to someone of a different race, sex or other protected characteristic. Something as simple as an employer not following its own promotion policies will do the trick.

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Employers don’t have to tolerate disruptive and rude behavior in the workplace. You can set—and should enforce—basic civility rules. Not only does that give you a basis for discipline, but it may prevent a problem from escalating from boorish behavior to harassment.

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Disabled employees who need reasonable accommodations can’t jump the gun and sue prematurely. If they continue doing their jobs and their employer does not take any ad­­verse action against them, they don’t yet have grounds for an ADA lawsuit.

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Courts seem to be losing patience with so-called pro se lawsuits in which workers act as their own lawyers to sue and provide no specifics about alleged employer wrongdoing.

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The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has announced plans to investigate the Scotland County Sheriff’s office, but it’s been mum about the investigation’s focus. At least one news report has linked the probe to the office’s practice of requiring deputies to moonlight for a local warfare training company.

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Want an easy way to show that an employee acknowledged receiving a copy of your arbitration agreement? Include it in the employee handbook. Then have IT track when employees received it.

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