Remind supervisors that the integrity of the performance evaluation process depends on their honest assessment. Providing anything less may mean a court date and personal liability under North Carolina law.
The best approach when faced with an employee who files her own lawsuit without a lawyer’s help is to exercise patience. In almost all cases, a judge will toss out the case as soon as he or she is convinced there’s nothing there.
It’s a situation that happens more often than you might think: An employer finds out that one of its employees is preparing to leave and set up her own shop. But is the employer handcuffed, unable to do anything about the upstart competitor because this employee didn’t sign a noncompetition agreement?
Don’t worry too much if a sensitive soul finds the workplace unpleasant. Absent tangible, objective evidence that an environment is truly hostile, her lawsuit won’t go far.
While most employers have to follow federal and state anti-discrimination laws, there is a limited exception for religious organizations. Under the ministerial exception, an employee hired to preach the organization’s religious beliefs can’t sue for discrimination.
A DOL judge has shot down a discrimination complaint against Winston-Salem-based VF Jeanswear Limited Partnership, claiming it discriminated against “non-Asians” in its hiring practices in violation of Executive Order 11246, which forbids racial discrimination in hiring for government contractors.
Employees who want to sue for age discrimination have to show that an adverse employment action—such as discharge, demotion, a pay cut or other substantial benefit loss—was connected to their age. Merely being moved to another shift doesn’t qualify.
The Silver Diner in Lexington will pay $25,000 to a former waitress to settle claims she was sexually harassed by one of the diner’s owners. She claimed when she complained to other owners, her hours were cut. Ultimately, the owners tired of her complaints and terminated her.
Once in a while, it takes an employee’s long-term absence to discover that she hasn’t been doing her job very well. Remember, the FMLA doesn’t provide protection from discipline that the employee would have earned had she not taken leave.
Make sure you evenly apply your leave policies to all employees.