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The HR Specialist: North Carolina Employment Law

Some people have more trouble than others managing personal relationships. When such a person has a supervisory role, the result can be disastrous. Don’t fear discharging a lousy manager based on what you observe or find out following an investigation.

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We can’t say it often enough: Employees can lose discrimination claims and still end up winning big because their employers retaliated against them for complaining in the first place. Don’t let that happen at your organization. Develop a plan to stop retaliation dead in its tracks …

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Here’s an important thing to remember if your organization is hit with a series of discrimination cases: Even if some are legitimate, that doesn’t mean every member of a protected class can sue.

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Employees who are disciplined sometimes think they’ve been treated unfairly. Some inevitably look for some nefarious reason—like sex, age or race discrimination—to explain the injustice they suffered. And when their lawsuits reach court, you’ll have to turn over your disciplinary records…

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Jamaal Johnson, a GED instructor at Nash Community College, submitted a note from Dr. Raymond Baule stating he needed to miss two months of work. It didn’t offer a specific reason, and Baule was not a certified workers’ compensation physician.

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If an employee suspects his manager of bias, you can’t expect him to go to that particular boss to make a complaint. And you can’t expect to escape a lawsuit if you discipline the employee for going around the boss to report his concerns.

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In a case the EEOC probably will appeal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, a federal trial court has ruled that comments about a lactating mother’s breasts over a two-month period weren’t pervasive enough to create a sexually hostile environment.

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North Carolina is one of two states in the nation that bars public employees from unionizing. (Virginia is the other.) That may be changing. Legislators met with concerned state employees earlier this spring to discuss changing the 50-year-old law.

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Auto parts maker AW North Carolina has offered buyouts to all 1,100 employees at its Durham Treyburn Corporate Park location. The company is hoping 500 employees will accept the offers, leaving the supplier with a leaner workforce more in line with industry standards.

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Sometimes, people don’t realize the language they are using may be offensive to members of a protected class. That can happen when a term has been in use for decades or even centuries and has become separated from its original meaning or context. Consider a recent case involving usage of the term “tar baby.”

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