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The HR Specialist: North Carolina Employment Law

Sometimes, it becomes clear early on that it was a mistake to hire that new employee. If it doesn’t look as though things will improve, it’s a good idea to let the same manager who recommended hiring the employee also be the one to fire her. That makes the termination decision much easier to defend if there’s any question about possible discrimination.

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Until recently, it was unclear whether reporting unsafe or illegal working conditions to an internal auditor or another responsible party was “protected activity” under the North Carolina Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA). Now a federal court has decided that REDA may cover internal reports …

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State Auditor Les Merritt has released a preliminary report concluding that the State Ethics Commission is “hiding facts from the public” regarding its termination of commission office assistant Amanda Thaxton and a related investigation into whether it gave Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue preferential treatment …

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Employees who are hurt on the job sometimes become depressed because they can’t do the things they previously could. That depression may then complicate their recovery or even prevent them from getting better. The practical result is that employers and their workers’ compensation carriers will have to pay lost wages longer …

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The manager of the North Carolina state government’s standards laboratory created a stir in July when he ordered his department not to fly its flags at half-staff in honor of the memory of U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms …

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You’ve got to give points for stamina, no matter the outcome, to 83-year-old Annie Allen, a part-time worker for more than 35 years at John Umstead Hospital in Butner. She’s fighting for her job after being fired earlier this year …

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Roughly half of Wayne County’s 1,032 workers are switching to a four-day workweek to cut commuting costs and energy bills and to boost employee morale. County officials hope the move will cut utility costs by $300,000 per year …

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Although there are serious consequences when supervisors don’t know how to comply with workplace anti-discrimination rules, their ignorance of the law won’t necessarily result in a costly punitive-damages award if you get sued …

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Under N.C. General Statute § 126-35, North Carolina state government employees can be discharged only for “just cause,” a term the statute doesn’t clearly define. The vague language can make it difficult to terminate a state employee. But that’s not the case if a state agency has a clear set of rules, can show the employee knew about those rules and broke them anyway …

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Lucas Lopez-Galvan, a native of the Dominican Republic, was hired in June 2005 as a tailor in a Men’s Wearhouse store in Charlotte. Regional tailor Nitin Bulsara, who is fluent in Spanish, hired Lopez despite the fact that Lopez does not speak English.

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