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The HR Specialist: North Carolina Employment Law

Charlotte-Mecklenburg school officials filed criminal charges against a radio station staffer who hopped a middle school bus one morning as an on-air stunt. The bus driver who agreed to participate in the drive-time drama was fired …

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When discrimination charges go to court, both sides are entitled to copies of all relevant evidence. That includes memos, notes and e-mail (with some exceptions for confidential, trade secret or attorney-client privileged communications). Don’t think you’ll be able to avoid liability by getting rid of some documents …

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The Milken Institute named several North Carolina metropolitan areas to its 2008 Best Performing Cities Report. Raleigh-Cary ranked second, and Wilmington ranked sixth on the national index, which measures which cities are most successful at creating and sustaining jobs …

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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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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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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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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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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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