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The HR Specialist: North Carolina Employment Law

The employment law cases hardest to handle are often those in which an applicant or employee doesn’t have an attorney. Those employees often file complaints and lawsuits containing what seem like out-of-the-blue allegations. Now federal judges seem to be exacerbating the problem by giving unrepresented litigants every benefit of the doubt …

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Under some circumstances, North Carolina government employees may be entitled to due process if they have a “property interest” in their jobs. That means they get a hearing and a chance to defend themselves before being terminated. Smart public employers can, however, limit that possibility by making sure that nothing in their employment policies creates a property interest in a job …

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Nelson Torres Garcia, owner of Stone Masonry Unlimited in Fuquay-Varina, has agreed to pay $10,000 in fines for misclassifying five people working on a construction project in Braintree, Mass., as independent contractors …

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Michael Howell, owner of Dilworth Insurance Agency in Charlotte, has been charged in the death of North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) investigator Sallie Rohrbach. Rohrbach was auditing Howell’s agency, which had been dropped by GMAC Insurance for not promptly remitting premiums …

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An annual audit of North Carolina A&T State University found that 27% of scholarships reserved for the Bookstore Scholarship Fund for needy students were awarded to relatives of university employees …

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Under the North Carolina unemployment insurance tax law, employers pay a quarterly tax based on a percentage of their payroll. Most newly liable or startup employers are assigned the standard beginning tax rate of 1.2%. Problems can arise when an employer is not truly a “startup” or when two employers combine by merger or other acquisition forms … 

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One of the best ways to sink a discrimination defense is to come off as defensive, angry and vengeful. That’s why you need to train all supervisors and managers on how to initially handle discrimination complaints. Tell them that no matter how outrageous the complaint, the only proper response is to explain exactly how the employee should report what happened …

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A magistrate has recommended that a federal judge dismiss a race discrimination lawsuit brought by the Rev. Derrick Gomez against the North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America … 

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After several state troopers were dismissed from the North Carolina Highway Patrol (NCHP), Gov. Mike Easley commissioned a probe by Kroll Associates, a corporate investigative service renowned for its ability to ferret out—and keep—company secrets …

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In May, a federal jury in Asheville found former Buncombe County Sheriff Bobby Medford guilty of money laundering, conspiracy and extortion following charges that Medford squeezed “protection” money from operators of illegal video poker machines …

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