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William Sturges

Q. I understand that “consideration” is required for noncompete agreements in North Carolina, and that, for existing employees, continued employment is not valid consideration. How much must a company pay to have sufficient consideration?

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Q. A co-worker is harassing one of our employees, and we are concerned it may get violent. What can we do about this?

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Q. We have an employee who does not work very hard and her production is marginal. If we terminate the employee, will she be able to collect unemployment compensation?

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Q. Is North Carolina providing a subsidy for health care continuation for employers with fewer than 20 employees similar to the federal subsidy contained in the new economic stimulus law?

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Q. If we have a Supplemental Unemployment Pay Plan to supplement unemployment benefits, do the company and the employee have to pay FICA and FUTA taxes on the supplemental pay?

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Q. We need to temporarily lay off some employees. It will be hard for them to make it on the amount of unemployment benefits. Can we supplement their unemployment benefits without interfering with the unemployment benefits?

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Q. Our company employs fewer than 20 employees, so federal COBRA does not apply to us. Is there a state law that allows continued health care coverage following termination of employment?

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As time has passed, the North Carolina Persons with Disabilities Protection Act has evolved to cover more disabled North Carolinians. For example, the first version of the law excluded “working” as a major life activity, thus preventing coverage for those who might not be able to work without substantial accommodations. In 1999, the Legislature added “working” as a major life activity …

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Q. We have had some bad weather lately. Is our company liable if an employee has a wreck on the way to work?

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North Carolina law has long protected disabled North Carolinians from discrimination. The North Carolina Persons with Disabilities Protection Act was originally called the Handicapped Persons Protection Act and became law in 1985. The act is broad in scope, and many of its protections apply directly to employment matters.

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