Just What is “Just Cause?”

On March 21, 2017, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an unpublished opinion affirming a decision of the Office of Administrative Hearings that the Department of Social Services (“DSS”) lacked “just cause” under the North Carolina Human Resources Act for dismissal of an employee for unacceptable conduct. A DSS employee was terminated for making…

Three Tips for Businesses Using Non-Competes and Non-Solicitation Agreements

In the information economy, managing employee knowledge is critical. Recent labor trends of decreasing employee tenure only heightens the importance for businesses and employers to take pro-active steps in protecting sensitive information and relationships developed in the course of business from frequent employee turnover. Regardless of industry, employment agreements such as non-competes and non-solicitation agreements…

Department of Education Sides with Transgender Student’s Allegations of Sex-Based Discrimination

On November 2, 2015, the Department of Education (the “DoE”) issued a potentially landmark decision regarding the rights of transgender students.  This decision was issued following months of investigation into allegations that Palatine High School District 211 (the “District”) discriminated against a transgender female (“Student”) on the basis of her sex.  The DoE determined that…

Demasters v. Carilion Clinic: Elimination of the “Manager Rule” in Title VII Litigation

Introduction In a recent case, Demasters, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, determined the “manager rule,” which has its roots in Fair Labor Standards Act litigation, should not apply in Title VII litigation.  Demasters v. Carilion Clinic, No. 13-2278, WL 4717873 (4th Cir. 2015).  Under the rule, in order for an…

Employee Misclassification

The North Carolina Senate recently unanimously passed Senate Bill 694, entitled “Employee Misclassification Reform.”  The bill provides additional sanctions for employers that repeatedly misclassify employees as independent contractors.  Repeat offenders can be assessed a fine of up to $1,000.00 per misclassified employee.  In addition to providing sanctions, the bill will create a new division within…