Change to Framework for Proving Disability in North Carolina Supreme Court’s Landmark Wilkes Decision

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In addition to creating a medical presumption for accepted claims, the North Carolina Supreme Court’s decision in Wilkes v. City of Greenville has significantly altered the landscape for proving disability.  The Court has held that an employee can prove a disability outside of the four methods outlined in Russell v. Lowes Product Distribution.  The Court…

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Watch for Potential Permitting Pitfalls

The North Carolina Residential Property Disclosure Form gives sellers of real property the option of disclosing the existence of room additions, structural changes, and violations of building codes and zoning ordinances, if any, or to make “no representations.” Even where a seller makes no representations, however, a real estate licensee with knowledge of any of…

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Landmark Decision by North Carolina Supreme Court: Practical Implications for Claims Administration Following Wilkes

On Friday, June 9, 2017, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued its eagerly anticipated decision in Wilkes v. City of Greenville, in significant part, unanimously affirming the Court of Appeals. Wilkes involves two primary issues. First, whether Johnnie Wilkes failed to meet his burden of establishing that his anxiety and depression were the result of…

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Second Circuit to Rehear Case Considering Whether Title VII Includes Sexual Orientation as a Protected Class

The Second Circuit,* (serving six districts within the states of Connecticut, New York, and Vermont) will reconsider its position, currently aligned with the vast majority of federal Circuits, that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not include sexual orientation as a protected class.  Title VII prohibits discrimination in the employment context…

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Obeying the Unwritten Rules

Walker v. North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners and Its Meaning for Professional Licensees in North Carolina North Carolina currently has fifty-five occupational licensing agencies. These agencies regulate professions including law, medicine, engineering, surveying, therapy, and real estate. Generally, the agencies regulate their particular professions by enforcing rules of ethics and practice. Their rules are…

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NC COA Examines Whether an Employee’s Injury Arose Out of and in the Course of His Employment When Commission Finds Employee Was “Joyriding”

When Plaintiffs are injured at work under circumstances which raise the question of whether the precipitating activity was “in furtherance of” versus “incidental to” the job duties assigned and the employer’s interest, the North Carolina Courts will look closely at the nature of the activity and the behavior immediately prior to the incident to determine…

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North Carolina Court of Appeals Rules Drug Test, Background Check Constitutes “Last Act” Necessary to Create Employment Contract

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In Holmes v. Associate Pipe Line Contractors, Inc., the Court of Appeals determined that post-offer contingencies, such as background checks and drug testing, constitute the “last act” necessary to create a contract of employment. On October 29, 2013, Plaintiff, who was living in North Carolina, was contacted via telephone by a union representative and offered…

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Joint Employment Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

A List of Do’s and Do Not’s for North Carolina General Contractors in a post-Salinas Era. In Salinas v. Commercial Interiors, Inc., 848 F.3d 125 (4th Cir. 2017), the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals laid out a new test for determining when two or more individuals or corporate entities should be considered “joint employers” of…

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Drone Liability & Litigation Podcast

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Recently, Partners Bill Bulfer and Bryan Simpson were featured in a Ringler Radio podcast discussing drone liability and litigation. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. Drones were originally associated by the military, but are now used for other purposes, with estimates of over…

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