Employment Law

Please call us at 919-680-6100 to schedule an initial consultation.

What should I know about employment law?

Employment law is complex and every case must be evaluated on an individual basis.  The following general information is not intended as specific legal advice, but will provide you with an overview of employment law issues.

In North Carolina most people are “at will” employees, which means that they can be terminated at any time for any reason that does not violate state or federal law.  Discrimination, retaliation, or harassment may be illegal.  Some employees, such as public school teachers, certain government employees, unionized employees, and employees who have a contract of employment, are exempt from the “at will” rule.  These employees have additional rights governed by state or federal statutes.  If you feel that you have been subjected to an unlawful employment practice, please call our office to set up an appointment.

Discrimination

Generally, it is unlawful to discriminate against an employee because of that employee’s race, sex, age, national origin, disability or religion or because the employee has complained about such discrimination.  It is also unlawful to discriminate against an employee because he or she has made a claim for worker’s compensation.  There are other reasons that may constitute an unlawful basis for discrimination or termination.  It is important to have your case evaluated by a knowledgeable attorney to determine if you have experienced any unlawful employment action.

Harassment

Harassment in the workplace is unlawful if it is based on certain characteristics, such as race, sex, age, disability, or national origin.  Harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, comments about an employee’s physical appearance, derogatory racial remarks, or treating employees differently because of these characteristics.  Not all harassment is illegal.  It must be severe or pervasive, and it must be based on certain characteristics.  Please call our office to set up an appointment if you feel you have been subjected to unlawful harassment in the workplace.

Severance

When an employer has offered you a severance agreement, you should consult with an attorney before signing.  Most severance agreements include waivers of important rights.  You need to know whether you may have any claims against your employer before you give up the right to bring any such claims.  Sometimes, severance agreements are negotiable.  You may be able to obtain a more favorable agreement if you consult with an attorney.  Your situation must be evaluated to determine whether you should accept the severance payment that has been offered.

For more information, please see the following links to other employment related organizations:

Links

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

North Carolina Department of Labor

North Carolina Industrial Commission

North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings

Workplace Fairness