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North Carolina Establishes New Office to Investigate Employee Misclassification

North Carolina employers will soon operate under the watchful gaze of a new government subagency whose sole mission will be to combat employee misclassification.

New NC Law Improves Protections of Farmers Against Unionization

On July 13, 2017, North Carolina helped farmers by improving statutory protections against unionization. Although farmworkers generally do not have a statutory right to unionize under N.C. or federal law, unions are using indirect tactics to force farmers to unionize, such as asserting economic pressure or filing federal lawsuits.

Post-Wilkes Decision Tips for Handling Workers’ Compensation Claims

Last week we wrote about the impact of the Wilkes v. City of Greenville decision. In this ruling, the North Carolina Supreme Court significantly expanded the “Parsons presumption,” which posits a relationship between an original work-related injury and additional treatments required.

An Employer’s Short Guide to Employee Break Time Obligations

A recent study showed that employees who regularly take short breaks are far more productive than those who work continuously for hours on end. The study, conducted by the Draugiem Group, found that the ideal work-to-break ratio was roughly an hour of uninterrupted work, followed by a break lasting 15 to 20 minutes. Regardless of how employers feel about the results of this study, they should understand their legal obligations with regard to employees’ meal periods and rest breaks.

Employers Cannot Be Mandated to Provide Paid Sick Leave in Carolinas

The issue of paid time off for employees remains a debated issue throughout the nation. Currently, there is no federal law mandating private employers provide paid time off for employees. While many states and cities have legislation mandating paid time off under certain circumstances, there is no state law in North or South Carolina that requires private employers to provide paid time off or leave to employees.

North Carolina Enacts Law Repealing "Bathroom" Bill But Limiting Local Anti-Discrimination Laws

Last week, North Carolina lawmakers repealed the state’s controversial House Bill 2 (“HB 2”), which had required individuals to use the public bathroom that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificate, along with several other provisions. The repeal bill has been called a compromise between the state’s Republican General Assembly and Democratic Governor Roy Cooper: it repeals HB 2 but, for the time being, maintains its restriction on cities and counties passing ordinances governing employment or public accommodation.

Does Pre-MMI Burden of Proving Disability Apply to Current Employees?

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled, in an unpublished opinion, that an employee may meet the burden of proving disability simply by staying “employed” with the employer of injury.

The Basics of Unemployment Taxes

Nearly all private employers in the Carolinas are required to pay quarterly unemployment insurance (“UI”) taxes to the relevant state unemployment agency on behalf of their employees. Like other insurance and tax obligations, UI taxes can have a significant impact on employers’ bottom line, particularly if they are not aware of the factors impacting their tax rates.

New Year, New Resolutions: Reviewing, Updating and Even Eliminating Policies

For employers across the Carolinas, the New Year presents the ideal opportunity to review and update important company policies. In some instances, there may be policies that need to be eliminated altogether. This article highlights four important policies most employers should have – and one particular policy that employers should consider removing from company handbooks or manuals.

Unions Pressure Carolina Farmers

Carolina farmers must constantly deal with changing weather and markets. Add one more challenge: labor unions. Recently, labor unions have actively targeted certain agribusinesses in the Carolinas.