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North Carolina Legislative Update May 6, 2020

The General Assembly wrapped up a brief session last week, ending Saturday evening. The session focused on providing relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They passed two bills, one focusing on policy changes and the other appropriating money primarily from the Federal Government aid package to help with the pandemic. This session saw legislators utilize virtual committee meetings and relaxed voting measures that allow members more time to vote, or to vote through the majority or minority leader by proxy, without being present.

Hillsborough County Safer-At-Home Order

On March 26, 2020, Hillsborough County issued an order directing citizens to stay at home as much as possible during the continued COVID-19 crisis. The Safer-At-Home Order will go into effect at 10:00 p.m. on March 27, 2020, and will continue on a daily basis until it expires or is rescinded. Currently, the Order does not state when it expires.

Mecklenburg County N.C. Issues Stay at Home Order

In response to the spread of COVID-19, Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte, and other municipalities in the county have issued a “stay at home” order that goes into effect on Thursday, March 26, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. The order will remain in force for three weeks and may be extended based on recommendations from public health officials.

NC-OSHA Willful Citations Remind Employers to Know the Legal Aspects of Citations.

NC-OSHA is a solid state-OSHA plan. They believe that their approach best reflect the needs of their citizens and challenged the Obama era Fed-OSHA when they felt that Fed demands were punitive and counterproductive. The agency values cooperative efforts with employers and is not known for abusing the scope of OSHA inspections. This does not, however, mean that unicorns frolic and chocolate rivers and gum drop trees dot the Raleigh government complex.

North Carolina Governor Vetoes Sanctuary Jurisdiction Bill, Draws Ire from Trump

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) has joined the “sanctuary city” debate. He vetoed House Bill 370, “An Act to Require Compliance with Immigration Detainers and Administrative Warrants,” on August 21, 2019.

Are North Carolina Employers Required to Have a Written Safety and Health Program?

North Carolina law requires employers with a workers’ compensation experience rate modifier (“ERM”) of 1.5 or higher to “establish and carry out a safety and health program to reduce or eliminate hazards and to prevent injuries and illnesses to employees.” Not just any program, however, will comply with the statutory requirements.

Strict Privacy and Data Security Bill Introduced in North Carolina

Early last year, I posted about tougher, bi-partisan privacy and data security legislation in the works in North Carolina. North Carolina State Representative Jason Saine (R), Senior Appropriations Chair, teamed-up with North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein (D) and issued a fact sheet outlining what the new legislation would include.

Appeals Court Upholds Claim Denial in Case of Man Killed Driving Company Truck Home

Using GPS tracking information, cell phone call data, and other evidence to show that a man killed in an accident while driving home from work in a company truck wasn’t within the "course and scope" of the employment when he was killed, Goldberg Segalla partner Gregory S. Horner successfully defended the man’s employer against a death claim brought by his widow.

Certificate of Relief: Reducing Employer Exposure for Hiring Employees with Certain Criminal Convictions

Recently, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted “An Act to Amend the Law Regarding a Certificate of Relief For Criminal Convictions” (the “Act”). The Act will become effective on December 1, 2018, and applies to petitions for relief filed on or after that date.

New North Carolina Law Decreases Protection to Employers

Since 2011, North Carolina has provided the opportunity for an individual who has been convicted of certain crimes to petition our courts for a “certificate of relief.” A new law that goes into effect on December 1, 2018, expands the availability of these certificates of relief while imposing some additional requirements on applicants.
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