What Does “Employment at Will” Really Mean?

In North Carolina, the employment relationship is described as “at-will.”  That means that an employer can terminate you for any reason, even an unreasonable one, as long as it’s not one forbidden by law or express agreement.   While this is a relatively simply statement to make, it is a lot less simple to understand in the real world.   We often  find ourselves explaining to frustrated employees why a terribly unfair workplace situation is not necessarily the basis of a law …
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Should I just Sign My “Standard” Separation Agreement & Get it Over With?

It is usually not with a feeling of great joy that an employee reads the separation agreement just handed over by his or her soon-to-be former boss.  And while your head may be spinning with anger and anxiety now is the time to put those thoughts aside and take a deep breath. There is a popular misconception that all of these agreements are “standard” and don’t require much review.  Not true.  There are many variations of key provisions that can have significant …
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What NOT to do if you are sued for Sexual Harassment

First and foremost, don’t make things up and don’t bribe witnesses. Case in point: A female executive of a Georgia based mortgage company sued the company for sexual harassment and assault asserting that the CEO had, among other wretched acts, groped her in front of other employees.  As part of its defense, the company provided the court with a declaration from a witness that vehemently contradicted the woman’s claims.  A VP of the company claimed that he was present when …
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Say It Isn’t Snow

Given the horrible winter we’ve been having, I’m not surprised that I’ve been asked this question more than once in recent weeks.  “My office was closed for one day due to the weather and road conditions.  Now, they are telling me that I have to burn a vacation day for my “day off”.  It was hardly a vacation and it wasn’t my choice to stay home.  Can they do this?” Before I answer the question, I’m going to make some …
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