Just Cause Termination: More than “Just ‘Cause” They Don’t Like You

If you signed an employment contract, there’s probably a provision in the contract that governs the terms by which the contract can be terminated by your employer or by you. Often, termination of an employment contract can be immediate if done so “for cause” or “for just cause,” or a party may opt to terminate the agreement without cause with an appropriate amount of advance notice. Most public employees may only be terminated for cause, meaning that the employer must …
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Don’t Leave Your Money on the Table

If your employer has decided to end its relationship with you, you should hire an expert employment attorney to help you part ways with dignity, grace, and financial and career security.  Often, employers offer what is called a “separation agreement” or “severance agreement” that will govern your exit from the company and your mutual obligations after your exit. There are ten very good reasons why you should hire an employment lawyer to review and negotiate your separation agreement prior to …
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Wrongful Discharge Claims Under North Carolina Law Must Plead a Specific Public Policy Basis to Avoid a Motion to Dismiss

In the recent case of Horne v. Cumberland County Hosp. Sys., 2013 N.C. App. LEXIS 720 (2013), the North Carolina Court of Appeals held that when a plaintiff alleges wrongful termination in violation of the state’s public policy, the complaint must allege “specific conduct by a defendant that violated a specific expression of North Carolina public policy.” (quoting Considine v. Compass Grp. USA, Inc., 145 N.C. App. 314, 321-22, 551 S.E.2d 179, 184 (emphasis added), aff’d per curiam, 354 N.C. 568, 557 S.E.2d 528 (2001)).  The court further explained that …
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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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