Golden Globes: Time Is (Not) Up (Yet)

The 2018 Golden Globe Awards highlighted the national movement against sexual harassment with a multitude of actors and activists speaking out on the topic. Celebrities, many of who appeared in solidarity wearing black, seized on the movement’s momentum, pledging meaningful change.  The #metoo movement and the resulting “Time’s Up” initiative have underscored the urgency of the movement and seem to underlie an opportunity to define and desist sexual harassment in our country. Laura Dern eloquently described a future where “we …
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Should NC Employees Worry About the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?

Congress passed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) in 1986 to curb hacking practices, especially against the federal government. However, the law’s broad construction lent itself to the law’s use in prosecuting or suing departing employees for unauthorized access or exceeding authorized access of company computers or networks when they download company data for their use after departure. Until a few years ago, such claims made under the CFAA by employers against departed employees were successful in some courts. …
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Moonlighting While on FMLA: Will It Get Me Fired?

The short answer is “it depends.” What does it depend on, you ask? Well, it depends on whether your employer has a policy against outside employment and whether the company applies and enforces such a policy consistently to all employees who takes leave. In fact, the regulations promulgated under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) speak directly to this point – “If the employer has a uniformly-applied policy governing outside or supplemental employment, such a policy may continue to …
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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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Laura Noble Nominated for Business NC Magazine’s 2015 Legal Elite

Laura Noble of The Noble Law Firm in Chapel Hill, NC has been nominated for Business NC Magazine’s 2015 Legal Elite in the category of Employment Law.  Business NC Magazine publishes a list of winners annually.  Laura was named in the magazine’s 2014 list as a winner in the Employment law category.  She is thrilled to have been nominated once again by her peers.

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What to Expect at a Consultation

If you’ve never met with an attorney before (or even if you have), you’re probably wondering what to expect at the consultation you’ve scheduled with an employment attorney. You should expect that the attorney will: Introduce herself or himself and tell you a little about her or his background; Explain that the content of your meeting will remain confidential and are protected by the attorney-client privilege as long as you do not disclose the content to third parties; Explain that …
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Emotional Distress Damages Allowed in Wrongful Discharge Suit

While North Carolina follows the employment at will doctrine, North Carolina courts recognize specific exceptions to that doctrine based upon a violation of public policy. If an employer terminates an employee for reasons that violate a specific expression of state public policy, the plaintiff may pursue a wrongful discharge claim to remedy the personal injury suffered. Very recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeals analyzed the kinds of damages that a jury may award in a successful wrongful discharge action. …
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Off the Clock

I’ve heard employees say, “My employer tells me to clock out once I have reached 8 hours in the day, even if I haven’t finished my work.”  If you worked past when you clocked out, can you get paid for it?  If you actually worked more than 40 hours — even if your employer has a policy against working unauthorized overtime – do you still have a right to be paid for it? The answer to both questions is yes …
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What protections are there for “whistleblowers”?

Ever witnessed something going on at work that you suspected was fraudulent or illegal?  Public policy encourages people in your position to speak up and the law comports with public policy by attempting to protect those who do from retaliation in employment. We commonly refer to these insiders with information as whistleblowers.  The term is pretty self-explanatory – it describes persons who blow the whistle on bad actors and fraudulent or illegal activity in which their employer is knowingly engaging. …
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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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