Visit Noble Law at the PRIMETIME Expo on September 10

Come visit the Noble Law Firm’s booth at the PRIMETIME Business Expo, hosted by the Chapel Hill and Hillsborough Chambers of Commerce on Thursday, September 10, 2015 from 4:00PM – 7:30PM.  The event will take place at UNC’s Friday Center. At PRIMETIME the movers and shakers in our business community and learn about brag-worthy local products and services to advance your business and personal life! PRIMETIME is free and open to the public and will provide opportunities to enjoy good networking, food and drink, and …
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Personal Texts on Company Devices

Let’s say you have a personal iPhone and a company-issued iPhone. On your work phone, you enter the same personal iCloud username and password you use on your personal iPhone so you can listen to your music library on either one. One day, you start up a text conversation with a co-worker on your personal iPhone. You’re both talking about this woman you work with named Kate, and because it’s a private conversation, you use some pretty insulting, derogatory, and …
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Even Legal Off-Duty Marijuana Use Can Get You Fired

Marijuana legalization is a hot topic in the United States these days and has presented some interesting new questions in the workplace. Increasingly, states are legalizing or decriminalizing private use of marijuana while the federal government continues to prohibit its use and sale under the Controlled Substances Act. At the intersection of federalism and employment law is a novel question in search of an answer: Can an employer in a state that has legalized marijuana terminate an employee in that …
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Laura Noble Elected to the Fellows of The American Bar Foundation

The American Bar Foundation certifies that Laura L. Noble has been elected to The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. Chapel Hill, NC — The American Bar Foundation announced that Laura Noble, founder of the Noble Law Firm, has been elected to The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. The honor is selected in recognition of exemplary dedication to the profession, commitment to the work of the American Bar Foundation, and support for the ideals and objectives of the American …
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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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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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Fraud in the Inducement in the Employment Context

North Carolina does recognize a cause of action for employees who fall prey to an employer’s promise to employ without an intent to do so.  However, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the employer did not intend to honor its promises regarding employment at the time they were made. One North Carolina case demonstrates why these kinds of claims are hard hills to climb.  In February 2007, Eli Research, Inc. engaged Lyn Hittle in employment discussions in which Eli offered Hittle an …
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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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