North Carolina Employment Lawyer

Your employees help your business succeed by contributing their talent and hard work. They can be your biggest asset. However, misunderstandings, egregious behavior, or a mistake on your part can sometimes cause issues and conflicts with your employees.

At Sparks Law, our skilled attorneys offer premium services such as reviewing your hiring and firing procedures and making sure you are up to date on wage and discrimination issues. A North Carolina employment lawyer on our team can advise on problems you are currently wrestling with and ward off future issues by putting proper protocol in place.

How an Employment Attorney Can Help Your Business

Some agreements between employers and employees should be in writing. Employers should always offer a comprehensive handbook and require employees to sign off that they have read and understood the company’s rules. The company should have a procedure for employees to file grievances without fear of retaliation. An experienced employment attorney in North Carolina could assist with these areas by:

  • Drafting employment agreements or reviewing existing ones
  • Drafting non-compete, confidentiality, and non-disclosure agreements compliant with North Carolina law
  • Drafting or revising a company’s employee handbook that should disclose policies about holidays, vacations, sick time, a dress code, grounds for termination, intolerance for harassment, and any other information that informs employees about their jobs and the company
  • Drafting documents for departing employees, including severance, release of liability, and non-disparagement
  • Providing guidelines for disciplining and discharging employees to avoid wrongful termination claims
  • Creating best policies for internal controls, including retaining company documents, a grievance protocol, and identifying problems before they fester

Our skilled employment lawyers are also experienced in representing employers when employees file civil lawsuits or regulatory board complaints against them.

Wage and Hour Laws, Discrimination, Harassment

The most serious complaints against employers usually involve wage and hour law violations, discrimination, and sexual harassment. Another common source of complaints is when employers or fellow employees create a toxic work environment, purportedly to get an employee to resign. Employers can be liable for employees’ actions if they do not do anything about this behavior. Many employee complaints are filed with the state’s labor department, but employees also file lawsuits seeking monetary damages.

FLSA Violations

According to the Department of Labor (DOL), North Carolina’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, identical to the federal minimum wage set in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Tipped employees must be paid at least $2.13, as long as the tips make up the difference so that the employee receives $7.25. Tipped employees must be notified beforehand that tips will count as wages, and employers must keep detailed records.

When employees lodge complaints about employers’ unfair practices, the state Wages and Hours Division or federal DOL will investigate and penalize employers who are found liable. A local employment attorney could help defend against these actions.

Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) mandates that companies with at least one employee to pay the same to men and women with the same job title. Along with equal pay, companies with 15 to 19 employees cannot discriminate against them because of race, gender, religion, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, or disability. In addition to the above rules, employers with twenty or more employees cannot discriminate against people older than 40.

Discrimination occurs when an employee is treated worse than other employees because of one of the above descriptors. If an employer or another employee makes unwanted sexual advances to a co-worker or acts offensively, a sexual harassment claim may be filed. If an employee files a discrimination or harassment claim, the employer should consult a seasoned North Carolina attorney at Sparks Law to discuss how to best deal with the situation.

Call a North Carolina Employment Attorney Today

As an employer, it is essential to foster a positive work environment to prevent any employee disputes. However, misunderstandings or disgruntled employees can lead to a complaint or hearing in front of a regulatory board.

At Sparks Law, a North Carolina employment lawyer can help you take proactive measures against these issues, as well as defend you if problems do arise. Our skilled legal team understands fair labor practices and what the law demands of you. Call us today for your initial consultation.