• Immigration Update

    As of May 25, 2006, USCIS approved 7,718 H-1B beneficiaries (not holding a U.S. Advanced Degree) with an additional 41,316 applications pending, for a total of 49,034 applications either granted or pending.

  • In a significant case for employers, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) allows current and former employees to prevail on claims for age discrimination even when an employer did not intentionally discriminate based on age.

  • Historically, employers in most circumstances have had no duty to investigate a prospective employee’s prior work history or background, unless the employer knew of circumstances indicating the applicant was unsuitable. Exceptions were made for jobs that could pose unusual danger if the wrong person were hired e.g., armed security guards. A recent decision by the federal Court of Appeals for North and South Carolina demonstrates the continuing evolution in the employer’s duty to make an appropriate investigation into an applicant’s background before extending an offer of employment.

  • An employee commits an alleged act of misconduct. You, the employer, decide to have an outside firm investigate. The investigation should be conducted in accordance with the safe harbor provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to avoid the advance consent and disclosure requirements of FCRA.

  • An employee receives an actual threat of workplace violence—what do you do? Effective December 1, 2004, North Carolina employers have another tool to help prevent workplace violence. The recently enacted Workplace Violence Prevention Act allows employers to seek a civil no-contact order on behalf of an employee who has been threatened with or actually suffered physical harm as a result of an individual’s action.

  • In an important decision affecting all non-union employers, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently reversed itself when it concluded that employees at non-union companies have no right to have a co-worker present during an investigatory interview.

  • The North Carolina Court of Appeals, following a recent trend and joining what South Carolina courts have concluded, recently held a noncompete overbroad and unenforceable because it prohibited an employee from performing work after termination that was not related to the work that he did for the employer. VisionAIR, Inc. v. James.

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