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Employment Law Attorneys

Employment law is the body of law that governs the employer/employee relationship and serves to protect both the employer’s interests as well as the employee’s.  Employment law generally refers to a broad set of laws which originate from a multitude of sources, including: federal statutes, North Carolina general statutes, administrative rules and court opinions.  Employment law, and the protections provided for therein, can be traced back to the industrial revolution, where laws were first passed to protect employees from oppressive practices, outlaw child labor, establish a minimum wage, and creates a standard work week.  The attorneys of HSLC represent employers in employment law disputes before the state courts of North Carolina, as well as the North Carolina Division of Employment Security and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.


  1. What is at-will employment?

At-will employment is a type of employer/employee relationship wherein the employee can be dismissed by the employer for any reason, without “just-cause” and without notification.  In fact, an at-will employee can be dismissed by the employer for no reason at all.  The employee make similarly resign.

  1. What is contract employment?

As opposed to at-will employment, contract employment is a where the employer/employee relationship is codified in a contract between the parties, which will generally contain terms of compensation, grounds for termination, length of employment, and particular job responsibilities.  Termination of the employer/employee relationship in a contract employment context, must generally be for “just cause” as outlined in the employment contract.

  1. What is a covenant not to compete?

A contract between an employer and employee wherein the employee agrees not to enter into or start a similar business or trade in competition against the employer.  Generally speaking, covenants not to compete must be supported by additional consideration (aside from continued employment).  The courts of North Carolina are generally inclined to enforce covenants not to compete so long as they are supported by additional consideration and are deemed reasonable in their geographical and temporal limitations.

  1. Who is protected from discrimination?

The most common protected categories are those that protect an employee’s civil rights based on age, race, sex, religion, national origin, color, disability, or pregnancy.

  1. What is retaliatory discharge?

Retaliatory discharge is a practice of dismissing or failing to promote an employee because that employee has complained to their employer about discrimination of the job, or because the employee participated in an employment discrimination proceeding, such as an EEOC investigation.  This is an illegal practice, as enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

  1. What is the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a federal governmental entity “responsible for enforcing the federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information”.

  1. Is my company subject to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

If you have a legal issue which may require the assistance of an attorney, please contact the lawyers at Hannah Sheridan Loughridge & Cochran, LLP at 919-859-6840.