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Jake Modla Law, PLLC
From offices in Charlotte and Rock Hill Serving throughout North Carolina and South Carolina

Employee Rights In North And South Carolina

Don't negotiate a severance package until you've considered this

If your company needs to let you go because of a change in the way the business is structured, it's only natural that you'll feel concerned about your future. In many cases, though, executive-level employees and management will be able to negotiate a severance package that will serve as your financial lifeline during the near term while you find a new way to earn an income.

Many executives who negotiate severance packages don't realize the power they have and they sell themselves short. When it comes making this kind of a deal, here are four things to consider carefully:

Severance agreements must be handled properly

A severance agreement is an important bargaining tool for many businesses. Anyone who is being offered one or who has to negotiate on behalf of a business must ensure they understand exactly what everything regarding these agreements mean.

There are several things that you should consider when you are in this position.

Restructuring may be a way to hide employment discrimination

People in a variety of work environments could face subtle or overt discrimination at work. Sometimes, discrimination looks like your employer refusing to take action when you face harassment from co-workers. Other times, discrimination could look like receiving less money for the same work than other coworkers or not receiving raises or promotions based on your gender, religion or age, among other factors.

Thankfully, there are both federal and state laws in place that prevent discrimination against workers. North Carolina generally does not approve of employers who fire, demote or refuse to hire people based on factors like race, age, disability or gender. However, corporate employers have become more intelligent about how to approach these sorts of situations. Companies may attempt to hide discrimination as part of a restructuring effort.

North Carolina state whistleblower protections

The state of North Carolina offers whistleblower protections to workers who report criminal activity happening at their workplaces. That is to say, if you witness unethical, dangerous, unsavory or unlawful actions happening at your work, you don't have to fear being retaliated against.

If retaliation does occur -- such as the loss of your job, lost opportunity, lost income or other adverse actions against you -- while you're employed in a private or public occupation, you can file a lawsuit against your employer.

Things to know about the Family and Medical Leave Act

As an employee, you should learn as much as possible about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). While you may never take advantage of this benefit, you never know if it's something you could use to your advantage in the future.

If you need to take time away from work for a period longer than your vacation time and sick leave allows, FMLA may be just what you've been looking for.

Religious discrimination is never acceptable in the workplace

Employees must feel safe in the workplace. Anti-harassment and anti-discrimination laws aim to help keep employees free from actions that can make them feel unsafe or out of place. One of the statuses protected in the workplace is religion.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides very specific protections for employees based on the right to practice their religion. This law applies to all employers who have 15 or more employees.

Are you pregnant and worried you'll lose your job?

Imagine this situation. A 20-something woman gets a new job as a legal assistant at an all-male law firm. She's happy to have the work because it's at a well-paying, prestigious firm with great health benefits. But several weeks later, she gets the surprise of her life: She's pregnant.

The young woman is terrified because now she needs her new job more than ever, and she doesn't know what will happen when she tells the boss. "Will he fire me?" she worries.

Working mothers face many kinds of discrimination

As a working mother in the Charlotte area, you face many struggles day in and day out. Being a parent is never easy, and choosing to continue your career while raising children is a noble and hard path to carve. However, some of the difficulties that you face at work may not only be frustrating -- they could be illegal.

The good news is that companies across the country are beginning to take the hint that they can no longer simply sweep aside the mothers (and some fathers) they employ and expect business to keep humming along as usual. The workforce in America is realizing that many of the policies in place at companies across the country aren't only unfair, they are also in violation of workplace discrimination laws.

Disabled workers, discrimination, and wrongful termination

As a disabled individual, you have many rights in the workplace. While you may find it difficult to land a job that you enjoy, there are many positions out there that will suit your needs.

Unfortunately, there are times when a company discriminates against disabled applicants and employees.

Did you lose your job due to wrongful termination?

You may be asking yourself this question if you recently lost your job and are unsure of the reason. There are numerous laws in place to prevent the wrongful termination of North Carolina and South Carolina workers, but some employers don't always obey them.

Most employees qualify as being "at will" workers, which means that their employer can fire them at any time and without reason. However, even at-will employees have rights, and any victim of this illegal action may take steps to rectify the damage caused by an unlawful dismissal.


Charlotte Office
3440 Toringdon Way
Suite 205
Charlotte, NC 28277

Phone: 980-228-9984
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Rock Hill Office
454 South Anderson Rd. Suite 303
Rock Hill, SC 29730

Phone: 803-792-4774
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