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North Carolina may have ranked in the top 20 states with the highest unemployment rates in 2016, but its rate has been in a steadily steep decline since 2010. The Tar Heel State is expected to experience slow economic growth and increases in employment in 2017.
Despite this positive outlook, North Carolina workers still face employment law issues common in many American workplaces. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers are especially at risk of unfair and illegal business practices.
Employment law covers a multitude of topics, including worker's compensation, workplace discrimination, vacation and overtime, unemployment benefits and more. Your employment dispute is often affected by federal, state and local laws simultaneously. North Carolina employment law attorneys are experienced with the delicacy and complexity of work-related cases and can help protect your rights.
One of the most prominent civil rights issues in North Carolina also presents an employment law issue: LGBT discrimination. North Carolina gained national attention during the 2016 transgender bathroom controversy when it passed a bill restricting bathroom use in government buildings to individuals' sex identification on their birth certificates.
Simultaneously, the bill overturned local governments' authority to pass LGBT anti-discrimination laws, effectively removing any LGBT legal protections in the state. This opened up LGBT workers to workplace discriminatory practices in employment, promotional and termination decisions with few options for legal recourse.
LGBT workers remain at risk of unfair discriminatory practices, including reductions in working hours, pay cuts, and harassment.
North Carolina's minimum wage as of January 2017 is $7.25/hour, matching the federal minimum wage. In March 216, the transgender bathroom law that was passed also restricted North Carolina's local governments from establishing their own minimum wages. This means that local governments cannot raise the minimum wage from the state minimum wage.
North Carolina observes its own set of legal holidays, which also include federal holidays. Most workers who are required to work on these holidays are legally entitled to holiday premium pay of time and a half:
If a holiday falls on a Saturday, then the Friday before it is the observed holiday. If a holiday falls on a Sunday, then the following Monday is the observed holiday. North Carolina has a number of other public holidays that employers may choose to observe but they aren't required to offer premium holiday pay on those holidays.
If you or a loved one is involved in an employment law dispute, it's in your best interests to consult with an attorney. Employment law is a broad, complicated legal area with federal and state laws at play. An experienced North Carolina employment law attorney can help protect your legal rights.
Have you been discriminated against by a potential or current employer -- as a job applicant or current employee? To best protect your legal rights you should discuss your situation with an employment lawyer. Meet with a local employment for employees attorney sooner rather than later to protect your rights.