IN THIS ISSUE:
New Guidance on Non-Compete Agreements—Baugh v. Columbia Heart Clinic, P.A., 2013
WL 163955 (S.C. Ct. App. January 16, 2013)
Fourth Circuit Rejects Breach of Contract Claim: Employer’s Promise Not to Retaliate Did Not Modify At-Will Employment
Employment & Labor Law Section Committees/Updates
Mark Your Calendars
Articles Needed

2012-2013 SECTION COUNCIL
Terms began January 1, 2012.

Chair
Molly Cherry
(843) 577-9440
mcherry@nexsenpruet.com

Chair-Elect
Charles “Fred” Manning II
(803) 255-0000
fmanning@laborlawyers.com

Vice Chair
Richard A. “Al” Phinney
(864) 271-1300
al.phinney@odnss.com

Secretary
Kristine L. Cato
(803) 744-5270
kcato@rtt-law.com

Council Members

Section Delegate
Nekki Shutt
(803) 404-6900
nekkishutt@callisontighe.com

Immediate Past Chair
David Rothstein
(864) 232-5870
derothstein@mindspring.com

CLE Coordinator
Shahin Vafai
(803) 799-9311
svafai@gsblaw.net

Newsletter Coordinator
Stephanie E. Lewis
(864) 672-8048
lewiss@jacksonlewis.com

EEOC Liaison
Nicholas Walter
(704) 954-6472
nicholas.walter@eeoc.gov

Military FMLA National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, 2010
Jennifer M. Stark, Esquire
Mt. Pleasant

Fun Facts
According to statistics from the Veterans Administration website, 421,525 veterans reside in South Carolina. The S.C. Army National Guard includes more than 11,000 soldiers and airmen who deploy worldwide. The nation has more than 1.3 million military personnel and more than two million military dependents. Parris Island MCRD produces approximately 1000 new marines, males and females, each month. The military make up approximately one percent of the population. Local employers derive substantial revenue from the Department of Defense and employ numerous military dependants and veterans. As such, Military Family Leave is potentially important to many South Carolinians.

A Little History
During the World War II era, federal laws were passed to protect employees "called to the colors" so that they would not be penalized for absence from their jobs. These laws went through various modifications until the Clinton Administration adopted the more universal USERRA allowing service members to take leave from their civilian jobs for active service and to return with accrued seniority and employment protections.
         
South Carolina law specifically protects the state jobs of military and reservists who are required to attend Short Term Military Training and longer deployments. 
           
The FMLA in South Carolina
To be covered by the FMLA in South Carolina, an employee must work 1200 hours in the 12 months preceding the use of the leave. While some states have laws that supplement the FMLA, South Carolina does not. Therefore only private employers with 50 or more employees are covered by the FMLA, and this article therefore has no application to employers with fewer than 50 employees.

Military FMLA
The Family and Medical Leave Act was amended by the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 (2008 NDAA) and the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2010 (2010 NDAA) to provide two important types of leave that benefit military families.

            A. Military Care Giver Leave
          The new Care Giver Leave provision allows a qualified family member of a seriously injured/ill service member to take up to 26 work weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period to care for a returning member of the armed forces. The injured must currently be a veteran or in a branch of the military (active, guardsperson or reservist)  who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, therapy and be temporarily disabled/retired, due to a serious condition. A “serious injury or illness” is one that was received in the line of duty while in active military service and render the service member medically unfit to perform certain duties. This also applies to the aggravation of a serious injury/illness that pre-existed active duty. An employee may take leave to care for a veteran with a serious illness or injury received in the line of duty as long as the family member served in the military within five years prior to the leave requested by the employee.

          B. Qualifying Exigency Leave       
          Prior federal laws provide protection for soldiers against unlawful takings, foreclosures, liens, repossessions, garnishments and property auctions. However, a military member and his family would be better off if they could avoid these circumstances altogether. Military Exigency Leave allows a family time pre-deployment to help set up for contingencies and allows for advance planning-without worrying about job loss. Under the Qualifying Exigency provision, an eligible employee “family” of a military member may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave (intermittently) during a 12-month period to take care of common issues that arise when a family member deploys or returns therefrom. Some of these events include attending military sponsored functions or activities, making appropriate business, financial and legal arrangements, handling childcare issues, counseling, and visiting with a military family member on short-term leave during deployment an upon return. An employer and the employee are even given the leeway under this provision to mutually agree on whether an event is a qualifying exigency. Deployment is defined as called to active duty in a foreign country and includes flight crew and ship deployment.

Of course appropriate notice and documentation are required for Caregiver and Exigency Leave. However, many military and medical circumstances do not allow for planning in advance. For example if there is less than seven days notice of deployment, an employer may need to accept short notice of impending leave. In addition an employee may receive “invitational travel orders” (ITOs) or “invitational travel authorizations” (ITAs). The government issues ITOs and ITAs so that family members can immediately travel, at government expense, to the bedside of an injured service member. Note the appropriate proof of orders and medical conditions are required, similar to the traditional FMLA prerequisites.

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Handbook updates suggested
Taken from the Office of the Governor in pertinent part

Taken from the Office of the Governor in pertinent part:

An eligible employee may be granted up to a total of 12 workweeks, 60 workdays, 450 hours for employees who work 7.5 hours or 480 for employees who work 8 hours per day, of FMLA leave in each calendar year on a continuous or intermittent basis, for any of the following reasons:

Qualified exigencies that are the result of a covered service member being called to active duty in the Armed Forces.

In addition, an eligible employee may be granted up to a total of 26 weeks, 130 work days, 975 hours for employees who work 7.5 hours or 1,040 hours for employees who work 8 hours per day, of FMLA leave during a single 12-month period on a continuous or intermittent basis, for the following reason:

Military caregiver leave to care for a covered service member (spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin) who is injured or becomes seriously ill while on active duty.

In addition, David McCormack of Womble Carlyle Sandridge and Rice LLC has been kind enough to share his suggested handbook revisions in relevant part:

            In accordance with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees who have been at the company for at least twelve months, and who have worked at least 1250 hours during the preceding twelve months are eligible to take leave under the FMLA for the following reasons:

Because of any qualifying. exigency arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, child or parent is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call to active duty in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency operation.

Eligible employees are granted up to twelve weeks of unpaid FMLA leave per twelve month period. However, an eligible employee may take up to twenty-six (26) weeks of unpaid leave to care for a spouse, child, parent or next of kin who is a member of the Armed Forces undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy due to a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of active duty.

Employees desiring to utilize FMLA leave must provide the Human Resource Department with at least thirty days advance notice. If thirty days notice is not possible, notice must be given as soon as practicable.

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Who's the Boss?
Jonathan A. Roth, Esquire
Jackson Lewis, Greenville

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to answer this question after hearing oral argument on November 26, 2012, in Vance v. Ball State University, 646 F.3d 461 (7th Cir. 2011), cert granted, 133 S. Ct. 23 (U.S. 2012). Specifically, the question before the Court is:  Who is a “supervisor” for purposes of an employer’s liability for workplace harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The significance of the issue
The answer to this question is critical because of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998), and Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998). In Faragher and Ellerth, in determining an employer’s potential liability for harassment under Title VII, the Supreme Court’s holdings created a distinction between harassment at the hands of a “supervisor” as opposed to harassment by a mere co-worker. Faragher, 524  U.S. at 790-91, 806-07; Ellerth, 524 U.S. at 760, 762-63. The Court held that employers are strictly liable for harassment inflicted by “supervisors,” but employers can assert an affirmative defense when the harassment by a “supervisor” did not result in a tangible employment action. Faragher, 524 U.S. at 790-91; Ellerth, 524 U.S. at 762-63. However, where the harassment or hostile work environment is created by a co-worker, an employer is not liable unless the complaining employee can prove that the employer was negligent in failing to discover the harassment or negligent in remedying the harassment once discovered. Faragher, 524 U.S. at 806-07; Ellerth, 524 U.S. at 760. Therefore, whether an alleged harasser is a “supervisor” or mere “co-worker” can often be determinative in analyzing employer liability in a Title VII harassment case.

Conflicting definitions and standards
The Supreme Court has never defined who qualifies as a “supervisor” for purposes of imposing liability on an employer in Title VII harassment and hostile work environment claims. As a result, the federal circuit courts of appeal have developed different standards and reached different conclusions regarding how much authority an employee must have over another employee to be considered a “supervisor.” 

On the one hand, the Second, Fourth, Ninth and 10th Circuits have taken a broad view of who should be considered a “supervisor.” For instance, in Whitten v. Fred’s Inc., 601 F.3d 231 (4th Cir. 2010), the Fourth Circuit explained that an employee who lacks the power to hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer or discipline an employee could still be considered a supervisor. The critical question, according to the Fourth Circuit, is whether the employee’s alleged harassing conduct “was aided by the agency relation.” Whitten, 601 F.3d at 244. Furthermore, the Fourth Circuit has made clear that “employees with only some measure of supervisory authority” could be aided by the agency relation such that they should be considered “supervisors,” and imposing vicarious liability on an employer for their conduct would be proper. Id. at 245. Thus, courts in the Second, Fourth, Ninth and 10th Circuits have indicated that any individual who has authority to direct another employee’s work on a daily basis is a “supervisor” for purposes of Title VII. This position is essentially consistent with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance, which provides that an individual qualifies as an employee’s supervisor if: (1) the individual has authority to undertake or recommend tangible employment decisions affecting the employee; or (2) the individual has authority to direct the employee’s daily work activities.

The First, Seventh and Eighth Circuits, on the other hand, have taken a narrower view of who should be deemed a “supervisor.” In Vance, for example, the Seventh Circuit held that to be considered a “supervisor” for purposes of imposing vicarious liability on an employer under Title VII, an employee must have the “power to directly affect the terms and conditions of the plaintiff’s employment,” which “primarily consists of the power to hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer, or discipline an employee.” Vance, 646 F.3d at 470.  Thus, in these circuits, an employee who directs and oversees another employee’s job duties on a regular basis likely would not be considered a “supervisor” unless she has the power to make significant, primarily economic, decisions about that employee’s terms of employment.

The facts in Vance
Vance is a good example of how these differing standards may affect the outcome of a case. In Vance, Maetta Vance, a black employee in Ball State University’s catering department, brought a Title VII hostile work environment claim against the University based on the actions of several fellow employees, including Saundra Davis. Id. at 465-68. Vance alleged that Davis hit her, threatened her and made racially disparaging comments toward her on multiple occasions. Id. Vance also alleged that Davis held and utilized the “authority to tell [Vance] what to do.” Id. at 470.  The Seventh Circuit found this proffered evidence of supervisor-status insufficient. Id. The Seventh Circuit held that because there was no evidence that Davis had the power to “hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer, or discipline” Vance, Davis did not have sufficient power to be her supervisor and thereby impute liability to the University as a result of Davis’ conduct. Id. The Seventh Circuit directly rejected the invitation to “join[] other circuits in holding that the authority to direct an employee’s daily activities establishes supervisory status under Title VII.” Id.

Oral argument before the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court’s opinion in Vance is expected to provide some much-needed clarity on these conflicting definitions of “supervisor.” At oral argument, the Supreme Court heard from three attorneys on this issue: an attorney for Vance, the U.S. Deputy Solicitor General representing the federal government and Ball State University’s attorney. Significantly, all three attorneys, even Ball State University’s attorney, rejected the Seventh Circuit’s definition, and all seemingly agreed that an employee who directs other employees’ day-to-day activities may be a supervisor under Title VII even if she lacks the authority to hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer or discipline other employees. Ball State University’s attorney, however, argued that even under this broader standard, based on the factual record, Davis would not qualify as Vance’s supervisor. This prompted Justice Scalia to ask: “So there is nobody here defending the Seventh Circuit”?  There were, however, multiple justices in the room that appeared to be defending the Seventh Circuit’s standard. Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito both raised concerns that the broader standard articulated by the EEOC and the Second, Fourth, Ninth and 10th Circuits does not provide a bright-line rule, like that articulated by the Seventh Circuit, to sufficiently aid lower courts. Justice Kennedy also suggested that the Seventh Circuit’s standard might be the best answer when coupled “with an increased duty of care on the part of the employer to take the necessary steps to prevent forbidden harassment.”

How will the Court’s decision affect employers?

The Supreme Court is expected to release its opinion in Vance any day now. If the Supreme Court approves the broader standard articulated by the EEOC and several circuit courts, this will likely expand the scope of employer liability for harassment. Such a broad standard could mean that lower-level employees, whom employers may not traditionally think of as “supervisors,” may nonetheless qualify as “supervisors” under Title VII. Thus, if a broad standard is adopted, employers should review their operations, reevaluate job descriptions for certain employees, and think more carefully about hiring and promotion decisions. Employers should also consider conducting additional and expanded training on harassment prevention and reporting harassment in the workplace if the Supreme Court adopts a broad definition of “supervisor.”

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New Guidance on Non-Compete Agreements—Baugh v. Columbia Heart Clinic, P.A., 2013 WL 163955 (S.C. Ct. App. January 16, 2013)
David S. Yandle, Esquire
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP, Charleston

The S.C. Court of Appeals recently upheld the validity of a noncompetition agreement and provided some interesting guidance to the bar. The overall tenor of the opinion demonstrates the court’s clear dissatisfaction with the actions of the physicians who left one practice to compete a mere 300 yards away from their former practice.

Dr. Baugh and Dr. Feldman had been shareholders and directors of Columbia Heart Clinic, P.A., which provided comprehensive cardiology services. The two doctors specialized in interventional cardiology, a subspecialty focusing on open-heart surgery requiring a full service hospital.

All shareholders of Columbia Heart had executed employment agreements that included covenants against competition with Columbia Heart in Lexington and Richland counties. In 2004, the shareholders of Columbia Heart, through a separate limited liability company, began construction of a medical office building in Lexington County, the anchor tenant of which would be Columbia Heart. As a result of the additional investment by its shareholders and the recent departure of several of its physicians, Columbia Heart and its shareholder physicians entered new agreements for the protection of the practice. These new agreements contained the noncompetition provisions at issue.

In Article 4 of the new agreement, each physician agreed that:  “In the event at any time during the twelve (12) month period immediately following the expiration or termination … of this Agreement Physician continues or commences the active practice of medicine in the field of cardiology with a twenty (20) mile radius of any Columbia Heart office in which Physician routinely provided services during the year prior to the date of expiration or termination of this Agreement, then Physician shall forfeit any monies payable to Physician pursuant to this section 4.5.” In Article 5, the physicians agreed that:  “During the twelve (12) month period immediately following the date of termination or expiration of this Agreement, [he] shall not compete … with Columbia Heart.” “Compete” was defined to include assisting any person to engage in the practice of medicine in the field of cardiology.

In December 2005, Columbia Heart opened its new office. In April 2006, Baugh and Feldman left Columbia Heart and, within a month, opened a new practice approximately 300 yards from Columbia Heart’s office. Through the new practice, Lexington Heart Clinic, Baugh and Feldman hired a number of Columbia Heart’s administrative and support employees.

Baugh and Feldman then filed suit against Columbia Heart seeking a declaratory judgment that the noncompetition provisions of the agreement were unenforceable and treble damages under the wage payment act for compensation allegedly due them. The trial court ruled that the covenants were not enforceable and awarded the plaintiffs unpaid compensation. Columbia Heart appealed.

The Court of Appeals first reviewed the restriction on activity under Article 5, which the trial court had determined was too broad and unenforceable. The Court of Appeals reviewed the restriction under Article 5 against the “in any capacity” standards of Preferred Research, Inc. v. Reeve and Faces Boutique, Ltd. v. Gibbs andconcentrated on the language prohibiting a departing physician from assisting another in the practice of cardiology. It found that the restriction was necessary to protect Columbia Heart’s legitimate interest, because otherwise the departing physician could provide care to Columbia Heart’s patients and benefit from Columbia Heart’s goodwill by staying a step away from the actual hands on care. Although it recognized that the issue of whether a physician had assisted another might be a question of fact in other situations, the court noted that these plaintiffs had not contested whether they breached the agreement, but only claimed that the agreement was not enforceable.

The Court of Appeals next looked to the issue of whether the covenants were supported by new and valid consideration. Although the physicians were compensated under the same plan as had been in place before this agreement, Section 4 provided new and sufficient consideration. Under that provision, the physicians would be paid $5,000 per month during the noncompetition period “so long as the physician is not in violation of Article 5 of this agreement.”  The plaintiffs argued that the promise to pay $5,000 a month was elusory, since they received none of that compensation. The court rejected that argument and found that “a promise is not elusory merely because its enforceability depends upon the performance of a reciprocal promise.”

The court then reviewed the territorial restriction protecting a 20-mile radius from the office at which they had routinely provided services. Relying on Stringer v. Herron, the Court of Appeals found no evidence that a large number of Columbia Heart patients were located within a distance significantly smaller than the 20-mile radius. The Court of Appeals further rejected the physicians’ argument that because interventional radiology required access to a full service hospital, the 20-mile radius effectively became a 55-mile radius—the distance to the next closest hospital capable of supporting interventional cardiology. The Court rejected that argument, finding that the physicians could still practice within their area of specialty—cardiology services not involving the subspecialty of interventional cardiology—outside the 20-mile radius.

The court then addressed the issue of whether the forfeiture provisions imposed a penalty rather than a reasonable assessment of the damages. The court undertook a detailed analysis of the revenue figures and determined that the forfeiture was a reasonable estimate of the probable damages caused by the departed shareholders. The court also noted that this was an agreement between sophisticated shareholders after an arms’ length negotiation and determined that: “Considering the agreements as a whole and the circumstances surrounding the their entry, especially the millions of dollars Columbia Heart incurred in opening the new practice, the forfeiture in Article 4 could reasonably be intended to compensate Columbia Heart for part of the probable damages resulting from the shareholder-physician’s departure and competition and contravention of Article 4.”

The court further rejected the physicians’ claim under the Wage Payment Act. The trial court had found that the forfeiture provisions of Article 4 were not enforceable because the noncompetition provisions were not enforceable and awarded the physicians competition for their claim but declined to award treble damages or attorneys’ fees. The Court of Appeals held that the forfeiture provision was enforceable and that, therefore, the physicians had no shares of accounts receivable, unpaid draws or directors’ fees that were due to them under the agreements.

Although the opinion provides a comprehensive analysis of the various issues to be considered in determining the enforceability of noncompetition agreements, its strongest lesson may be that in counseling clients we remind them of what Judge Sol Blatt once told a litigant in a settlement conference, “Pigs get fed and hogs get eaten.”

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Fourth Circuit Rejects Breach of Contract Claim: Employer’s Promise Not to Retaliate Did Not Modify At-Will Employment
Kiosha H. Dickey, Esquire
Littler Mendelson, PC, Columbia

On November 27, 2012, in Scott v. Merck & Company, Inc., the Fourth Circuit reversed a Maryland district court’s decision to permit a plaintiff to argue that her former employer’s non-retaliation policy included an enforceable promise not to terminate her employment. Specifically, the appeals court ruled that the former employee could not reasonably have believed that the non-retaliation policy included a promise of continued employment, given the express at-will disclaimers contained in the employee handbook in which the non-retaliation policy appeared.

Scott was hired as an at-will pharmaceutical sales representative for Merck and worked from 1992 to 2008. In 2005, Scott’s supervisor instructed her to charge business expenses incurred by another employee on her credit card. Scott, believing the arrangement would be temporary, reluctantly agreed. As the requests continued, Scott took her concerns to her supervisor. Scott’s supervisor allegedly told Scott that she would be demoted if she did not continue allowing the charges. Over the next year, Scott raised additional concerns to her supervisor relating to other practices she believed to be contrary to policy and federal regulations. In July 2007, Scott reported her supervisor’s actions to Merck’s Ombudsman’s Office of Ethics. Shortly thereafter, she was placed on a performance improvement plan for reasons that Merck maintained were non-retaliatory. In late 2007, Merck concluded that Scott’s supervisor had violated several policies and transferred him to a new position. Despite its findings, Merck allowed him to conduct Scott’s 2007 performance evaluation. She was fired in January 2008.

Despite two at-will disclaimers in Merck’s employment application, Scott argued, and the federal district court agreed, that two of Merck’s policies modified the at-will employment relationship and created a binding contract. Essentially, Merck’s Code of Conduct and Corporate Policy provided that the Company would not tolerate retaliation against any employee for raising a business practice issue in good faith and that the fact that an employee raised such concerns could not be a basis for the denial of benefits, termination or demotion.

Under Maryland law, the general rule is that statements of policy in an employee handbook or other publication do not create an enforceable contract as long as they are not “offers” by which a company intends to be bound. An exception exists, however, if the policy statements expressly limit the employer’s discretion to terminate an individual’s at-will employment and the employee justifiably relied on those representations.

In reversing the district’s court’s finding that Merck’s policy statements were sufficiently definite and specific to create a binding offer, the Fourth Circuit held that an at-will employee must show both that the policy statement upon which she relied limited the employer’s discretion to terminate her employment and that she was justified in relying on that statement. When the promise not to retaliate exists alongside an unambiguous at-will disclaimer, the Fourth Circuit concluded that the at-will statement precludes justifiable reliance on the more specific policy statement, not the other way around.

Similar to Maryland law, South Carolina law requires an “unambiguous disclaimer” of any intent to create a binding contract, but once such a clear disclaimer is made, reliance on written policies appearing to promise more will be unjustified. The Merck case highlights the importance for South Carolina employers to draw their at-will employment policy to their employees’ attention, and to obtain acknowledgments whenever possible.

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Employment & Labor Law Section Committees/Updates
Distance Learning Education Committee
The Distance Learning Education Committee works with the Bar’s Continuing Legal Education Division (CLE) to establish high quality, intermediate to advanced level online distance learning programming. The Committee will research potential speakers to provide a wide variety of employment and labor law topics. The CLE Division will communicate directly with the speakers regarding topics, taping dates and locations. The Committee’s goals are to produce up to 10 distance learning programs that will be posted on the Bar website for purchase and viewing by Bar members, and to secure a diverse faculty in terms of practice, gender, experience, specialization, geographic location and so forth. The CLE Division will offer Section members a $20 discount on all of these programs. For additional information or to join this Committee, contact Chuck Thompson at thompson@mtsolawfirm.com or (803) 254-3300. For a list of Distance Learning programs, please click here.

Equal Employment Opportunity Committee
The Equal Employment Opportunity Committee concentrates on all aspects of equal employment opportunity under federal and state law in both private and public employment, including: employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age and disability; the interface of equal employment opportunity issues with collective bargaining situations under the National Labor Relations Act; use and validation of selection devices; affirmative action under Executive Orders 11246 and 11375; procedures and remedies in class action employment discrimination suits; and liaisons with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the Department of Justice. For additional information or to join this Committee, contact Brian Lysell at brianlysell@callisontighe.com or (803) 404-6900.

EEOC Update
The EEOC recently issued its 2012 enforcement and litigation statistics. The most frequently filed charges nationwide for 2012 were retaliation (37,836), race (33,512), and sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and pregnancy (30,356). In South Carolina, the most frequently filed charges were race (482), followed by retaliation (478), sex (383), disability (264), age (232), national origin (84), religion (42), color (17), Equal Pay Act (14), and GINA (6). The full statistics are available on the EEOC's website.

Immigration Law Committee
The purpose of the Immigration Law Committee is to keep readers up to date on the latest developments in immigration law and related issues such as I-9 employment verifications. There are numerous agencies involved in or impacted by various aspects of immigration law, including the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. State Department, the Social Security Administration, the U.S Department of Labor and even the IRS. Together with the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, immigration laws and regulations are perhaps the most complex, and certainly more in flux, than any other body of federal law and regulatory provisions. Certainly few other issues arouse political passions more than immigration at the federal, state and local levels. In the absence of comprehensive immigration reform encompassing illegal immigration, many states and local municipalities have waded into the immigration arena on issues as diverse as driver’s licenses, business licenses and the award of government contracts. The Committee will strive to inform our readers of key issues relating to immigration as they affect businesses and employees on the international, national and local levels. For additional information or to join this Committee, contact Melissa Azallion at mazallion@mcnair.net or (843) 785-2171.

Labor Management Relations Committee
The Labor Management Relations Committee informs members of developing laws and policies under the National Labor Relations Act and deals with issues germane to union campaigns, elections, and union administration and procedure. For additional information or to join this Committee, contact Michael Carrouth at mcarrouth@laborlawyers.com or (803) 255-0000.

Membership Committee
The Membership Committee concentrates on membership development within the Section. The Committee’s goals are to increase membership, determine what benefits members most want, maintain a strong Section and provide quality support. For additional information or to join this Committee, contact Amy Gaffney at agaffney@glelawfirm.com or (803) 790-8838.

Occupational Safety & Health Committee
The Occupational Safety & Health Committee follows developments under the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act, as well as various state plans through which occupational safety and health laws and regulations are enforced. The Committee provides members with updates on developments and trends in the occupational, safety and health area. For additional information or to join this Committee, contact Hayne Hodges at hhodges@mcnair.net or (803) 799-9800.

Specialization Committee
The Specialization Committee addresses a variety of specialization issues from providing suggestions to the board regarding the written examination and other specialization requirements to notifying individuals of specialization deadlines and requirements. For additional information or to join this Committee, contact Debbie Durban at debbie.durban@nelsonmullins.com or (803) 255-9465.

ALERT
The deadline to submit the S.C. Supreme Court Commission on CLE & Specialization application for certification for Employment & Labor Law specialization is May 31st. To obtain a copy of the Commission’s standards and procedures as well as a copy of the certification application, please click here.

 

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Mark Your Calendars!

Please make plans to attend the Employment & Labor Law Midyear Meeting, “Recent Developments in Employment Law,” scheduled for Friday, May 17, at the Bar Conference Center, 1501 Park St., Columbia. The program is also available at two video-CLE sites (Charleston and Greenville) and via live webcast. This seminar has been approved by the S.C. Supreme Court Commission on CLE & Specialization for 6.0 MCLE credit hours, including up to 1.0 LEPR credit hour and 6.0 Employment & Labor Law Specialty credit hours. During lunch, the Section’s Distinguished Lawyer of the Year Award for 2013 will be recognized.

To register and for additional information, click here.


The 2013 NC/SC Joint Conference is scheduled for October 25-26 at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston. Additional information is forthcoming.

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Articles Needed

Articles are needed for future issues of the Employment & Labor Law Section newsletter. If you are interested in submitting an article, please forward your submission to Stephanie E. Lewis at lewiss@jacksonlewis.com or call (864) 672-8048 for additional information.

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Disclaimer

This is a newsletter for the South Carolina Bar’s Employment and Labor Law Section. The South Carolina Bar and the Section council members reserve the right to refuse to publish any submission which is not consistent with their goals and standards. Articles that are published reflect only the opinions of their authors; they do not represent or reflect any positions held by the South Carolina Bar or the Section officers and council members. It is the policy of this newsletter that on all submissions of original articles, the authors assign their copyright in the work to the South Carolina Bar. Publisher may reprint, or authorize other entities to reprint, the material as deemed appropriate. The publisher has the right to authorize the reproduction, adaptation, public distribution and public display of the article as a contribution to this newsletter in electronic media, computerized retrieval systems and similar forms; such authorization includes use of the article anywhere in the world by means of public display, conversion to machine readable form and reproduction and distribution of copies. The South Carolina Bar is not required to secure the consent of the author before exercising the above named rights. In addition, the Bar has no duty or responsibility to negotiate, collect or distribute any royalties in connection therewith.

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