Workplace violence is high on every HR professional’s list of worst nightmares regardless of the source – an employee, former employee, angry customer, or random third party. Of course, there are a host of security measures employers can undertake in an effort to prevent or mitigate violent incidents on their premises. While there is no substitute for good security measures, we are occasionally asked about what legal steps an employer can take where it is concerned that a particular person may engage in violence or inappropriate behavior on the premises – for example, a disgruntled former employee, a customer who is obsessed with an employee, or an angry ex-spouse of an employee. Unlike some jurisdictions, South Carolina does not have workplace violence restraining orders that allow an employer to obtain a restraining order on behalf of an employee that needs protection. However, depending on the circumstances, there are some legal options an employer can take to help protect its employees. Continue Reading Legal Measures for Protecting Employees from Workplace Violence

Following the April 3, 2018 YouTube workplace violence tragedy, many news sources reported that there were 500 workplace homicides in 2016, the most recent workplace homicide statistic from the Bureau of Labor Statistic. The Bureau of Labor report, found here, noted this was “an increase of 83 cases from 2015” and that the “2016 total was the highest [number of workplace homicides] since 2010.” The report also revealed that 409 (82 percent) were homicides to men and 91 (18 percent) were homicides to women.” Further, “homicides represented 24 percent of fatal occupational injuries to women in 2016 compared with 9 percent of fatal occupational injuries to men.” Continue Reading YouTube Shooting Raises Questions on Firearms in the Workplace

Glassdoor, the website described as “Yelp for workplaces,” claims that 83% of job seekers in the United States read its reviews. For the uninitiated, Glassdoor is a website where anonymous employees and former employees comment on a company’s workplace – sharing information on topics such as salary levels, workplace policies, office politics, and much more. Continue Reading Managing Glassdoor Reviews

Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote from a jail cell in Birmingham in 1963, “[t]here are two types of laws: there are just laws and there are unjust laws….How does one determine when a law is just or unjust?…Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust….An unjust law is a code that a majority inflicts on a minority that is not binding on itself.”

Dr. King’s words ring as true today as they did in 1963 when read within the context of the LGBTQIA community, a topic that provokes as much emotion and discord today as the annals of history record regarding racism in the 1960s. Senior Circuit Judge Davis of our 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, joined by Judge Floyd, addresses this plight convincingly and poignantly in his concurring opinion filed April 7, 2017, in G.G., by his next friend and mother, Deirdre Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board. His opinion and the others addressing G.G.’s lawsuit also suggest how the 4th Circuit might rule when faced with a claim of this nature in the context of employment law.

The opinion pertains to a 15 year old student who identified with a gender different than his biological gender but was prohibited by school board policy from using the restroom of his gender identity. Judge Davis recounted that in G.G.’s address to the school board, he requested to explain why he was not a danger to other students if he were permitted to use the restroom congruent with his gender identity.  G.G. explained he had done so with public restrooms and no one came to harm. Judge Davis noted, “[G.G.] explained that he is a person worthy of dignity and privacy. He explained why it is humiliating to be segregated from the general population. He knew, intuitively, what the law has in recent decades acknowledged: the perpetuation of stereotypes is one of many forms of invidious discrimination.”

Judge Davis writes, “[o]ur country has a long and ignominious history of discriminating against our most vulnerable and powerless….G.G’s case is about much more than bathrooms. It’s about a boy asking his school to treat him just like any other boy. G.G.’s plight has shown us the inequities that arise when the government organizes by outdated constructs like biological sex and gender. Fortunately, the law eventually catches up to the lived facts of people…”

Throughout 2017, I spoke about recognizing the gender identity of employees at seminars throughout the state. I also include this aspect of gender harassment and discrimination in the annual training I provide for employers. Without fail, I am asked what the employer should do about the security risk to the other employees using the restroom. And aren’t these complaints similar to some of those about African Americans made during the 1960s race protests?

The concern that a transgender employee may attack the other employees if permitted to use the restroom of the opposite biological gender is as offensive, unjust, and unfounded as those same concerns expressed about our African-American brothers and sisters then.

In a decision with potentially huge ramifications for the construction industry, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found that employees of a framing and drywall subcontractor were also the employees of a general contractor for purposes of federal employment laws. Therefore, contractors might find themselves on the hook for their subcontractors’ violations of the law, even if the general contractor had nothing to do with the alleged violation.

In Salinas v. Commercial Interiors, Inc., 848 F.3d 125 (2017), several employees of J.I. General Contractors, Inc. (“Subcontractor”) filed a lawsuit against Subcontractor and a general contractor, Commercial Interiors, Inc. (“GC”) for Subcontractor’s failure to pay the employees proper overtime wages. The issue before the Court was whether GC was a “joint employer” of Subcontractor’s employees. Since Subcontractor was defunct with no money to pay a judgment, the GC was their only means of recovery.

The trial court dismissed the case against the GC because the GC and Subcontractor entered into a “traditionally … recognized,” legitimate contractor-subcontractor relationship that did not attempt to avoid the law. This rationale is consistent with industry expectations that when a general contractor hires a subcontractor to do work, although there is some supervision required of the subcontractor, the general contractor does not take on legal responsibility for the subcontractor’s workers.

However, on appeal, the Fourth Circuit found that the GC was a joint employer and stated that the legitimacy of the business relationship was not the most important factor. Instead, a general contractor (or any other company) is a joint employer when (1) it shares responsibility for the terms and conditions of a worker’s employment, and (2) the two entities’ combined influence renders the worker an employee rather than an independent contractor.

The factual allegations supporting the Court’s decision were as follows:

  • GC threatened to fire a Subcontractor employee on at least one occasion;
  • On some jobs, Subcontractor employees worked directly for GC, blurring the distinction between the two;
  • GC had close control over the schedules of the Subcontractor’s employees; and
  • Subcontractor’s employees wore GC’s clothing/logo while on site.

What does all this mean? This decision is scary for general contractors because it could signal the beginning of the end of the legal distinction between your employees and your subcontractor’s employees on a particular job. However, the more likely (and hopeful) explanation is that this case is an outlier because of the particular facts.

Regardless, there are a couple of important takeaways for construction companies:

  • Make sure your contracts are airtight with the correct language on the independent contractor relationship, strong indemnification provisions, and robust insurance requirements; and
  • Avoid actions like those taken by the GC in the Salinas case that could be interpreted as controlling the subcontractor’s workers.

Last week, the White House issued a “State Call to Action on Non-Compete Agreements” that calls for “state policymakers” to pursue certain restrictions on the use of non-compete agreements. It also released a report entitled “Non-Compete Reform: A Policymaker’s Guide to State Policies,” which includes an assessment of each state’s non-compete laws.

The “Non-Compete Reform: A Policymaker’s Guide to State Policies” report states that 18 percent of all workers have non-compete agreements, while 15 percent of all workers without a college degree have non-compete agreements, and 14 percent of workers earning $40,000 or less annually have non-competes. The report also states that non-competes have “become more common in low-wage, low-skilled professions like sandwich makers, temporary warehouse staff and hairstylists” even though those workers are unlikely to have access to trade secrets. The Call to Action claims that “[r]esearchers have found that states that strictly enforce non-compete agreements have lower wage growth and lower mobility than states that do not enforce them.”

The Call to Action then states that “the White House is calling on state policymakers to join in pursuing best-practice policy objectives” and lists three such objectives specifically:

1. Ban non-compete clauses for categories of workers, such as workers under a certain wage threshold; workers in certain occupations that promote public health and safety; workers who are unlikely to possess trade secrets; or those who may suffer undue adverse impacts from non-competes, such as workers laid off or terminated without cause.

2. Improve transparency and fairness of non-compete agreements by, for example, disallowing non-competes unless they are proposed before a job offer or promotion has been accepted . . .; providing consideration over and above continued employment for workers who sign non-compete agreements; or encouraging employers to better inform workers about the law in their state and the existence of non-competes in contracts and how they work.

3. Incentivize employers to write enforceable contracts and encourage the elimination of unenforceable provisions, for example, promoting the use of the “red pencil doctrine,” which renders contracts with unenforceable provisions void in their entirety.

What does this mean for South Carolina? In the short term, not much. The White House’s announcement is not law and is not binding. But could this unprecedented announcement be followed by other measures designed to pressure state legislators and employers to implement these policy objectives? This is difficult to predict, particularly before the election.

It is worth noting that South Carolina non-compete law scores decently when compared with the White House’s stated policy objectives. While South Carolina currently does not ban non-competes for categories of workers (except attorneys), it does require consideration beyond mere continued employment and does not allow non-competes to be re-written or modified by the court so as to make the terms reasonable. It should be noted that the “Non-Compete Reform: A Policymaker’s Guide to State Policies” report lists South Carolina as one of five red-pencil states, which it defines as a state where “courts can nullify the entire non-compete agreement if one of the provisions does not comply with existing statute and/or case law standards.” This characterization is not entirely accurate. Rather, under certain circumstances, distinct and severable covenants that are reasonable and enforceable will be enforced even if they are contained in the same agreement with an unreasonable non-compete covenant that has been found to be unenforceable.

The “State Call to Action on Non-Compete Agreements” and the “Non-Compete Reform: A Policymaker’s Guide to State Policies,” can be found at the following links:

State Call to Action: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/competition/noncompetes-calltoaction-final.pdf

“Non-Compete Reform: A Policymaker’s Guide to State Policies,”

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/competition/state-by-statenoncompetesexplainer_unembargoedfinal.pdf

See also Fact Sheet:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/10/25/fact-sheet-obama-administration-announces-new-steps-spur-competition

 

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules adopted under Section 21F of the Securities Exchange Act provide financial incentives for employees and others (whistleblowers) to report corporate wrongdoing to the SEC, and prohibit retaliation against them for doing so. One such rule, Rule 21F-17, prohibits any action to impede an individual from communicating directly with the SEC about a possible securities law violation, “including enforcing, or threatening to enforce, a confidentiality agreement.” Rule 21F-17 applies to both companies that are required to file reports with the SEC and companies that are not.  The SEC has recently entered orders in enforcement proceedings finding that certain confidentiality provisions routinely used by many employers violate Rule 21F-17.

Many employment agreements, confidentiality agreements, severance agreements, employee handbooks, and codes of conduct include confidentiality provisions that prohibit an employee from sharing confidential information about the employer, unless the employee is compelled to do so by law or legal process. Such provisions also often require that the employee either provide notice to the employer, or obtain consent from the employer, prior to providing confidential information pursuant to such legal process.  These provisions often do not include an exemption specifically permitting an employee voluntarily to provide confidential information to the SEC. Alternatively, some confidentiality provisions do provide an exemption specifically permitting an employee to provide confidential information voluntarily to the SEC, but further provide that the employee waives any right to any monetary recovery in connection with any complaint or charge the employee may file with the SEC.

Cease-and-Desist Orders issued in three recent SEC enforcement proceedings[1] have found that confidentiality provisions like those outlined above raise an impediment to participation by employees in the SEC’s whistleblower program, and violate Rule 21F-17.  The SEC has found such violations even where there was no indication that the employer had sought to enforce, or had threatened to enforce, the confidentiality provision.  The SEC appears to be concerned that the fact that an employer would have the right to seek to enforce such provisions could have a chilling effect on an employee’s willingness to communicate concerns of possible wrongdoing to the SEC, regardless of whether the employer seeks to invoke the provisions.

Among other findings in the orders, the SEC asserted that: (i) advance notice/permission for disclosure requirements that do not include an exemption for voluntary disclosure of possible securities law violations to the SEC force employees to choose between identifying themselves as whistleblowers or potentially losing their severance pay and benefits; and (ii) provisions that allow voluntary reporting to the SEC, but require an employee to waive any right to a monetary recovery in connection with an investigation operate to impede “the critically important financial incentives that are intended to encourage persons to communicate directly with the [SEC] staff about possible securities law violations.”

These violations of Rule 21F-17 resulted in significant monetary penalties on the employers — $265,000 in one proceeding and $340,000 in another. (In the third proceeding, the employer was required to disgorge $50,000,000, pay $7,000,000 in prejudgment interest, and pay a penalty of $358,000,000, but the order does not specify the amount attributable to the Rule 21F-17 violation.)

Significant remedial actions were also undertaken by the employers in connection with settlement of these enforcement proceedings, ranging from: (i) amending the confidentiality provisions in the agreements to clarify employees’ whistleblower rights; to (ii) providing employees who had signed agreements with an Internet link to the SEC’s order and a statement outlining the employee’s whistleblower rights; to (iii) implementing mandatory annual training for all employees and documentary information concerning employees’ whistleblower rights; to (iv) updating the employer’s code of conduct and other relevant agreements, policies and procedures to ensure employees understand there are no restrictions on their whistleblower rights.

The most alarming aspects of these enforcement proceedings are: (i) the SEC’s objection to the mere existence of the offending confidentiality provisions in agreements, even though the SEC found no indication that the employers had invoked, or threatened to invoke, such provisions (and specifically stated this in two of the proceedings); and (ii) the substantial fines levied on the employers.  Additionally, although one proceeding included other serious securities law violations, the other two proceedings addressed only Rule 21F-17 violations.

These three proceedings addressed Rule 21F-17 violations in severance agreements, but the rule would apply equally to confidentiality provisions in employment agreements, confidentiality agreements, employee handbooks, codes of conduct, and any other agreements with employees. It is likely only a matter of time before the SEC turns its focus to potential Rule 21F-17 violations in these types of agreements as well.  Therefore, we recommend that companies review all confidentiality provisions in agreements with employees and in employee handbooks and codes of conduct, and consider amending these documents as appropriate to be sure there is no suggestion that employees may not voluntarily report wrongdoing to the SEC or other governmental agencies or that they would waive their rights to any monetary recovery relating to such report.

[1] In the Matter of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith and Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corp., settled in June 2016; In the Matter of Blue Linx Holdings Inc., settled in August 2016; and In the Matter of Health Net, Inc., settled in August 2016.

Today’s blog post is authored by guest blogger, Suzanne (Suzi) Hulst Clawson. Suzi leads Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd’s corporate securities and financial institution regulatory practices.

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”), which provides a federal, civil cause of action for misappropriation of a trade secret. This opens up federal courts to trade secret owners even without a separate basis for federal jurisdiction, provided that the trade secret “is related to a product or service used in, or intended for use in, interstate or foreign commerce.”  Substantively, the DTSA is similar to the South Carolina Trade Secrets Act (“SCTSA”) in defining “trade secret” and “misappropriation” (the definition of “trade secret” is arguably broader under the SCTSA). The DTSA does not preempt the SCTSA or other state law claims.  However, there are some important distinctions between the DTSA and the SCTSA that are worth noting.

First, the DTSA protects individuals from liability for disclosing a trade secret in confidence to a government official or an attorney, if such disclosure is solely to report or investigate a suspected violation of law. Significantly, the DTSA requires employers to provide notice of such immunity in any agreement with an employee, contractor, or consultant that “governs the use of a trade secret or other confidential information” or by cross-referencing a policy document provided to the employee, contractor or consultant.  This requirement is for all such agreements entered into or updated after May 11, 2016.  Failure to comply prevents an employer from recovering exemplary damages (double actual damages) or attorney’s fees under the DTSA, which would otherwise be available in cases of willful and malicious misappropriation. Consequently, employers should add an appropriate notice provision in all agreements (handbooks included) relating to trade secrets or confidential information

Moreover, unlike the SCTSA, the DTSA provides for ex parte seizures, which means the plaintiff can seek to have the government seize property necessary to prevent dissemination of the trade secret, even without prior notice to the opposing party.  Though such seizure is only available in “extraordinary” situations, this is a new and powerful tool.  Among other things, the trade secret owner must show that immediate and irreparable injury will occur without the seizure, other equitable relief is inadequate because the opposing party would evade or disobey such order, the owner is likely to succeed on the merits of the DTSA claim, the opposing party would destroy, hide, or otherwise make such matter inaccessible to the court if the owner provided prior notice, and the owner has not publicized the requested seizure.  The DTSA provides some protections from abuse of this powerful remedy, including a cause of action for a party who has been damaged by “a wrongful or excessive seizure.”

The goal of the DTSA is to provide uniformity to what some have argued to be inconsistent trade secret laws amongst the states (despite most states having passed a form of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act). The full impact of the DTSA remains to be seen.  What is clear is that the DTSA provides another tool for employers seeking to protect their trade secrets.

 

This post is an update to my recent post on North Carolina’s controversial bathroom law (known as “HB2”), which can be found here. Last week, the U.S. Justice Department sent a letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory warning him that, in the Justice Department’s view, HB2 violates Titles VII and IX of the Civil Rights Act. The DOJ is threatening to take away millions in federal education funding from the state if it does not stand down. In 2014-2015, the University of North Carolina system got $1.4 billion in federal education funding. The letter gave North Carolina officials until today to respond “by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement HB2.”

This morning, North Carolina officials responded by filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department to defend HB2. In addition to objecting to the DOJ’s position that HB2 violates the Civil Rights Act, Gov. McCrory also objected to the federal government’s short deadline to respond. This lawsuit sets up a showdown between North Carolina and the federal government, and every state will be watching to see how it all shakes out.

We will continue to update this blog with the latest developments.

 

There are a number of bills pending in the South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives that impact employers. Review the list below and comment to your senator or representative as desired. We will follow their progress and keep you alerted.

Source: SC Bar, Employment & Labor Section

Bill Lead Sponsor Description Where Action
H3031 Cobb-Hunter Provides that the minimum wage in this state is the greater value of either ten dollars and ten cents or the minimum wage set by the Fair Labor Standards Act. House LCI Referred
H3038 Daning Deletes the requirement that a business must employ an employee for at least two years before the business may claim the credit for retraining the employee. Ways & Means Referred
H3103 McEachern Creates the Equal Pay Study Committee. House LCI Referred
H3166 Tallon Changes the method of determining the unemployment benefits of a person discharged from employment for illegal drug use, gross misconduct, and failure to accept work. Senate LCI Passed House
H3236 Merrill Prohibits public employee collective bargaining. House LCI Referred
H3241 Robinson-Simpson Provides that no job application may include questions related to convictions of a crime, unless the crime for which he was convicted directly relates to the position of employment sought or the occupation for which the license is sought. House Judiciary Referred
H3253 Stavrinakis State Employee Equal Pay for Equal Work Act to prohibit discrimination by gender in compensation paid state employees. Ways & Means Referred
H3305, R118, A80 Lowe Provides that an employee may be drug tested from oral fluids to establish unemployment insurance disqualification. Law Passed Senate; Ratified; Governor signed
H3346 Rutherford Provides that no job application may include questions related to convictions of a crime, unless the crime for which he was convicted directly relates to the position of employment sought or the occupation for which the license is sought,. House Judiciary Referred
H3359 Hart Allows a state tax credit for employers hiring an unemployed individual receiving unemployment compensation benefit. Ways & Means Referred
H3397 M.S. McLeod Provides that private sector employees shall accrue earned paid and earned unpaid sick leave. House LCI Referred
H3400 Whipper Changes the maximum amount of actual damages a whistleblower may recover from fifteen thousand dollars to three hundred thousand dollars. House Judiciary Referred
H3431 Sandifer Provides a political subdivision of this state may not mandate or otherwise require an employee benefit. House LCI Referred
H3437 Toole Provides that an active or retired employee may remove a dependent spouse at any time after the parties divorce from the State Health Plan. Provides that a retired member may alter the form of monthly payments at any time after a change in marital status. Ways & Means Referred
H3536 Sandifer Authorizes wage assignments to secure consumer debt. A backdoor way to get around SC’s prohibition on wage garnishment. House LCI Referred
H3576 Bannister Provides that certain written agreements between nonprofit youth sports organizations and coaches provide conclusive evidence that the coach is an independent contractor rather than an employee of the organization and that the organization is exempt from certain obligations concerning workers’ compensation coverage, unemployment insurance coverage, and income tax withholdings. These written agreements are not conclusive proof of the existence of an independent contractor relationship for purposes of any civil actions instituted by third parties. Ratification House concurs in Senate amends.
H3581 M.S. McLeod Establishes a coordinated statewide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the state workforce and to define the responsibilities of state agencies under this initiative. House Judiciary Referred
H3795 Gambrell Numerous changes with respect to professional employer organizations, including application of job-based tax credits, and contracts between PEOs and clients. Ways & Means Recalled & referred
H3865 Hodges Provides weekly unemployment benefits for self-employed people. House LCI Referred
H3951 Putnam Prohibition Against Employer Intimidation Act. House Judiciary Referred
H4145 White Creates the Coordinating Council for Workforce Development to develop a comprehensive plan for workforce training and education. Establishes a career pathways tax credit if the taxpayer creates a registered apprenticeship and a Workforce Scholarships and Grants Fund administered by the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education to provide scholarship funding for eligible individuals to pursue career education. Senate Education Recalled and referred
H4445 Gilliard Establishes the plan by which the Dept. of Administration must allocate any amounts appropriated for employee pay increases so that state employees receive a ten percent employee pay increase effective July 1, 2016. Ways & Means Referred
H4466 King Provides that it is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire an individual because of the credit history or credit report of the individual. House LCI Referred
H4539 Horne Changes the procedures applicable to complaints to the Human Affairs Commission involving a covered state agency or department or subdivisions or parts of an agency or department, including a requirement for preliminary mediation conferences concerning these complaints. House Judiciary Referred
H4555 Cobb-Hunter Repeals the Right to Work Law. House LCI Referred
 
S17 Jackson Provides that the state may not inquire, consider, or require disclosure of the criminal record or criminal history of an applicant for employment until the applicant is selected for an interview by the employer or before a conditional offer of employment is made to the applicant. Senate LCI Referred
S35 Bryant Amends Constitution to provide that the funds of any trust fund established by law for the funding of post-employment benefits for state employees, public school teachers or local public employees may be invested and reinvested in equity securities subject to the same limitations on such investments applicable for the funds of the various state-operated Retirement Systems. Ways & Means Referred
S119 Bright Repeals the availability of unemployment benefits for persons seeking only part-time work. Senate LCI Referred
S144 Scott Constitutional amendment to impose a mandatory minimum wage for people employed in the state who are eligible for the minimum wage provided by federal law of at least one dollar above federal minimum wage. Senate Judiciary Referred
S145 Scott Imposes a state minimum wage. Senate LCI Referred
S146 Scott A joint resolution to provide for a statewide advisory referendum to be held at the same time as the 2016 General Election to determine whether or not the qualified electors of this state favor requiring payment of a minimum hourly wage rate of one dollar above the federal minimum wage to employees for all hours worked in this state. Senate LCI Referred
S172 Kimpson Requires employers to provide earned sick leave to employees who are caregivers for a child or spouse; their own illness or medical condition, medical appointments for themselves, a spouse or child; matters related to a public health emergency; or to address the psychological or physical effects of criminal domestic violence. Specifies accrual of paid sick leave. Senate LCI Referred
S206 Sheheen Directs PEBA to design, implement, and maintain a longevity pay plan for state employees and to require the General Assembly to fund the costs of the plan by a specific appropriation of General Fund revenues in the annual General Appropriations Act. Finance Referred
S225, R2, A95 Cromer Suspends Proviso 105.15 of Part 1b of the 2014-2015 Appropriations Act, relating to reimbursement rates paid to pharmacies participating in the State Health Plan by Catamaran, the contracted pharmacy benefit manager for the plan. Law Governor signed
S266 Young Revises the method of determining the benefits of a person discharged from employment for illegal drug use, gross misconduct, and failure to accept work. Senate LCI Referred
S322 Campsen Creates the SC Workforce Participation Incentives Act to allow a tax credit for hiring a person receiving unemployment through July 1, 2016. Finance Referred
S335 Shealy Provides that any public employee who is terminated within one year of full retirement shall have five days after termination to purchase the remaining time. Finance Referred
S340 Scott Provides that state employees earning annual leave at the rate of thirty days a year must receive a lump sum payment for days of annual leave fewer than thirty days or donated by the employee in a calendar year. Finance Referred
S373, R50, A27 Setzler Allows a member of the State Retirement System to change the form of monthly payment within five years of a change in marital status, instead of one year, and in certain situations, to require the member to reimburse the Retirement System of any excess payment received. Law Governor signed
S381 Shealy Provides that any public employee who is terminated within one year of full retirement shall have five days after termination to purchase the remaining time. Ways & Means Passed Senate w/amend.
S387 Thurmond Allows officers of the Highway Patrol will have a choice between selecting compensatory time or payment at one and one-half the officer’s regular rate of pay in exchange for working overtime. Finance Referred
S407, R107, A77 Bryant Provides that corporate officers are eligible for unemployment benefits unless the corporation elects to opt out of the coverage. The Section also applies to individuals with a 25 % ownership interest in a corporation or business. Law Senate concurs in House amends.; Ratified
S438 Alexander Extends reemployment rights to any member of the National Guard of another state. General Referred
S493 O’Dell Numerous changes with respect to professional employer organizations, including application of job-based tax credits, and contracts between PEOs and clients. House LCI Recalled & referred
S527 Lourie Provides that the Retirement System Investment Commission (RSIC) is a cotrustee instead of the Budget & Control Board. Requires the Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) to hold the assets of the Retirement System in a group trust. Related provisions. Finance Referred
S675 Finance Cttee Provides that the Retirement System Investment Commission (RSIC) is a cotrustee instead of the Budget & Control Board. Requires the Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) to hold the assets of the Retirement System in a group trust. Related provisions. Ways & Means Passed Senate w/amend.
S704 Lourie Establishes the Disabled Self-Employment Development Trust Fund to award grants to qualifying residents of this state with physical or mental impairments who start, expand, or acquire a business. Medical Affairs Referred
S938 Kimpson Provides a base state minimum wage and a schedule to gradually implement an adjusted minimum wage of $15 per ours. Senate LCI Referred
S957 M. B. Matthews Provides that an employer may not inquire, consider, or require disclosure of the criminal record or criminal history of an applicant for employment until the applicant is selected for an interview by the employer or before a conditional offer of employment is made to the applicant. Provides for a tax credit to employers who hire a qualified ex-felon Senate LCI Referred