McNair RSS Feed Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0800firmwise Doerring Named Top Tax Author by JD Supra19 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0800 McNair is pleased to announce that Erik Doerring has been named a Top Author in the area of Tax by JD Supra, a premier news service for the legal industry. JD Supra&rsquo;s Readers Choice Awards acknowledge the published work of top authors from law firms throughout the world and are based on an in-depth analysis of reader data. Doerring was one of 252 authors selected from nearly 50,000 who publish articles on JD Supra.<br /> <br /> Doerring is the Tax Practice Group Leader at McNair. With over 30 years of experience, Doerring advises McNair&rsquo;s individual, corporate, and international clients on federal, state, and local tax issues. Prior to joining McNair, Doerring was an attorney with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel and the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division. You can find his and other McNair lawyers&rsquo; tax law insights on the firm&rsquo;s blog at <br /> Equal Pay Act case gets new life21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <div><em>In 2-1 decision by a three-judge panel, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all South Carolina employers) reversed a decision to grant summary judgment&mdash;meaning the trial court had found there was no case to move forward&mdash;in favor of a governmental entity. Instead, the appeals court sent the case back to the trial court for further proceedings based on the majority&rsquo;s assessment of the application of the Equal Pay Act (EPA) to wages being paid by a state agency. The dissenting judge wrote a detailed and scholarly response to the majority&rsquo;s opinion that bears some analysis. The case is published, so it can be cited by employees and their counsels as the standard applicable to an equal pay case in South Carolina.</em></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><strong>Background</strong></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit on behalf of three female employees of the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA), alleging salary discrimination under the EPA. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer, and the EEOC appealed.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>MIA is an independent state agency that performs various functions related to the regulation of Maryland&rsquo;s insurance industry and the enforcement of its insurance laws. It is subject to the state personnel management system, a merit-based system that establishes job categories based on the general nature of required duties and sets corresponding levels of compensation. Although as an independent state agency MIA is given discretion to set its employees&rsquo; salaries, it follows the hiring and salary practices of Maryland&rsquo;s Department of Budget and Management, which sets forth a standard pay plan salary schedule.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div> <div>In accordance with the standard salary schedule, when a new employee is hired, MIA assigns her to a grade level matching the position being filled. Each grade level carries an assigned base salary and a specific salary range consisting of 20 separate steps.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>After designating a new employee&rsquo;s particular grade level, MIA assigns her to an initial step placement based on previous work experience, relevant professional designations, and licenses or certifications. In selecting a particular step level, it also considers the difficulty of recruiting for the position, and&mdash;under Maryland law&mdash;awards a new employee credit for any previous years of service in state employment for the purposes of determining that employee&rsquo;s step in the applicable pay grade. Additionally, a Maryland government employee who transfers to a &ldquo;lateral&rdquo; position takes her assigned grade and step with her to the new position.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>MIA employees work within one of six units, each comprising a different area of insurance regulation. At issue in this case is the fraud investigation division. Fraud investigators are charged with investigating allegations of criminal insurance fraud perpetrated by individuals. Until July 2013, the fraud investigator position was classified at a grade 15 on the standard salary schedule. At that time, based on an internal job study conducted by MIA, the position was reclassified at grade 16. Under the standard salary plan, individuals hired as fraud investigators now are assigned to a step within the grade 16 classification according to their qualifications and work experience.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>MIA advertises minimum and preferred qualifications for the position of fraud investigator. To be minimally qualified for hire as a fraud investigator, an applicant must have five years of fraud investigatory experience in such areas as white-collar crime, financial fraud, insurance fraud, and investigations conducted under the supervision of prosecutors or other attorneys. Preferred or desired qualifications for the position include designation as a certified fraud examiner, as well as experience working with attorneys and participation in court or administrative hearings.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><strong>Female fraud investigators</strong></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The EEOC filed suit on behalf of three former MIA fraud investigators: Alexandra Cordaro, Marlene Green, and Mary Jo Rogers.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>MIA hired Cordaro in December 2009. She had worked as a fraud investigator for a federal credit union for over two years and as a criminal investigation and litigation paralegal for 12 years in the Baltimore County State&rsquo;s Attorney&rsquo;s Office. MIA assigned her to grade level 15, step four, with a starting salary of $43,495. By the time she resigned about five years later, she was earning $49,916.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Marlene Green was hired in November 2010. She held a bachelor&rsquo;s degree from Johns Hopkins University and had more than 20 years of experience working for the Baltimore City Police Department. During that time, she worked for approximately 13 years in an investigative capacity. In the year immediately before to joining MIA, she worked as an investigator for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the Office of the State&rsquo;s Attorney for Baltimore County. MIA assigned her to grade level 15, step four, with a starting salary of $43,759. By February 2013, when she resigned from MIA, her salary was $45,503.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Mary Jo Rogers transferred to the fraud investigation division from another position within MIA in July 2011. She had earlier worked for eight years as a police officer and a detective with the Baltimore County Police Department. Immediately before being hired at MIA, she worked for an insurance company as a special investigator and an adjuster. MIA assigned her to grade level 15, step five, with a starting salary of $46,268. By November 2013, her salary was $50,300.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><strong>Male fraud investigators</strong></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The EEOC&rsquo;s lawsuit against MIA alleged gender-based salary discrimination in violation of the EPA. During the proceedings in the district court, the agency identified as comparators four male fraud investigators: Bruno Conticello, James Hurley, Donald Jacobs, and Homer Pennington.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>MIA hired Conticello in November 2010. He held both a bachelor&rsquo;s and a master&rsquo;s degree in criminal justice and had nearly 20 years of investigative experience working for various insurance companies and Maryland&rsquo;s Office of the Inspector General. He also had obtained a certified fraud examiner designation. MIA assigned him to grade level 15, step 10, with a starting salary of $49,842. By late 2012, his salary was $51,561.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>James Hurley was hired in November 2006. He most recently had worked as an investigator with an underwriting insurance organization. He also had worked previously with MIA for a total of three years as a fraud investigator and as an investigator in the property and casualty department. Altogether, he had about 10 years of insurance-related investigative experience when he was rehired at MIA in 2006. He also had worked previously as a claim adjuster for several insurance companies and had earned the designation of certified fraud examiner. At the time of his most recent hiring at MIA, he was assigned to grade 15, step six, with a starting salary of $45,298. By the time he left MIA in October 2012, his salary was $49,678.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>MIA hired Donald Jacobs in May 2007. He had 11 years of experience as a natural resources officer with the state of Maryland&mdash;primarily engaged in conducting marine patrols&mdash;and had worked for three years as an investigator in the Office of the Public Defender in Baltimore. This investigatory experience didn&rsquo;t relate to fraud or white-collar crime. His starting salary at MIA was $45,298, based on his assignment to grade level 15, step six. When he left in June 2010, his salary was $47,705.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Homer Pennington was hired in August 2007. He had worked in the criminal investigation unit of the Baltimore Police Department for approximately 22 years before joining MIA. He earned the designation of certified arson investigator, but neither his resume nor the record specified the requirements for acquiring this certification. He was hired at grade level 15, step five, with a starting salary of $45,360. By May 2013, when he left, his salary was $47,194.</div> </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div> <div><strong>Courts&rsquo; decisions</strong></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>MIA and the EEOC each requested that the district court rule in its favor without a trial. The court denied the EEOC&rsquo;s request and granted MIA&rsquo;s instead.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In dismissing the EEOC&rsquo;s claim under the EPA, the district court effectively held that the three female fraud investigators had failed to meet their minimally sufficient burden of proof. The court concluded that the male fraud investigators identified by the EEOC weren&rsquo;t valid comparators because they were hired at higher steps than females were. Alternatively, the court held that MIA had shown that the disparity in pay was attributable to the relative experience and qualifications of the male investigators.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The EEOC appealed the district court&rsquo;s grant of summary judgment to MIA.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>On appeal, the EEOC asserted that the district court erred in awarding summary judgment in favor of MIA. It didn&rsquo;t appeal the denial of its own request for summary judgment. Rather, it contended only that the district court erred in granting summary judgment to MIA.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The EEOC argued that it made a minimally sufficient showing of an EPA violation by identifying four male fraud investigators who earned higher starting salaries than the three female investigators, who were assigned lower salaries despite performing identical work. In addition, it contended that MIA didn&rsquo;t establish as a matter of law that the disparity in pay was based on the comparators&rsquo; credentials and previous work experience.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>According to MIA, the identified males weren&rsquo;t valid comparators because it hired them at higher steps on its pay scale than the female investigators. Alternatively, it argued that even if the EEOC made a sufficient showing of an EPA violation, MIA established as a matter of law that any pay disparity was based on gender-neutral reasons involving the comparators&rsquo; prior experience and credentials that each female investigator lacked.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Our readers likely know that the EPA prohibits gender-based discrimination by employers resulting in unequal pay for equal work. The 4th Circuit majority noted that it was reviewing whether the EEOC had made the required showing using a burden-shifting framework. That case of discrimination under the EPA is shown by demonstrating that (1) the employer paid different wages to an employee of the opposite sex (2) for equal work on jobs requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility, which are (3) all performed under similar working conditions. Under the EPA, the proof standard doesn&rsquo;t require a showing that the employer acted with discriminatory intent.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Once the required showing has been made, the burdens of production and persuasion shift to the employer to show that the wage differential was justified by one of four affirmative defenses listed in the statute. These affirmative defenses are: (1) a seniority system; (2) a merit system; (3) a pay system based on quantity or quality of output; or (4) a disparity based on any factor other than gender. To avoid liability, the employer must prove only one of these four affirmative defenses.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In the majority&rsquo;s view, the employer in an EPA case bears the burden of ultimate persuasion, and once a claim has been established, it won&rsquo;t prevail at the summary judgment stage unless it proves its affirmative defense so convincingly that a rational jury couldn&rsquo;t have reached a contrary conclusion.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In its analysis of the comparators, the majority didn&rsquo;t discuss males who were hired at the same time as the employees suing MIA, but it instead allowed the EEOC to reach back to persons who had been in the job for a number of years. It was the majority&rsquo;s view that the employees get to pick their comparators. Once those comparators were selected, though hired earlier than the employees in question, it was an easy jump to state that all performed substantially equal work, but the longer-employed men were paid more money. In fact, the 4th Circuit majority rejected MIA&rsquo;s argument that other men were paid less than the women.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The majority also rejected MIA&rsquo;s use of the state&rsquo;s standard salary schedule and its argument that the comparator&rsquo;s experience and qualifications were appropriate differentiating factors. The majority held that a jury should decide whether MIA in fact objectively weighed the comparators&rsquo; qualifications as being more significant than the female investigators&rsquo; qualifications. Its decision overturned the lower court and sent the case back to trial.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><strong>Lone dissent</strong></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>4th Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III disagreed with his colleagues. In his dissent, he forcefully articulated that the majority ignored or glossed over the state&rsquo;s Tenth Amendment Constitutional right to allow state law rather than federal law to provide remedies for gender discrimination in all forms, including the pay of a public-sector employer. He observed that by filing suit, the EEOC consigned the state&rsquo;s sovereign interest in its own workforce wholly to the hands of federal authority.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Judge Wilkinson believes that this assertion of federal authority diminished the proper role of states in our constitutional system to an unacceptable extent. This federal control could be pardoned if this were a lawsuit of substance, but he noted this is a thin, slight action. With some clarity, he noted that we have a federal system of government carefully designed to strike a balance between the need for enumerated federal authority and respect for the residual sovereignty of the states. He wrote, &ldquo;One half of that balance the majority now leaves wholly in shadow. In fact, the majority does not even hint that this suit raises the question of the extent to which Congress&rsquo;s power may constitutionally extend over state civil service systems.&rdquo; The bottom line is that the dissent provides a succinct dissertation of federalism and the state and federal roles under our constitution.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In his dissent, Judge Wilkinson notes that the majority gets wound up in the question of a minimally sufficient case and misses the question whether there&rsquo;s an issue of triable fact regarding the state&rsquo;s alleged pay inequity. According to Wilkinson, the majority overlooked the fact that a state&rsquo;s interest comes in by way of a Tenth Amendment defense, which it doesn&rsquo;t surrender even in those instances where a statute may be constitutionally applied to it. He agreed with the district court that summary judgment was appropriate in these circumstances and would have affirmed its decision.</div> </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div> <div><strong>Lessons for employers</strong></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Although the decision in this case has more immediate effect on public-sector employers, this is another case in which the 4th Circuit has issued an opinion that favors employees over employers&mdash;in this writer&rsquo;s mind by failing to address the constitutional discussion set forth in the dissent. You simply need to be aware that the 4th Circuit has changed in its make-up, and there are judges who now sit who appear to be very amenable to finding cases in which the court can write opinions highly favorable to employees.</div> </div> Reggie Gay Receives 15 Over 50 Award12 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p><a href="">McNair</a> is pleased to announce <i>Anderson Independent Mail</i> has honored shareholder Reggie Gay with the 15 Over 50 Award.</p> <p>The award recognizes leaders who have made a long-term impact on the community through career success, philanthropic and community service, and mentoring of youth and young professionals. Reggie will be honored with 14 others at an awards dinner on February 21 at the Bleckley Station Event Center in Anderson.</p> <p>&ldquo;Reggie has dedicated himself to the people and businesses of South Carolina for more than 25 years,&rdquo; says friend and colleague Adam Artigliere. &ldquo;The 15 Over 50 Award is a testament to his service in the community and legal profession, and we are pleased to see his efforts recognized.&rdquo;</p> <p>Reggie is the Managing Shareholder of McNair&rsquo;s Upstate Unit. He advises and represents companies, manufacturers, governmental entities, educational institutions, health care providers, nonprofits, and insurance companies in employment matters, litigation, and general business matters. He frequently lectures on employment topics such as FMLA, FLSA, ADA, harassment, discrimination, and Workers' Compensation. Reggie is active in numerous professional and community organizations and is a graduate of Leadership Anderson. Reggie is a long time member of St. John&rsquo;s Methodist Church and has served on numerous boards and committees; a board member of Upstate SC Alliance; a former board member of the Anderson Rotary Club; a former board member of the Foothills Alliance; a former advisory council member of the Anderson Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club; former Chairperson for the Board of Directors for the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce;&nbsp; and a member of the SC Chamber of Commerce Human Resources Committee.&nbsp;</p> George Morrison Receives 2018 Leadership in Law Award07 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p><a href="">McNair</a> is pleased to announce <i>South Carolina Lawyers Weekly</i> has honored shareholder George Morrison with a 2018 Leadership in Law award.</p> <p>The award celebrates a select few in the legal community who have &ldquo;achieved success in their law practice, made contributions to society, and had an impact on the legal industry.&rdquo; George was recognized in the magazine&rsquo;s January edition and will be honored at an awards dinner on March 23, 2018 at the Francis Marion hotel in Charleston.</p> <p>&ldquo;George is a diligent attorney who embodies the spirit of this award,&rdquo; said Jennifer Blumenthal, shareholder and Unit Manager of McNair&rsquo;s Charleston office. &ldquo;The Leadership in Law award is a testament not only to his legal work, but his exemplary service to our community.&rdquo;</p> <p>George leads the firm&rsquo;s Business and Real Estate Practice Group. He advises individuals and businesses on estate planning, business succession planning, and other transactional issues. He is involved in all areas of corporate practice and has extensive experience with tax-exempt organizations. George holds leadership roles with numerous professional and community organizations and is a graduate of Leadership Charleston and Leadership South Carolina. He currently serves as chair of the South Carolina Bar&rsquo;s Corporate Banking and Securities Law Section; chair of the Board of Trustees for The Cooper School in Charleston; board member of Engaging Creative Minds; and board member of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance.&nbsp;</p> America's New Tax Law: What it Means to Business Owners30 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>At the end of 2017, President Trump signed into law a sweeping and comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. tax system. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes significant changes for business owners. We invite you to attend a special seminar, led by McNair's Tax Practice Group Leader, Erik Doerring, who will discuss these changes and how they will affect you and your business. Topics will include:</p> <ul> <li>Corporate tax changes/reductions</li> <li>Individual tax changes</li> <li>The new 20% deduction for pass-through businesses</li> <li>Potential business restructuring to take advantage of the new tax cuts</li> </ul> <p>Join us as we break down this complicated new law using case studies and examples so you can understand the real impact on your bottom line.</p> <p>Event schedule is as follows:</p> <p>February 15 - Columbia<br /> 3:30 - 5:00 pm: Program<br /> 5:00 pm: Reception<br /> McNair Law Firm<br /> 1221 Main Street, Suite 1800<br /> Columbia, SC 29201<br /> Presenter: Erik Doerring<br /> FULL</p> <p>February 22 - Charleston<br /> 3:30 - 5:00 pm: Program<br /> 5:00 pm: Reception<br /> McNair Law Firm<br /> 100 Calhoun Street, Suite 400<br /> Charleston, SC 29401<br /> Presenter: Erik Doerring<br /> FULL</p> <p>March 1 - Greenville<br /> 3:30 - 5:00 pm: Program<br /> 5:00 pm: Reception<br /> McNair Law Firm<br /> 104 South Main Street, Suite 700<br /> Greenville, SC 29601<br /> Presenter: Erik Doerring<br /> <a href=";utm_campaign=8a13b5b990-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_01_11&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_0a72edb698-8a13b5b990-29490741" target="_blank">REGISTER&nbsp;</a></p> <p>March 16 - Myrtle Beach<br /> 12:00 - 1:00 pm<br /> Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce<br /> 1200 N. Oak Street<br /> Myrtle Beach, SC 29577<br /> Presenter: Erik Doerring<br /> <a href=";utm_campaign=8a13b5b990-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_01_11&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_0a72edb698-8a13b5b990-29490741" target="_blank">REGISTER</a></p> McNair Law Firm Launches Palmetto Tax Advocates17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>McNair Law Firm, P.A. announces the launch of Palmetto Tax Advocates, a tax resolution service dedicated to individuals and business clients who owe federal, state, and local taxes.</p> <p>The staff of Palmetto Tax Advocates, including an Enrolled Agent tax accountant, will provide IRS and state tax resolution services to clients on a wide range of issues, including late or unfiled tax returns, tax audits and appeals, individual &ldquo;trust fund&rdquo; liability, offers in compromise, tax lien releases, tax payment plans, innocent spouse relief, collection due process appeals, and more.</p> <p>&ldquo;Throughout our 45-year history, McNair has represented clients at the intersection of business and government,&rdquo; said David Tigges, Managing Shareholder. &ldquo;Palmetto Tax Advocates will offer competent and cost-effective tax resolution services to clients with IRS and state tax problems.&rdquo;</p> <p>Palmetto Tax Advocates will complement McNair&rsquo;s existing tax controversy practice. &ldquo;The Firm&rsquo;s tax attorneys will continue to represent and advise clients in more complex tax audits, and in investigations, appeals, and civil and criminal litigation,&rdquo; said Erik Doerring, McNair&rsquo;s Tax Practice Group Leader. &ldquo;The main focus of Palmetto Tax Advocates will be on individuals and businesses who have an existing tax liability in the process of being collected.&rdquo;</p> <p>Learn more about Palmetto Tax Advocates at <a href=""></a>.<br /> Read tax law insights on McNair&rsquo;s blog at <a href=""></a>. <br /> For more information about McNair, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> Event Series: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Beyond the Headlines16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <div>In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court determined sexual harassment was a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson case. Over 30 years later, an eruption of conduct has taken place in which the lessons from the 1986 case have been forgotten.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In our January event series, we will discuss what is happening today, and where employers can go from here. Topics include:</div> <ul> <li>Definitions of harassment</li> <li>Policy requirements</li> <li>Training&nbsp;</li> <li>What your manuals and policies should say</li> </ul> <div>Event schedule is as follows:</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>January 16 - Columbia</div> <div>8:00 - 8:15 am: Registration</div> <div>8:15 - 9:30 am: Program</div> <div>McNair Law Firm</div> <div>1221 Main Street, Suite 1800</div> <div>Columbia, SC 29201</div> <div>Presenter: Rick Morgan<br /> To register, click <a href=";utm_campaign=5972b76634-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_12_18&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_39d4851266-5972b76634-23789669"><span style="font-size: larger;"><strong>here</strong></span></a>.</div> <div>&nbsp;<br /> <div>January 17 - Hilton Head</div> <div>8:00 - 8:15 am: Registration</div> <div>8:15 - 9:30 am: Program</div> <div>Hilton Head/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce</div> <div>1 Chamber of Commerce Drive</div> <div>Hilton Head Island, SC 29938</div> <div>Presenters: Melissa Azallion and Jon Eggert&nbsp;</div> <div>To register, click <a href=";utm_campaign=5972b76634-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_12_18&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_39d4851266-5972b76634-23789669"><span style="font-size: larger;"><strong>here</strong></span></a>.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div> <div>January 22 - Charleston</div> <div>8:00 - 8:15 am: Registration</div> <div>8:15 - 9:30 am: Program</div> <div>McNair Law Firm</div> <div>100 Calhoun Street, Suite 400</div> <div>Charleston, SC 29401</div> <div>Presenters: Rick Morgan and Reggie Gay&nbsp;</div> </div> <div>To register, click <a href=";utm_campaign=5972b76634-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_12_18&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_39d4851266-5972b76634-23789669"><span style="font-size: larger;"><strong>here</strong></span></a>.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div> <div>January 22 - Charlotte</div> <div>11:45 am - 12:00 pm: Registration</div> <div>12:00 - 1:00 pm: Program</div> <div>McNair Law Firm</div> <div>Bank of America Plaza</div> <div>101 S. Tryon Street</div> <div>25th floor conference center</div> <div>Charlotte, NC 28280</div> <div>Presenter: Jeremy Stephenson&nbsp;</div> </div> <div>To register, click <a href=";utm_campaign=5972b76634-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_12_18&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_39d4851266-5972b76634-23789669"><span style="font-size: larger;"><strong>here</strong></span></a>.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div> <div>January 24 - Anderson</div> <div>8:15 - 8:30 am: Registration</div> <div>8:30 - 10:00 am: Program</div> <div>Hospice of the Upstate</div> <div>1835 Rogers Road</div> <div>Anderson, SC 29621</div> <div>Presenters: Reggie Gay and Rita McKinney&nbsp;</div> </div> <div>To register, click <a href=";utm_campaign=5972b76634-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_12_18&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_39d4851266-5972b76634-23789669"><span style="font-size: larger;"><strong>here</strong></span></a>.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div> <div>January 26 - Greenville</div> <div>8:15 - 8:30 am: Registration</div> <div>8:30 - 10:00 am: Program</div> <div>McNair Law Firm</div> <div>104 S. Main Street, Suite 700</div> <div>Greenville, SC 29601</div> <div>Presenters: Reggie Gay and Rita McKinney&nbsp;</div> </div> <div>To register, click <a href=";utm_campaign=5972b76634-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_12_18&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_39d4851266-5972b76634-23789669"><span style="font-size: larger;"><strong>here</strong></span></a>.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div> <div>January 31 - Myrtle Beach</div> <div>11:45 am - 12:00 pm: Registration</div> <div>12:00 - 1:00 pm: Program</div> <div>Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce</div> <div>1200 N. Oak Street</div> <div>Myrtle Beach, SC 29577</div> <div>Presenter: Jim Gilliam&nbsp;</div> </div> <div>To register, click <a href=";utm_campaign=8f6809be93-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_12_18&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_39d4851266-8f6809be93-23789669"><span style="font-size: larger;"><strong>here</strong></span></a>.<br /> <br /> This seminar has been approved for 1.0 PDCs for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP and 1.0 General HRCI credit. Complimentary breakfast and refreshments will be provided. Lunch will be provided for the Myrtle Beach and Charlotte sessions.</div> </div> McNair Welcomes Ben Joyce to its Charleston Office19 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p><a href="">McNair</a> is pleased to announce attorney <a href="">Benjamin &ldquo;Ben&rdquo; H. Joyce</a> has joined the firm&rsquo;s Charleston office. Ben&rsquo;s practice focuses on local government law and general business litigation matters.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are pleased to have Ben join our team,&rdquo; said Jennifer Blumenthal, Managing Shareholder of the firm&rsquo;s Charleston Unit. &ldquo;The talent and knowledge Ben brings will be an asset to the firm, and we look forward to the great work he will do on behalf of our clients.&rdquo;</p> <p>Ben has experience litigating a variety of matters, including professional liability, constitutional, construction, admiralty, and other general liability cases. Before joining McNair, Ben was an attorney at a leading litigation firm in Charleston, where he gained significant trial experience in both state and federal court. He also served as law clerk to South Carolina Circuit Judge George C. James, Jr., who is currently an Associate Justice on the South Carolina Supreme Court.</p> <p>Prior to law school, Ben worked as a Legislative Correspondent in the United States Senate. Ben earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and his law degree from the Charleston School of Law, where he was a member of the <i>Journal of Alternative Dispute Resolution</i>.</p> Happy Holidays, from Human Resources15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <div> <p>As Thanksgiving 2017 recedes into a memory, Hanukkah is here, Christmas just around the corner, and a strange slow week between a Monday Christmas and following Monday New Year&rsquo;s Day. It is the season for office holiday parties, and ugly sweater contests. Every day a new name comes across the news as an alleged sexual harasser suspended or terminated from high profile employment and hopefully with such daily headlines everyone will be on their guard a little bit more this year. Just in case, we give you this short list of Do&rsquo;s and Don&rsquo;ts to get you through the holidays without giving rise to legal liability.</p> <p>(1)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <b>&ldquo;No mistletoe at the office.&rdquo;</b>&nbsp;Too easy? At your office holiday party, consider inviting&nbsp; family, spouses, even kids, as they may deter inappropriate behavior of the sexual harassment variety.&nbsp;</p> <p>(2)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &ldquo;<b>Liquor liability as social host.&rdquo;</b>&nbsp;Most state laws permit a negligence lawsuit against a social host who provides alcohol to someone they knew or should have known was intoxicated, and knew or should have known would be driving, who then injures a person or property while driving intoxicated. If you serve alcohol at your office holiday party, consider some means to limit alcohol consumption, such as drink tickets, or hire a professional server with an authentic certificate of liability insurance, or simply keep an eye on your friends and co-workers and if they seem overserved, step in and find them a safe ride home.&nbsp; Uber has never been easier.</p> <p>(3)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &ldquo;<b>Not everyone celebrates Christmas, and that&rsquo;s OK.</b>&rdquo; If you want to wish your work colleagues &ldquo;Merry Christmas&rdquo; rather than &ldquo;Happy Holidays&rdquo;, go right ahead. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of religion, defined as hostile work environment or adverse employment action discrimination; wishing someone &ldquo;Merry Christmas&rdquo; is neither. Obviously do not discriminate against employees, berate or fire them because of their religious beliefs, but this does not mean a private employer must have a complete absence of any and all religion at the holidays.&nbsp;</p> <p>(4)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <b>&ldquo;Schedule by business necessity.&rdquo;</b>&nbsp;Hopefully you figured out your holiday work schedules for your office many months ago. Many businesses such as hospitals are required to be open on Christmas Day. Title VII also requires &ldquo;reasonable accommodation of bona fide religious beliefs&rdquo;, but not in the event of &ldquo;undue hardship.&rdquo; You do not need to give every employee Christmas Day off of work if it would present an undue hardship to your business. Christmas on a Monday in 2017 presents a strange work week for many businesses; might you consider giving employees extra paid days off to save on the light bill? Evaluate the work load your business has during this week to determine if this is an option for consideration. Happy loyal employees are less likely to make liability claims! &nbsp;</p> </div> 2018 Legislative Session Preview11 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800