New Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Case Holds that Sex = Sexual Orientation


Laws governing employment discrimination based on sexual orientation are changing.

  • EEOC has consistently issued guidance that “sex” includes sexual orientation and gender identification.
  • As much as EEOC had wanted it to, until April 4, 2017, no court had held that Title VII barred sexual orientation discrimination.
  • Seventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals (Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin) ruled that sex discrimination extends to sexual orientation Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (April 4, 2017)
  • This is the law in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin and provides persuasive authority for our Federal Circuit, the Fourth Circuit.

If you have questions about employment law issues, please contact Tracy Stroud at 252-321-2020.

How Repeal of Bathroom Bill Affects Employment Law


After a controversial year on the books, North Carolina’s HB2 has been repealed.

  • Repeal of House Bill 2 and House Bill 142: Statute of Limitations for wrongful termination claims based on discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, age, and disability under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 143-422.2 (NC Equal Employment Practices Act) has been restored to three (3) years.
  • Under House Bill 142 in July 2016, there was a one (1) year Statute of Limitations to file lawsuit.
  • The new law does not have any explicit recognition of employment protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity but with repeal, lawyers are again free to argue that “sex” in NC Equal Employment Practices Act refers to both sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Existing ordinances will not go away, however all localities are pre-empted from amending or enacting employment laws until December 2020.
  • The bill passed March 30, 2017.

If you have other employment law questions, please contact Tracy Stroud at 252-321-2020.

New North Carolina Law Regarding Franchisors


Franchisors are not employers under N.C. Gen. Statute Chapters 95, 96, 97 and 105, which means franchisors cannot be held responsible for NC Wage and Hour violations, Occupational Safety and Hazard violations, Workers’ Compensation violations, and unemployment claims.

  • Only about 2,500 franchisors in the United States
  • Law will likely protect out-of-state interests and if franchisor is the decision-maker for the franchisee, there is no one to hold liable
  • The burden on compliance on Wage and Hour law, OSH workers’ compensation and unemployment will fall to small business owners, the local franchisee
  • Law signed by Governor Roy Cooper on May 4, 2017

For more information about the passage of the new law or if you have other employment law questions, please contact Tracy Stroud at 252-321-2020.

Come September, Your Form I-9 Will be Outdated


Here are changes to the I-9 form.  The new form must be used by September 18, 2017.

  1. The USCIS has changed the name of the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices to its new name: Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.
  2. Removal of the words “the end of” from the phrase “the first day of employment.”
  3. Revisions to the list of acceptable documents:
  • The Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) has been added to List C. If you’re filling out the Form I-9 online, you will be able to select this form from the dropdown menus. Using e-verify? You can also select Form FS-240 when creating a case for an employee who presents this document for Form I-9.
  • All the certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350 and Form FS-240) have been combined into selection C #2 in List C.
  • All List C documents except the Social Security card have been renumbered. Example: The employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security on List C has changed from List C #8 to List C #7.

Employers can continue using the older version through Sept. 17. On Sept. 18, you must use the revised version. You’ll notice the revision date of 07/17/17 N at the bottom of the form. Storage and retention rules for any previously completed Forms I-9 remain the same.

Penalties for non-compliance:

Just last year, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) nearly doubled fines for violations with Forms I-9. There is a $216 – $2,126 fine per Form I-9 paperwork violation. That’s an increase from $110 – $1,100. For unlawful employment of unauthorized workers, the fine for the first offense increased to $539 – $4,313 per worker from $375 – $3,200. For unfair immigration-related practices, specifically document abuse, the fine per individual increased to $110 – $1,110.

If you have any questions regarding employment issues, please contact Tracy Stroud at Colombo Kitchin Attorneys, 252-321-2020.