CBP Advocates for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

By: Attorney Shannon Polvi

Pregnant workers gained additional protections in 2023. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“PWFA”) is a new law that goes into effect on June 27, 2023. The PWFA requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant and post-partum workers who need them.

It is estimated that three-quarters of women entering the workforce today will be pregnant and employed at some point during their careers. The 44th anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act recently passed, yet we have a long way to go to protect pregnant and post-partum women in the United States. History has shown that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was not enough to protect pregnant women. Former and current pregnant and post-partum workers in South Carolina, and around the United States, have been forced out of work because their employer refused to temporarily accommodate their pregnancy needs.

As a woman, I have always felt personally invested in the fight for pregnant workers’ rights. I have represented pregnant women continuously throughout my years of practice. It is a sad fact that mistreatment of pregnant and post-partum women is a reoccurring problem in South Carolina.

There was a coalition of people who brought this PWFA idea to fruition. I was a contributor helping to make this change for women. In collaboration with the National Women’s Law Center, one of my cases was described to Congress as an example of the real-life experiences of pregnant women in the United States. Four of my pregnant and post-partum clients signed onto a public letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urging him to pass the PWFA. You can read it here: Open Letter: 125+ Mothers Urge Leader Schumer to Pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (New York Times Ad) – A Better Balance.

I am so proud of these women! I am honored to advocate for pregnant and post-partum workers when their rights have been violated.

Black History Month

By: Attorney Chance Sturup

Here at Cromer, Babb, and Porter we fight to enforce the right to equal treatment for all employees in the workplace, particularly for black employees who have been marginalized in our workforce for far too long.

Congress passed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which included Title VII, the cornerstone of enforcement for racial equality in the workplace. Title VII guaranteed all workers equal treatment in the workplace regardless of race. Title VII covers every aspect of employment, including hiring, promotion opportunities, discipline, pay, leave, and termination. We regularly represent black employees across this state who rightfully demand to receive treatment from their employers that is equal to the treatment received by their peers of other races or ethnicities.

Alongside offices like CBPH, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) plays a critical role in ensuring racial justice in the workplace. We bring cases before the EEOC to ensure that racial inequality in the workplace is identified, eliminated, and prevented in the future.

There is little doubt that our state and country has a long road ahead to achieve true racial equality in the workplace. The average black household income in South Carolina is 33% less than the statewide average. And the laws as applied in our justice system present heavy challenges for victims of discrimination.

But here at CBPH we work to challenge inequality and champion the rights of marginalized workers. We work everyday to live out the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words “Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a better person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”

Progress is inevitably slow and difficult, but our mission is to make it nonetheless.

Proposed FTC Rule to Outlaw Non-Compete Agreements

By: Attorney J. Paul Porter

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a proposed rule on January 5, 2023, that would make existing and future non-compete agreements illegal. The FTC says that around 30 million people in the United States are bound by non-compete clauses which restrict their ability to pursue better employment opportunities.

A non-compete agreement is a contract, called a restrictive covenant, that restricts an employee from working for a business or starting a business that does the same kind of work as the worker’s previous employer. These agreements often apply regardless of whether one leaves an employer voluntarily or is terminated.

The FTC says these agreements unfairly limit workers’ ability to earn a living and amount to an “unfair method of competition.” This rule, if it becomes an official regulation, will make existing non-compete agreements unenforceable and employers will have to notify their employees that their non-compete agreements are no longer valid within 180 days of the rules formal publication. It will also make it illegal to enter into new non-competes with employees.

The rule will not bar non-compete agreements for persons who are selling a business.

Right now, in South Carolina, non-compete agreements are enforceable if the employee got something of value for signing the agreement (called consideration), if they do not violate South Carolina public policy, and if they are reasonable as to their geographic reach, duration in time, and scope of work.

CBPH is experienced in assisting employees and former employees in reviewing restrictive covenants and in protecting them from claims they violated non-compete agreements. We are paying close attention to the rule-making process and will update here as significant developments occur.

Business Law, Employment Law, FTC, Non-compete, Noncompete, Restrictive Covenant

Welcome to the CBP Employment Law Blog!

By: Attorney J. Paul Porter

Starting this year, with the rollout of our new website, the attorneys and professional staff at Cromer Babb & Porter will make regular blog posts on this site to keep our peers, clients, and the community at-large up-to-date on news and developments in the law that relate to our practice areas.

This includes developments in employment discrimination law, legal issues concerning claims of sexual assault and sexual harassment, women’s rights more broadly, business law, wrongful termination law, government employee rights, and relevant new case law at the South Carolina Supreme Court, South Carolina Court of Appeals, and Federal Appellate Courts.

Our particular focus will be developments in the law or related current events that impact South Carolina workers and small businesses.

We will also keep you updated on important events and news concerning our lawyers and staff.

If you have questions about any of our posts, feel free to leave a comment on the post. We want this site to serve as an interactive hub for discussing cutting edge legal issues in our practice areas!

*This blog is a blog. It does not create an attorney-client relationship, and it’s content is not individualized advice. CBP does not have an attorney-client relationship with you unless you have an executed retainer with us.*

Business Law, Cromer Babb Porter & Hicks, Discrimination, Employment Law, Government Employees, Labor Law, Law, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, State Employees, Women's Rights, Worker's Rights, Wrongful Termination

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Cromer Babb & Porter, LLC provides the information on this website for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute as formal legal advice. The use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship, and further communication with our attorneys through the website and email may not be considered as confidential or privileged. Any result achieved on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients. Clients may be responsible for costs in addition to attorney’s fees. Please consult with our firm prior to relying on any information found on this site.