C. Grainger Pierce, Jr. practices in the firm’s Employment and Labor Law group.
Mr. Pierce's experience includes employment litigation, employment policy and compliance assessment, ERISA litigation, insurance coverage litigation and commercial litigation. In addition, Mr. Pierce has successfully represented clients before the North Carolina Supreme Court and North Carolina Court of Appeals.
He earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University and his law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill. He has also served as an instructor in the Duke University and University of North Carolina - Charlotte paralegal programs.
- Named a 2012 “Leader in the Law” by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly
- Named among North Carolina's "Legal Elite" by Business North Carolina for 2010, 2011 & 2012
- Named a North Carolina Super Lawyers® "Rising Star" for 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013
- To Pay or Not to Pay? The Test for the Unpaid Intern
As the end of another academic year approaches, college students across the country are seeking summer employment opportunities.
- FMLA's Twentieth Birthday
On February 5, 2013, the Family and Medical Leave Act turned 20 years old. Coinciding with this milestone, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a new final rule, which codifies further additions and revisions to the FMLA. This newsletter highlights some of the changes.
- New I-9 Form Shows More Changes May be in Store for Employers
On March 8, 2013, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a new two-page version of Form I-9, together with six pages of instructions. This article explains some of the notable features of the revised Form I-9.
- Update: Noncompete Agreements in SC are Worth More Than the Paper They're Written On
In light of the restrictive nature with which South Carolina courts have historically viewed noncompetition agreements, many people assume they are not enforceable and, in essence, “not worth the paper they’re written on.” However, in January of this year, the South Carolina Court of Appeals upheld a physician’s noncompetition agreement and expanded the scope of enforceable noncompetition agreements in this state.
- Employment Law Update: U.S. Supreme Court Set to Define "Supervisor" for Purposes of Title VII
The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments in a case that could have a significant impact on employer liability. Specifically, as the result of an appeal in Vance v. Ball State University, et al, 646 F.3d 461 (7th Cir. 2011), the Court is poised to decide who qualifies as a “supervisor” for purposes of liability under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
- 2012 Employment and Labor Law Final Exam Answer Key
We received a great response to the 2012 Employment and Labor Law Final Exam. Thanks to all of our clients and friends who participated this year.
- 2012 Employment and Labor Law Final Exam
As 2012 comes to a close, it is time to put your employment and labor law knowledge to the test with Nexsen Pruet’s second annual final exam. We will send out answers to the exam in two weeks.
- Employment Law Update: Employers Face FCRA Update Deadline of January 1, 2013
Effective January 1, 2013, there is a new form that employers must provide prospective or current employees when conducting background checks subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
- Employment Law Update: Recent Cases Address Employer Efforts to Protect Confidential Information
In recent months, both the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over federal cases in North and South Carolina, and the South Carolina Supreme Court have addressed the issue of protecting trade secrets and confidential information.
- Employment Law - Business Immigration Update
Over the past few months, there have been several immigration developments that could have a significant impact on businesses in North and South Carolina. This update summarizes the key developments for employers.
- Employment Law Update - Employers Beware: NLRB Challenges Established HR Practices
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a number of recent opinions questioning and, in some instances, invalidating common employer practices and policies on the grounds of protecting employee rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The impact of these decisions on handbook disclaimers and investigative procedures is addressed below.
- Employment Law Update - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Upcoming Deadlines Require Employer Action
After months of anticipation and seemingly endless public debate, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision
upholding the key individual mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). While the
significance of the decision cannot be overestimated, the real import is its practical effect on employers.
- New Rule Makes “Reasonable Factors Other Than Age” Defense More Difficult for Employers
On March 29, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a final rule making it more difficult for
employers to establish a “reasonable factor other than age” defense for disparate impact claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
- Recent Guidelines for Employers of Active Duty & Veteran Service Members
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued timely and relevant guidance for employers addressing protections afforded veterans under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Keep Your Ears Peeled: Employment Law Update on the FLSA's "Anti-retaliation" Provision
In this issue we describe and discuss a recent federal appeals court decision concluding that internal complaints about pay may be protected by the FLSA’s anti-retaliation provision.
- Employment Law Update: Romance in the Workplace: You, Me and our Employer?
As Valentine's Day approaches, here are some interesting facts for employers to consider.
- Recent Ruling that Class Action Waivers are Illegal Shows NLRB Remains Active
On January 3, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that a class action waiver in a mandatory employment arbitration agreement is illegal.
- I-9 Compliance: Avoiding Traps of New Federal Security Features
A redesigned federal document is leading to confusion as businesses try to comply with the I-9 requirement.
- Employment Law Update - January 2012
As employers plan for 2012, the inherent risk posed by departing employees presents an opportunity to reevaluate measures used to protect confidential information and trade secrets from the high cost of misappropriation.
- NLRB Delays Requirement for Employers to Post Pro-Union Notice
On August 25, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued regulations requiring virtually all employers to post a large notice to employees informing them of rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), particularly their right to unionize. Employers must post the notice beginning April 30th, 2012.
- Employment Law Update - December 2011
The EEOC is processing a record number of charges and collecting record settlement amounts. It is pursuing an aggressive systemic enforcement program and focusing on hiring issues. In this edition we discuss what the EEOC is doing and some of the implications for employers.
- 2011 Employment and Labor Law - Final Exam Answer Key
Last week's final exam generated tremendous response from Nexsen Pruet clients and friends. Congratulations to our winners.
- 2011 Employment and Labor Law - Final Exam
It's time to test your knowledge of the current state of employment and labor law.
- Pro-Union NLRB Presents Challenges to Employers: Employment Law Update - October 2011
Recent pro-union decisions and proposed rules by the NLRB pose challenges for employers.
- Wrongful Discharge Claims Limit Employment At-Will Doctrine in North and South Carolina: Employment Law Update - September 2011 Supplemental
Employment in North and South Carolina is at-will, which generally means an employer can terminate an employee at any time without notice. However, both states have long-recognized exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine, including provisions that an employee cannot be discharged for reasons that contravene the “public policy” of the state.
- Employment Law Update - August 2011 Supplemental
This edition is about a United States Supreme Court decision that illustrates the importance of using clear wording when drafting employee invention assignment agreements.
- Employment Law Update - August 2011
South Carolina and North Carolina have passed state immigration laws mandating employment verification and imposing penalties for failure to comply.
- Employment Law Update - July 2011
Employers are increasingly disciplining workers over misuse of social media. At issue in so-called “Facebook Firing” cases is whether terminating employees for making disparaging online posts, and having policies prohibiting such posts, violates federal labor law.
- Employment Law Update - June 2011
This edition analyzes the EEOC's new final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008.
- Employment Law Update - May 2011
The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that the anti-retaliation provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) extends to an employee’s oral complaints.
- Employment Law Update - April 2011
In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that an employer can be held liable for employment discrimination based upon the discriminatory animus of a supervisor who influenced, but did not make, the ultimate employment decision.
- Employment Law Update - March 2011
A new U.S. Supreme Court decision allows third-party retaliation claims under Title VII.
- Employment Law Update - February 2011
This edition reviews inclement weather wage and hour issues.
- Employment Law Update - January 2011
Pregnancy discrimination claims are on the rise; and the NLRB proposes a mandatory pro-union poster for all employers.
- Employment Law Update - December 2010
New final regulations under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act were published by the EEOC in November and will take effect January 10, 2011.
- Employment Law Update - November 2010
This edition addresses the enforceability of non-competition agreements in the Carolinas.
- Employment Law Update - October 2010
This edition focuses on a recent lawsuit brought by the EEOC on behalf of an applicant who claims his employer discriminated against him because of his religion in violation of federal law. The applicant requested the employer make an exception to its grooming policy for religious reasons. The article also mentions steps employers can take to minimize the risk of religious discrimination claims.
- The Carolinas Insurance Litigation Review
This issue of the Carolinas Insurance Litigation Review includes:
- "Challenging Policyholder Claims for Bad Faith and Punitive Damages" for North Carolina
- "Combating Policyholder Bad Faith and Breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing Claims" for South Carolina
- Employment Law Update - September 2010 Supplemental
Part two of a two-part OSHA Update describing what employers can expect in connection with an inspection conducted by South Carolina OSHA and how to contest citations.
- Get Ready for New Guests: Federal Auditors to Come Calling
Following a substantial increase in funding and a mandate to increase its enforcement activities, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) is planning to audit hotels, motels, and resorts across the country beginning on October 1, 2010.
- Employment Law Update - September 2010
The U.S. Supreme Court continues to issue rulings favorable to arbitration agreements in the employment setting.
- Employment Law Update - August 2010 Supplemental
Part one of a two-part OSHA Update describing what employers can do to prepare for an inspection conducted by South Carolina OSHA.
- Employment Law Update - August 2010
This edition of the newsletter summarizes a Fact Sheet issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) setting out the agency's view of unpaid internships.
- Employment Law Update - June 2010
This edition reviews a recent decision by the Fourth Circuit federal appeals court examining who is a "supervisor" for purposes of holding a company liable for sexual harassment conduct by a supervisor.
- Employment Law Update - May 2010
On March 30, 2010, Governor Sanford signed legislation restructuring, and renaming, the South Carolina Employment Security Commission, and amending the state's employment security law. This month's update describes some of the changes that have taken place at the agency and in the benefits claims process.
- Employment Law Update - April 2010
Employer wins ADA suit brought by medical intern who could not perform the essential functions of his job with or without a reasonable accommodation.
- Employment Law Alert: The HIRE Act and FICA Taxation of Severance Benefits
Hiring for the HIRE Act: Federal Legislation Offers Substantial Incentives for Bringing on New Workers and Important New Development Affecting FICA Taxation of Severance Benefits
- Employment Law Update - March 2010
This edition describes new audit initiatives by the IRS and DOL that focus on potential misclassification of workers as independent contractors when they are, in fact, employees, as well as potential misclassification of employees as exempt from wage and hour laws when they do not meet the requirements for exempt status.
- Employment Law Update - February 2010
This month's Employment Law Update addresses some of the legal risks associated with employee use of blackberries and cell phones after work hours or while driving.
- Employment Law Update - January 2010
As the new year gets underway, the January edition of the Update discusses four resolutions employers will want to consider.
- Employment and Labor Law: 2009 Rewind
As we approach the end of 2009, we look back, scratch our heads, and ask, "What Happened"?
Topics covered include:
- ADA protections expanded
- Immigration requirements and inspections increased
- Miltary leave broadened
- EEO poster revised
- Other important legal changes this year
- Employment Law Update - December 2009
This edition addresses employment law issues arising from employee and employer use of online social networking sites.
- Employment Law Update - October 2009
This edition focuses on the EEOC's recent publication that addresses waivers of discrimination claims in employee severance agreements; the EEOC reminds employers and employees about requirements for valid and enforceable releases, especially when the releases are for employees age 40 and older.
- Employment Law Update - August 2009
This edition focuses on three Department of Labor opinion letters that address how cost-cutting strategies like mandatory furloughs and reduced workweeks may affect an employee's exempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. It also updates pending North Carolina legislation that, if passed, would require private sector employers to use E-Verify to check the legal status of new hires.
- Employment Law Update - July 2009
This edition discusses the U.S. Supreme Court’s Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc. decision, which recognized a more stringent standard of proof for employees bringing claims under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). According to the Court, a plaintiff asserting a disparate-treatment claim under the ADEA must prove that age was the “but-for” cause of an adverse employment action, as opposed to a mere “motivating factor.”
- Employment Law Update - June 2009 Supplemental
Starting July 1, 2009, private employers in South Carolina with 100 or more employees
must comply with the employment verification requirements of the South Carolina Illegal
Immigration Reform Act.
- Employment Law Update - June 2009
This edition focuses on recent court decisions striking down restrictive covenants for being overly broad and highlights the need to narrowly tailor non-compete and non-solicitation agreements.
- Employment Law Update - May 2009
This edition explains why many employers are seeking privileged legal compliance reviews of their compensation practices and documentation in the aftermath of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
A brief video update on immigration compliance developments is available by clicking here. Then, click on the video entitled "Immigration."
- Fiduciary Duty Newsletter - April 2009
The Nexsen Pruet Fiduciary Duty & Trade Secret Newsletter deals with topics of current interest in these two areas of the law that are critical to businesses and the people who manage, own, and direct businesses.
- Employment Law Update - October 2008
This edition summarizes the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), which expands the protections against discrimination based on disability included in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADAAA in effect overrules U.S. Supreme Court decisions that narrowly interpreted the ADA.
- Duke University, B.A., 1996
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, J.D., 1999
Bar & Court Admissions
- North Carolina
- Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
- US District Court, Western, Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina
Civic & Professional Memberships
- Board of Directors, Charlotte Area Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
- Defense Research Institute
- North Carolina Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Mecklenburg County Bar Association