Patterson Harkavy is a North Carolina law firm advocating for the rights of workers, the injured, and the criminally accused. For over forty years, our highly respected attorneys have helped clients obtain substantial monetary awards and have won landmark cases improving the lives of all citizens of North Carolina.
Patterson Harkavy regularly litigates cases involving police misconduct, employment discrimination, workers’ compensation, organized labor, and wrongful convictions. Our attorneys are consistently chosen among the Best Lawyers in America, and the North Carolina Business Journal has ranked our lawyers among North Carolina’s “legal elite.”
We commit our expertise and resources to every client’s case. Find out how we can help today.
Patterson Harkavy is dedicated to fighting for civil rights and workers’ rights in North Carolina, and throughout the South. Our attorneys provide thorough, compassionate, and effective representation to employees, labor unions, criminal defendants, victims of police misconduct, and the wrongfully accused. From private negotiations with employers, to public social justice initiatives, we stand by our clients, acting as forceful and empathetic advocates on their behalf. Together, we are working to promote sustainable and meaningful change across the South.
In Wilkes v. City of Greenville, 369 N.C. 730, 746, 799 S.E.2d 838, 849 (2017), we secured a ruling that workers need not rely on expert testimony to establish that a work search would be futile.
In North Carolina Association of Educators v. North Carolina, we obtained a unanimous ruling from the North Carolina Supreme Court restoring public school teachers’ employment protections.
We represented Duke University’s adjunct faculty in one of the first successful union campaigns of private university faculty in the South
Civil rights cases are particularly difficult to prove. That means you need to have a strong case before you consider filing a complaint. A civil rights case is especially strong where it involves severe misconduct, resulted in substantial and documented harm, affected large numbers of people, or reflects a demonstrated pattern of behavior over time. Talk to a civil rights attorney to discuss the strength of your civil rights case.
Under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, it is illegal for an employer with at least 15 employees to fire, refuse to hire, or make any employment decision because of your race, color, religion, sex (gender) or national origin. This includes a wide variety of employment decisions, such as compensation, shift assignments, employment benefits, privileges, promotions, and task assignments, as well as more traditional hiring and firing decisions. There are also laws protecting against age discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and disability discrimination.
Injuries should be reported to your employer in writing immediately or as soon as possible. Claims may be filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission by completing and sending in a Form 18 to the Industrial Commission along with copies to the employer or insurer. Working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to complete and send in this form can help improve the chance your application for benefits will be granted.
Private sector employees have the right to organize and join unions under federal labor law. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is the federal law enacted in 1935 that governs the relationship between unions and private sector employers. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is the government agency charged with the administration and enforcement of the NLRA.
Section 7 of the NLRA protects the rights of employees (both union and nonunion) to form a union, and to engage in “concerted activity for mutual aid and protection.” In other words, employees have the right to engage in activity on behalf of or with one or more coworkers with the goal of improving working conditions. Examples of activity protected by Section 7 of the NLRA include:
Section 8 of the NLRA prohibits employers and unions from engaging in “unfair labor practices” or “ULPs.” That means it is illegal for employers to interfere with or restrain employees’ Section 7 rights. For example, it is illegal for employers to:
Unions can file charges against employers for engaging in unfair labor practices (ULP charges) within six months of the unlawful conduct.