David E. Dubberly: Lawyer with Nexsen Pruet, LLC

David E. Dubberly

View David E. Dubberly 's Martindale-Hubbell Connected Profile
Columbia,  SC  U.S.A.

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Practice Areas

  • Start-ups
  • International Business Transactions
  • International Litigation
  • Privacy
  • Employment & Labor Law
  • Immigration
  • International Law and Services
  • Litigation
  • Business Disputes
  • Employees and Technology
  • Employment Immigration
  • Franchise
  • Agribusiness
  • Technology Disputes and Litigation
  • Emerging Technology
  • Manufacturing
University Bob Jones University, B.A., 1981
Law SchoolUniversity of South Carolina, J.D., 1984
Admitted1984, South Carolina; South Carolina all state and federal courts; U.S. Court of International Trade; U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Sixth, and Federal Circuits

Civic & Professional Memberships

•South Carolina Chamber of Commerce - Board of Directors
•Midlands Technical College Foundation - Board of Directors
•Columbia Urban League - Former Board of Directors
•South Carolina District Export Council - Council Member
•Central SC Alliance's Committee of 100 - Board of Directors
•South Carolina Supreme Court - Former Chair, Employment and Labor Law Specialization Advisory Board
•American Bar Association - Former Co-Chair, International Law Section, Employment Committee; Former Chair, International Law Section, Foreign Investments in the U.S. Committee
•South Carolina Bar - Former Chair, Employment and Labor Law Section; Former Chair, International Law Committee


David Dubberly is an award-winning attorney who chairs Nexsen Pruet's Employment and Labor Law Group and co-chairs the firm's International Law Team. In a career of almost three decades, he has built a strong track record rooted in determination and ingenuity and has become a go-to attorney for companies seeking legal counsel in compliance matters, defense of government investigations, litigation, and mediation and arbitration.

Delivering Solutions for Complex Employment Matters

David focuses on providing clients with the tools and insights they need to expose potential issues on the front end and shape appropriate responses to keep possible disputes from becoming a reality. When problems do occur, David draws upon his litigation experience to aggressively seek favorable outcomes through mediation, arbitration, and trial.

David is certified by the South Carolina Supreme Court as a Specialist in Employment and Labor Law. He is well-versed in matters involving:
•Trade secrets;
•Non-compete agreements;
•Occupational Health and Safety Administration investigations;
•Discrimination, harassment, and retaliation;
•Wage and hour disputes;
•Employment, severance, and other related agreements; and
•Immigration compliance.

An Intuitive Approach to International Law

In addition to his employment and labor law practice, David co-leads the firm's International Law attorneys, who routinely help clients minimize the risks and maximize the opportunities associated with doing business globally. The team advises clients on a number of matters, from economic development and business transactions to tax law, investigations, litigation and arbitration, and immigration compliance.

David has experience negotiating sales, supply, manufacturing, joint venture, distribution, agency, licensing, and other related agreements. He also handles disputes related to international commercial agreements.


•Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers since 2004
•Listed in Best Lawyers in America since 2006
•Listed in South Carolina Super Lawyers since 2008
•Listed in Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition since 2009
•Certified by the South Carolina Supreme Court as a Specialist in Employment and Labor Law since 1993

Speaking & Writing

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Sweet Carolina: South Carolina Opens Doors to the Worldwide Marketplace
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April 30, 2013
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Back to the Future: How social media has revolutionized the business world
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MidlandsBiz Podcast Series: Workplace and Domestic Violence
February 24, 2015
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S.C. Supreme Court Upholds Confidentiality and Holdover Inventions Assignment Clauses in Employment Agreement
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EEOC Lawsuit Challenges Commonly Used Language In Severance Agreements
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Supreme Court Expands Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection to Employees of Private Companies
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Franchise POST: Actions May Speak Louder than Words: Can Franchise Agreements Protect Franchisors from Liability as Joint Employers?
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DOL Proposes Changes to White Collar Overtime Pay Exemptions
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Flooding, Storm Cleanup, and OSHA
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OSHA Targets Agribusiness Industry with New Citations
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New Year's Resolution for Employers: Review Employee Handbooks and Agreements
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Employment Law Update: Background Becomes Battleground
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently filed federal lawsuits against Dollar General and a BMW manufacturing plant in South Carolina based on the EEOC's revised guidance concerning use of criminal background checks.

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 revi sions 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.

S.C. Supreme Court Upholds Confidentiality and Holdover Inventions Assignment Clauses in Employment Agreement
David Dubberly breaks down a significant South Carolina Supreme Court ruling about invention assignment clauses in employment agreements.

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.

Justice Department and SEC Issue Guidance on Anti-Bribery Law
Employment and Labor Law attorney David Dubberly addresses the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission's “resource guide” to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

New Federal Law Increases Trade Secret Protection
Nexsen Pruet Employment and Labor Law attorney David Dubberly discusses the Theft of Trade Secrets Clarification Act, which amends and expands the Economic Espionage Act (EEA).

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.

S.C. Supreme Court Upholds Confidentiality and “Holdover” Inventions Assignment Clauses in Employment Agreement
In its most significant employment law decision of 2012, Milliken & Co. v. Morin, the South Carolina Supreme Court addressed the enforceability of provisions in an employment agreement designed to protect the employer's intellectual property from unfair competition.

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).

Akerman/Mackrell International Latin American Business Initiative
Nexsen Pruet attorney David Dubberly told members of an international law firm network about the Carolina's economy, which has grown to become the 19th largest in the world -- behind Indonesia and ahead of Switzerland.

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.

Despite Lawsuit, Immigration Enforcement Set to Resume in S.C.
Regardless of what happens with a recently filed lawsuit, state regulators plan to begin enforcement of employment law provisions that take effect New Year's Day.

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.

On the Hook: Company Owners and Managers At Personal Risk for Unpaid Employee Wages
If a company does not timely pay all wages due to an employee, the South Carolina Payment of Wages Act (SCPWA) allows the employee to file a lawsuit for three times the amount of unpaid wages, plus court costs and attorneys fees. The lawsuit for unpaid wages can be filed not only against the company, but also against agents and officers who permit the company to violate the SCPWA.

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. Looking to hire? Be careful with non-compete deals This article was featured on MidlandsBiz.com in May of 2011. International Law Update Appeals court says international contract requires litigation in England.

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.

Legal Aspects of Distribution Agreements in Colombia
On January 31, Nexsen Pruet attorney David Dubberly spoke to a group of SC and NC companies that are considering participating in a U.S. Department of Commerce-sponsored trade mission to Colombia. Dubberly's topic was Legal Aspects of Distribution Agreements in Colombia.

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.

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.

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. Small businesses beware: S.C.'s illegal immigration crackdown enters new phase

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. COBRA Subsidy Extended and Expanded On December 19, 2009, President Obama signed into law the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010 (2010 DOD Act), part of which extends and expands the program that subsidizes continued health care coverage under COBRA for certain involuntarily terminated employees.

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
•Military 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. Managing the Holidays Employers who fail to consider holiday-related legal issues may end up having a blue Christmas. In addition to sugarplums, below are two issues to ponder as the holiday season approaches: the office party and holiday pay and time off.

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.

Immigration Compliance and Enforcement Update
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR) inspectors are calling on employers daily to audit compliance with federal and state immigration requirements. And the mandatory E-Verify Rule for Federal Contractors is scheduled to go into effect on September 8, 2009. Are you ready?

Employment Law Alert: Court Upholds Rule Requiring Federal Contractors to Use E-Verify
Removing what is likely the last hurdle to implementation, last week a U.S. District Court dismissed a lawsuit challenging implementation of the E-Verify Rule for federal contractors.

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.

International Contracting and Dispute Resolution
Nexsen Pruet attorney David Dubberly spoke at the 36th Annual South Carolina International Trade Conference in Charleston on May 26th. Dubberly led a seminar entitled “International Contracting and Dispute Resolution.”

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.

Employment Law Update - March 2009
This edition describes the recently enacted Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which extends the time period in which employees can pursue pay discrimination claims.

Employment Law Update - February 2009 - Special COBRA Edition
The economic stimulus law signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009, contains significant changes to COBRA, providing for a premium subsidy for eligible employees and also giving eligible individuals another chance to elect COBRA.

Employment Law Update - February 2009
This edition summarizes laws and issues that can impact Carolinas employers when downsizing or otherwise reducing payroll or schedules. Employment Law Update - January 2009 This edition summarizes key provisions of the new FMLA regulations, which will require substantial changes in employer policies and practices.

Video - Employment Law: How Will the 2008 Election Impact You and Your Business?
Employers can expect that efforts will be made to significantly change employment and labor laws and regulations over the next several months. Nexsen Pruet Employment and Labor Law attorneys David Dubberly, William Floyd, Cherie Blackburn and Mike Brittingham provide a briefing to help clients prepare for the changes.

Employment Law Update - December 2008
2009 promises to bring many changes and challenges for employers and their human resources departments. This edition identifies employment and labor law compliance issues that can be addressed through audits and employee surveys, as well as policy reviews and training.

Employment Law Update - November 2008
The EEOC has published new guidelines on religious discrimination.

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).

Employment Law Update - August 2008
Misclassifying workers as independent contractors when they are really employees can result in significant tax and other legal liabilities. This edition discusses the factors that apply in determining whether or not a worker can be properly classified as an independent contractor.

Employment Law Update - June 2008
The South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act, signed into law by Gov. Sanford on June 4, 2008, changes the legal landscape for employers doing business in the State by imposing new employment verification requirements and establishing penalties for noncompliance.


Workplace Investigations: Confidential or not? to the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce and Fairfield Economic Development agency on March 12, 2013.

Trade Secret Theft by Employees - New Risks, New Ways to Fight Back during a Society of Human Resources Management legal update on April 18, 2013.

Outside Nexsen Pruet

David grew up in South America and he and his children are avid fans of the Uruguayan national soccer teams. He is fluent in Spanish and has traveled throughout the region for business matters.

Outside of his positions within Nexsen Pruet, David serves on the Boards of Directors of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the Midlands Technical College Foundation. He previously served on the Board of Directors of the Columbia Urban League. Also, David represents Nexsen Pruet with Mackrell International, a network of independent law firms in over 75 jurisdictions.

David began his career serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Curtis G. Shaw of the South Carolina Court of Appeals.

Reported CasesNotable: Represented international, national, and regional firms in non-competition, non-solicitation, trade secrets, and confidential information lawsuits against industry competitors.; Defended employers in litigation for alleged discrimination and retaliation.; Represented companies in lawsuits alleging overtime pay violations.; Defended national employers in OSHA investigations of workplace fatalities and other OSHA investigations.; Represented regional firm in whistleblower investigation.; Defended regional companies in breach of contract and tortious interference cases.; Represented leading regional employers in the negotiation of employment and severance agreements for executives.; Advised companies in multiple industries (including the agriculture, banking, chemical, construction, engineering, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, medical device, mining, packaging, pharmaceutical, technology, and textile industries) and from several countries on general employment and labor law issues.

Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com

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New Year's Resolution for Employers: Review Employee Handbooks and Agreements
David E. Dubberly, January 5, 2016
A Nov. 24, 2015, decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over the Carolinas, about an arbitration provision included in an employee handbook serves as a warning to employers to review employee handbooks and agreements for the new year.

OSHA Targets Agribusiness Industry with New Citations
David E. Dubberly, November 5, 2015
In recent months, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited several agribusiness employers for alleged violations of its standards, proposing significant penalties against them.

Flooding, Storm Cleanup, and OSHA
David E. Dubberly, October 22, 2015
As the Midlands recovers from the effects of widespread flooding, and as rain-swollen rivers reach the coastal portions of the South Carolina, Federal OSHA and SC OSHA have issued warnings about potential hazards encountered in connection with flooding and storm cleanup.

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David E. Dubberly

1230 Main Street, Suite 700
ColumbiaSC 29201


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