Ms. Nikole Mergo is a member licensed and representing clients in both South Carolina and North Carolina, practicing in complex commercial litigation with a concentration on employment litigation defense and advice and counseling, unfair business practices, and healthcare employment work. She also has experience in the coordination of the defense of nationwide litigation filed in South Carolina, class action practice, and pharmaceutical pricing defense.
Ms. Mergo also provides daily employment law advice and counseling, as well as litigation defense, to corporate clients, including health care entities and providers (see article regarding an amicus brief here) and manufacturers, as well as locally owned businesses. She assists those clients on matters involving all aspects of employment law, including representation before the District Courts of South and North Carolina, the EEOC and SHAC, and the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.
Ms. Mergo received her B.A. in English with distinction from the University of Virginia in 1996. In 1999, she received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was a Semi-Finalist in the Lile Moot Court Competition and Senior Editorial Board Member of the Virginia Journal of International Law.
· Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Labor and Employment (2013)
· IADC Trial Academy - 2003 Graduate
· Former Member, University of Virginia Jefferson Scholars Regional Selection Committee
· South Carolina Super Lawyer - Rising Star, Employment Litigation: Defense and Business Litigation(2012)
77 Nexsen Pruet Attorneys Named to the 2014 Edition of Best Lawyers in America®
Nexsen Pruet is pleased to announce that 77 attorneys have been named to Best Lawyers in America for 2014.
Nexsen Pruet Attorneys Recognized By Peers; Twenty-Eight Named to 2013 Super Lawyers® List for South Carolina
Nexsen Pruet is pleased to announce the attorneys who have been listed in the 2013 edition of South Carolina Super Lawyers®.
Nexsen Pruet Attorneys Named to the 2013 Edition of Best Lawyers in America®
Nexsen Pruet attorneys have been named to the Best Lawyers in America® list for 2013.
Attorneys Recognized By Peers; Twenty-Four Named to 2012 Super Lawyers® List for South Carolina
Nexsen Pruet is pleased to announce that twenty-four attorneys have been listed in the 2012 edition of South Carolina Super Lawyers®.
The Palmetto Center for Women Honors Nexsen Pruet and Attorney Nikole Mergo
The Palmetto Center for Women recognized Nexsen Pruet and attorney Nikole Mergo at its annual "Honoring Women in Achievement" awards luncheon in Columbia. Mergo received the 2011 Corporate TWIN Award while the law firm received the Palmetto Center for Women Award.
Nexsen Pruet Named One of the "Best Companies in the Midlands For Working Moms"
Nexsen Pruet is the only law firm recognized by the program.
Nexsen Pruet Earns Designation as 'Midlands Green Business'
Nexsen Pruet has earned designation as a Midlands Green Business, joining other Columbia-area organizations that are committed to environmentally responsible practices in the workplace.
New Year, New Changes to the FMLA and ADA
The Employment and Labor Law Practice Group of Nexsen Pruet, LLC will present free breakfast briefings to update human resources professionals on two significant changes that will effect labor and employment laws in 2009.
Nexsen Pruet Elects Four New Members
Nexsen Pruet announced that Melissa L. Azallion, Brian C. Bonner, Nikole Setzler Mergo, and Suzanne Guitar Odom have been elected Members (partners) of the firm.
Immigration Alert: E-Verify Is Currently Unavailable
As of October 1, 2013, employers will not be able to access their E-Verify accounts because of the federal government's partial shutdown.
Newsletter: Exchange Notice to be Delivered to All Employees by October 1, 2013
As part of the ongoing compliance efforts related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), employers who are subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must provide notice to their employees of the existence of health insurance exchange marketplaces no later than October 1, 2013.
Obesity as a Disability Under the ADA: Is it More Likely Now Than Before?
In July, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a new policy that officially labels obesity as a disease, "requiring a range of medical interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention."
Two Supreme Court Rulings Improve Employer's Ability to Defend Against Harassment, Retaliation Claims
On June 24, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down two critical decisions regarding Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which improve an employer's ability to defend against employee claims of harassment and retaliation.
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.
Employers Beware: NLRB Continues to Target Policies and Agreements
The National Labor Relations Board continues its pursuit of employee handbooks and employment contracts in a series of recent decisions examining the lawfulness of confidentiality and alternative dispute resolution policies and agreements.
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.
Employers Faced January 1, 2013, Deadline to Update Fair Credit Reporting Act Notice
Effective January 1, 2013, there was 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: 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.
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.
Amicus curiae brief filed on behalf of the South Carolina Hospital Association
On August 9, 2010, the South Carolina Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case of Blair Mathis v. Brown & Brown of South Carolina, in which Nexsen Pruet's Nikole Mergo filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the South Carolina Hospital Association.
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 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.
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.
Employment Law Update - April 2008
This edition analyzes an important court ruling relating to the drafting, interpretation, and enforcement of invention assignment clauses in employment agreements.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Employment Law Quarterly Breakfast Briefing
Sexual Harassment - Survival Tips and Myths: Employment Law Quarterly Breakfast Briefing
Employment Law Quarterly Breakfast Briefing
Association of Corporate Counsel: September CLE Series
Employment Law Quarterly Breakfast Briefing
Employment Law Quarterly Breakfast Briefings
Webinar: Immigration Compliance & Enforcement Update
Leave or Left - FMLA and Unemployment Benefits
Civic & Professional Memberships
· American Bar Association
· North Carolina Bar
· Richland County Bar Association
· South Carolina Bar
· Palmetto Center for Women, Board of Directors