Introduction to Public Employment Law

    Whether you are new to human resources, an experienced HR professional new to the public sector or looking to update your skills, or an attorney newly assigned employment issues for your agency, Introduction to Public Employment Law is the course for you! This five-day course provides a thorough grounding in the major legal topics relevant to human resources management. Topics include:

    • Employment at will and its exceptions     
    • Antidiscrimination law                                         
    • Hiring                                                                   
    • 1st Amendment and Employee Free Speech        
    • 4th Amendment and Employee Drug Testing      
    • Property Rights in Employment                          
    • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
    • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    • Workers Compensation
    • NC’s Personnel Privacy Laws
    • Discipline and Discharge

    The course material is presented by a variety of experts in the field of public employment law, including School of Government faculty and attorneys specializing in public employment. The lead instructor is Diane Juffras of the School of Government.  All sessions will be conducted at the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

    Introduction to Public Employment Law is open to employees of North Carolina state and local governments and affiliated organizations who have responsibilities for human resource functions, and to attorneys in private practice who represent public sector clients in employment matters. The course is designed for those who are new to public employment law and human resource management but is also appropriate for those who are new to public-sector employment issues or are brushing up on recent changes to the law.

    In previous years, enrollment in this course has been as diverse as the public sector itself. Participants have come from city and county government, state agencies, the staff of the General Assembly, Office of State Personnel and Administrative Office of the Courts, as well as from the community college system and the UNC system. Attorney participants have included city and county attorneys, police attorneys, social services attorneys, and attorneys representing area mental health authorities.

    This course should be taken before the School of Government’s advanced offerings in employment law, including the Public Employment Law Update, Advanced FLSA Workshop, Advanced FMLA Workshop and Advanced ADA Workshop and Employee Benefits Law.

    Attendance at IPEL should count toward 13 of the 50 points needed for IPMA-HR recertification, 25.75 of the 60 PDCs needed for SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification, and 25.75 of the 60 credits needed for PHR or SPHR recertification. While Introduction to Public Employment Law is not a pre-approved program for IPMA, SHRM or HRCI recertification, we will provide you with a certificate of completion and a syllabus which you can use to apply for your credits from those organizations. The course material is consistent with the continuing education requirements of all three organizations.

    PDF icon2019 IPEL Agenda.pdf

    Local Government Federal Credit Union offers scholarships to local government employees to apply toward tuition for conferences, classes, and seminars offered by the School of Government. There are four deadlines to submit applications:

    • March 1 (for courses starting between April 1 and June 30)
    • June 1 (for courses starting between July 1 and September 30)
    • September 1 (for courses starting between October 1 and December 31)
    • December 1 (for courses starting between January 1 and March 31)
    Total25.75 hrs
    There currently are no scheduled offerings of this course.

    PDF icon2019 IPEL Agenda.pdf


    Trey Allen, who will be teaching a session on public employee liability, has asked that you have access to the blog posts linked to below. The posts provide helpful background information about important liability defenses for local governments and local officials. You are not expected to read the posts in advance of Trey’s session.

    Governmental Immunity for Activities Designated by Statute as Governmental Functions?

    Governmental Immunity for Local Government Buildings: What Are the Current Rules?

    Tort Liability for Negligent Housing Inspection Resulting in Injury?

    Bigelow v. Town of Chapel Hill: When May State Constitutional Claims Against Local Governments Be Dismissed?


    For all registration questions, resetting passwords, or login issues please contact:

    Dale Zuckert

    Assistant Registrar, Registration and Client Services Group
    For questions regarding course details, including location, schedule, materials, and continuing education credits, please contact:

    Charmain Cale

    Program Manager, Local and State Government Group
    Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Term Professor of Public Law and Government