Christopher J. Near

Of Counsel Columbia

Christopher (“Chris”) Near works closely with employers to provide advice and representation on employment-related issues that may arise under state or federal statute, regulation, or common law, with a focus on federal and South Carolina law. Chris also provides companies with guidance on handling day-to-day personnel matters and offers advice generally with implementing best practices for employment matters that arise in the normal course of business.


Experience

Chris focuses his practice on assisting federal contractors and subcontractors to comply with legally-mandated employment and reporting obligations, as well as defending compliance reviews and enforcement proceedings brought by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the United States Department of Labor (USDOL). Some of the issues that Chris provides assistance and advice on include:

  • Jurisdictional analyses;
  • Evaluations of adverse impact and statistical disparity issues;
  • Responses to audit requests and findings; and
  • Preventative measures for continued compliance.

In addition to focusing on affirmative action compliance, Chris has spent more than ten years defending lawsuits and administrative complaints of all sizes in state court, federal court, and various state and federal administrative agencies (such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, South Carolina Human Affairs Commission, and South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation).

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • South Carolina Bar Association
  • Richland County Bar Association
  • Lexington County Bar Association
  • South Carolina Industry Liaison Group
  • Columbia Opportunity Resource – Member (2012-present), Board of Directors (2013-2015); Programs Action Team, Lead (2014-2015)

Speeches:

  • South Carolina Association of Corporate Counsel, Annual Tri-City Employment Law Briefing - ''The Avalanche is Here: The Latest on Pay Equity Legislation, Audits, and Litigation'' - Charleston - October 26, 2017
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Federal Affirmative Action Laws'' - Columbia - August 10, 2017
  • South Carolina Association of Corporate Counsel Employment Law Briefing - ''Panel Discussion: Emerging Issues in Employment Law – spoliation and e-discovery, equal pay, overtime regulations, immigration and background checks'' - Greenville - October 06, 2016
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Federal Affirmative Action Laws'' - Columbia - August 11, 2016
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Protecting Personal Information and ESI: Employer Obligations and Pitfalls'' - Columbia - December 10, 2015
  • South Carolina Association of Corporate Counsel Labor and Employment Law Update - ''OFCCP Update – New Data Requests for Federal Contractors'' - Columbia - December 08, 2015
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Preparing an Effective Handbook'' - Columbia - August 13, 2015
  • 2015 Employment Law Certificate Series - ''Handbooks, Policies and Other HR Communications'' - Charlotte - April 09, 2015
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Protecting Personal Information and ESI: Employer Obligations and Pitfalls'' - Columbia - December 11, 2014
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Preparing an Effective Handbook'' - Columbia - August 14, 2014
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance'' - Columbia - May 08, 2014
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Preparing an Effective Handbook'' - Columbia - August 08, 2013
  • South Carolina Association of Corporate Counsel Labor and Employment Law Update - ''What is 'Reasonable Accommodation' Under the ADA, FMLA, and Title VII (Pregnancy and Religion)?'' - Columbia - February 28, 2013
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Preparing an Effective Handbook'' - Columbia - August 09, 2012
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance'' - Columbia - May 10, 2012
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Protecting Personal Information And ESI: Employer Obligations And Pitfalls'' - Columbia - December 08, 2011
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Preparing an Effective Handbook'' - Columbia - August 11, 2011
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Did I Hire An Axe Murderer?! Reference Checks and Workplace Violence'' - Columbia - December 09, 2010
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Preparing an Effective Handbook'' - Columbia - August 12, 2010
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Preparing an Effective Handbook'' - Columbia - May 14, 2009
  • Pee Dee Employer Council meeting - ''Legal Update'' - Bennettsville - February 12, 2009
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Did I Hire An Axe Murderer?! Reference Checks and Workplace Violence'' - Columbia - December 11, 2008
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 – Expanding Coverage for Employees'' - Columbia - October 21, 2008
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - ''Preparing an Effective Handbook'' - Columbia - May 08, 2008
  • 2008 HUB Contractor Business Academy - ''Employee Obligations & EEO Laws'' - Charleston - March 11, 2008
  • 2008 HUB Contractor Business Academy - ''Employee Obligations & EEO Laws'' - Fayetteville - February 28, 2008
  • 61st Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies - ''Discovery of Electronically-Stored Information: Federal and State Implications'' - Charleston - October 22, 2007
  • 2007 session of the South Carolina Bankers School - ''Labor and Employment Law Overview'' - Columbia - July 08, 2007
  • 2007 Updates In Employment Law, presented by the Employers Association of South Carolina - ''New Drug Testing Requirements & Update On Privacy Laws'' - Columbia - April 26, 2007
  • Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 2007 Spring Legal Committee Meeting - ''Discovery of Electronically-Stored Information: Federal and State Implications'' - Charleston - April 12, 2007

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