Poyner Spruill Welcomes Education Law Practice Group

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Cecil Harrison

t: 919.783.2814

Cecil maintains an active employment litigation practice, conducts workplace investigations, and counsels clients on various employment related matters.


Cecil’s experience is broad and includes civil cases and administrative matters arising under Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, The Family Medical Leave Act of 1994 and North Carolina Wage and Hour Act. He has also litigated a number of common law claims to verdict, including claims of fraud, contract, intentional and negligent infliction of mental distress, defamation, franchise, and wrongful discharge actions. He has handled numerous cases on appeal, at both federal and state level and has an extensive practice before numerous administrative agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Employment Security Commission, and the North Carolina Department of Labor. When not litigating, Cecil counsels clients on employment issues, and he frequently helps clients develop strategies for employment situations such as reductions in force and disciplinary matters, conducts workplace investigations, and prepares reports related to investigations. He has been involved in audits of clients’ employment practices (e.g., handbooks, pay practices, methods of discipline) to help ensure employers are in compliance with all applicable laws, and counsels clients on possible system improvements.

Areas of Focus


Smith v. ElectriCities of North Carolina, Inc. (EDNC 2008)

McNeil v. Scotland County (US App 2003)

EEOC v. Roman Catholic Diocese (US App 2000)

Hawkins v. PepsiCo, Inc. (US App 2000)

Chmil v. Rulisa Operating Co. (US App 1994)  Mitchell v. Data General Corporation (US App 1993)

American Hotel Management Associates, Inc. v. Jones (US App 1985)

Pardasani v. Martin Marietta Material, Inc. (US MDNC. 2004)

McNeil v. Scotland County (US MDNC 2002)

Speck v. North Carolina Dairy Foundation, Inc. (NC Sup. 1984)

Mazda Motors of America, Inc. v. Southwestern Motors, Inc. (NC Sup. 1979)

Gravitte v. Mitsubishi Semiconductor Am., Inc. (NC App. 1993)

General Motors Corporation v. Carolina Truck & Body Co. (NC App 1991)

Hagan v. Peden Steel Co. (NC App.)

T.A. Loving Co. v. Oscar Miller Contractor, Inc. (NC App 1980)

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University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D., 1973

University of North Carolina, B.A., 1969

+Notable Accomplishments

Recognized as a Leading Attorney by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Labor and Employment Law), 2010-2011

Ranked among Super Lawyers magazine’s Top 100 North Carolina Super Lawyers, (Labor and Employment), 2006 – 2007, 2009-2015, and 2018

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year for 2010, 2012, and the Raleigh Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year for 2015, (Commercial Litigation) 2003 – 2017, 2021, 2023-2024; (Labor and Employment Law) 2008 – 2012, 2021; (Employment Law – Management) 2013-2017, 2021, 2023-2024; (Litigation – Labor and Employment) 2013-2017, 2021, 2023-2024; and (Bet-the-Company Litigation) 2010 – 2017, 2021, 2023-2024; (Corporate Law) 2024; (Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law) 2024

Recognized in Business North Carolina Magazine’s “Legal Elite” (Employment Law), 2004 – 2008, 2012-2016, 2022

+Professional & Community Activities

North Carolina Bar Association

Wake County Bar Association

American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section

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Contact Cecil

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