State Law > North Carolina > North Carolina Employment Discrimination Law

North Carolina Employment Discrimination Law

 

North Carolina prohibits employment discrimination in the following sections of the General Statutes of North Carolina.


Equal Employment Practices Act
  • 143-422.2. Legislative declaration.
North Carolina Persons With Disabilities Protection Act
  • 168A-2. Purpose.
  • 168A-3. Terms defined.
  • 168A-4. Requests for reasonable accommodation.
  • 168A-5. Employment discrimination.
  • 168A-9. Defenses.
  • 168A-10. Prohibition of employer retaliation.
Sickle Cell/Hemoglobin C Discrimination
  • 95-28.1. Discrimination on account of sickle cell trait or hemoglobin C trait prohibited.
Discrimination against Military
  • 127B-11. Private employers.
  • 127B-12. Public employers.
  • 127A-202.1. North Carolina National Guard members - Discrimination prohibited.
Discrimination Prohibited - Other
  • 95-28.1A. Discrimination on the basis of genetic information prohibited.
  • 130A-148. Discrimination on the basis of AIDS/HIV. ....
Equal Employment and Opportunity in State Employment
  • 126-16. Equal opportunity for employment and compensation by State departments and agencies and local political subdivisions.
  • 126-17. Retaliation by State departments and agencies and local political subdivisions.
Protection for Reporting Harassment
  • 115C-335.5. Protection against retaliation for reporting harassment.

Equal Employment Practices Act

143-422.2. Legislative declaration.

It is the public policy of this State to protect and safeguard the right and opportunity of all persons to seek, obtain and hold employment without discrimination or abridgement on account of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap by employers which regularly employ 15 or more employees. It is recognized that the practice of denying employment opportunity and discriminating in the terms of employment foments domestic strife and unrest, deprives the State of the fullest utilization of its capacities for advancement and development, and substantially and adversely affects the interests of employees, employers, and the public in general.

143-422.3. Investigations; conciliations.

The Human Relations Commission in the Department of Administration shall have the authority to receive charges of discrimination from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission pursuant to an agreement under Section 709(b) of Public Law 88- 352, as amended by Public Law 92-261, and investigate and conciliate charges of discrimination. Throughout this process, the agency shall use its good offices to effect an amicable resolution of the charges of discrimination.

North Carolina Persons With Disabilities Protection Act

168A-2. Purpose.

(a) The purpose of this Chapter is to ensure equality of opportunity,to promote independent living, self-determination, and economic self-sufficiency, and to encourage and enable all persons with disabilities to participate fully to the maximum extent of their abilities in the social and economic life of the State, to engage in remunerative employment, to use available public accommodations and public services, and to otherwise pursue their rights and privileges as inhabitants of this State.

(b) The General Assembly finds that: the practice of discrimination based upon a disabling condition is contrary to the public interest and to the principles of freedom and equality of opportunity; the practice of discrimination on the basis of a disabling condition threatens the rights and proper privileges of the inhabitants of this State; and such discrimination results in a failure to realize the productive capacity of individuals to their fullest extent.

168A-3. Terms defined.
As used in this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Disabling condition" means any condition or characteristic that renders a person a person with a disability.

(1a) "Discriminatory practice" means any practice prohibited by this Chapter.

(2) "Employer" means any person employing 15 or more full-time employees within the State, but excluding a person whose only employees are hired to work as domestic or farm workers at that person's home or farm.

(3) "Employment agency" means a person regularly undertaking with or without compensation to procure for employees opportunities to work for an employer and includes an agent of such a person.

(4) Recodified as Section 168A-3(7).

(4a) "Information technology" has the same meaning as in G.S. 147-33.81. The term also specifically includes information transaction machines.

(5) Recodified as Section 168A-3(1).

(6) "Labor organization" means an organization of any kind, an agency or employee representation committee, a group association, or a plan, in which employees participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours, or other terms or conditions of employment.

(7) "Person" includes any individual, partnership, association, corporation, labor organization, legal representative, trustee, receiver, and the State and its departments, agencies, and political subdivisions.

(7a) "Person with a disability" means any person who (i) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities; (ii) has a record of such an impairment; or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment. As used in this subdivision, the term:

a. "Physical or mental impairment" means (i) any physiological disorder or abnormal condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss, caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness, affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or (ii) any mental disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, mental illness, specific learning disabilities, and other developmental disabilities, but (iii) excludes:

(A) sexual preferences;

(B) active alcoholism or drug addiction or abuse; and

(C) any disorder, condition or disfigurement which is temporary in nature leaving no residual impairment.

b. "Major life activities" means functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

c. "Has a record of such an impairment" means has a history of, or has been misclassified as having, a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits major life activities.

d. "Is regarded as having an impairment" means:

(i) has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities but that is treated as constituting such a limitation;

(ii) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities because of the attitudes of others; or

(iii) has none of the impairments defined in paragraph a. of this subdivision but is treated as having such an impairment.

(8) "Place of public accommodations" includes, but is not limited to, any place, facility, store, other establishment, hotel, or motel, which supplies goods or services on the premises to the public or which solicits or accepts the patronage or trade of any person.

(9) "Qualified person with a disability" means:

a. With regard to employment, a person with a disability who can satisfactorily perform the duties of the job in question, with or without reasonable accommodation, (i) provided that the person with a disability shall not be held to standards of performance different from other employees similarly employed, and (ii) further provided that the disabling condition does not create an unreasonable risk to the safety or health of the person with a disability, other employees, the employer's customers, or the public;

b. With regard to places of public accommodation a person with a disability who can benefit from the goods or services provided by the place of public accommodation; and

c. With regard to public services and public transportation a person with a disability who meets prerequisites for participation that are uniformly applied to all participants, such as income or residence, and that do not have the effect of discriminating against persons with a disability.

(10) "Reasonable accommodations" means:

a. With regard to employment, making reasonable physical changes in the workplace, including, but not limited to, making facilities accessible, modifying equipment and providing mechanical aids to assist in operating equipment, or making reasonable changes in the duties of the job in question that would accommodate the known disabling conditions of the person with a disability seeking the job in question by enabling him or her to satisfactorily perform the duties of that job; provided that "reasonable accommodation" does not require that an employer:

1. Hire one or more employees, other than the person with a disability, for the purpose, in whole or in part, of enabling the person with a disability to be employed; or

2. Reassign duties of the job in question to other employees without assigning to the employee with a disability duties that would compensate for those reassigned; or

3. Reassign duties of the job in question to one or more other employees where such reassignment would increase the skill, effort or responsibility required of such other employee or employees from that required prior to the change in duties; or 4. Alter, modify, change or deviate from bona fide seniority policies or practices; or

5. Provide accommodations of a personal nature, including, but not limited to, eyeglasses, hearing aids, or prostheses, except under the same terms and conditions as such items are provided to the employer's employees generally; or

6. Make any changes that would impose on the employer an undue hardship.

b. With regard to a place of public accommodations, making reasonable efforts to accommodate the disabling conditions of a person with a disability, including, but not limited to, making facilities accessible to and usable by persons with a disability, redesigning equipment, provide mechanical aids or other assistance, or using alternative accessible locations, provided that reasonable accommodations does not require efforts which would impose an undue hardship on the entity involved.

(11) "Undue hardship" means a significant difficulty or expense. The following factors shall be considered in determining whether an accommodation would impose an undue hardship:

a. The nature and cost of the accommodations needed under this Chapter.

b. The overall financial resources of the particular facility or facilities involved in the provision of the accommodation, the number of persons employed at the facility, the effect on expenses and resources at the facility, and any other impact on the operation of the facility.

c. The overall effect on the financial resources of the covered entity, the number of persons employed by the covered entity, and the number, type, and location of the covered entity's facilities.

d. The type of operations of the covered entity, including the composition, structure, and functions of the workforce of the entity, the geographic separateness of the particular facility to the covered entity, and the administrative or fiscal relationship of the particular facility to the covered entity.

168A-4. Requests for reasonable accommodation.

(a) A qualified person with a disability requesting a reasonable accommodation must apprise the employer, employment agency, labor organization, or place of public accommodation of his or her disabling condition, submit any necessary medical documentation, make suggestions for such possible accommodations as are known to such person with a disability, and cooperate in any ensuing discussion and evaluation aimed at determining possible or feasible accommodations.

(b) Once a qualified person with a disability has requested an accommodation, or if a potential accommodation is obvious in the circumstances, an employer, employment agency, labor or organization or place of public accommodation shall investigate whether there are reasonable accommodations that can be made and make reasonable accommodations as defined in G.S. 168A-3(10).

168A-5. Employment discrimination.

(a) Discriminatory practices. It is a discriminatory practice for:

(1) An employer to fail to hire or consider for employment or promotion, to discharge, or otherwise to discriminate against a qualified person with a disability on the basis of a disabling condition with respect to compensation or the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment;

(2) An employment agency to fail or refuse to refer for employment, or otherwise to discriminate against a qualified person with a disability on the basis of a disabling condition;

(3) A person controlling an apprenticeship, on-the-job, or other training or retraining program, to discriminate against a qualified person with a disability on the basis of a disabling condition in admission to, or employment in, a program established to provide apprenticeship or other training;

(4) An employer or employment agency to require an applicant to identify himself as a person with a disability prior to a conditional offer of employment; however, any employer may invite an applicant to identify himself as a person with a disability in order to act affirmatively on his behalf; or

(5) An employer, labor organization, or employment agency to fail to meet the duties imposed on them by G.S. 186A-4(b).

(b) Exemptions.--It is not a discriminatory action for an employer, employment agency, or labor organization:

(1) To make an employment decision on the basis of State and federal laws or regulations imposing physical, health, mental or psychological job requirements;

(2) To fail to hire, transfer or promote, or to discharge a person with a disability who has a history of drug abuse or who is unlawfully using drugs where the job in question is in an establishment that manufactures, distributes, dispenses, conducts research, stores, sells or otherwise handles controlled substances regulated by the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act, G.S. 90-86 et seq.;

(3) To fail to hire, transfer, or promote, or to discharge a person with a disability because the person has a communicable disease which would disqualify a person without a disability from similar employment;

(4) To fail to make reasonable accommodations where the person with a disability has not fulfilled the duties imposed by G.S. 168A-4;

(5) To inquire whether a person has the ability to perform the duties of the job in question;

(6) To require or request a person to undergo a medical examination, which may include a medical history, for the purpose of determining the person's ability or capacity to safely and satisfactorily perform the duties of available jobs for which the person is otherwise qualified, or to aid in determining possible accommodations for a disabling condition, provided (i) that an offer of employment has been made on the condition that the person meets the physical and mental requirements of the job with or without reasonable accommodation; and (ii) that the examination, unless limited to determining the extent to which a person's disabling condition would interfere with his or her ability or capacity to safely and satisfactorily perform the duties of the job in question or the possible accommodations for a disabling condition, is required of all persons conditionally offered employment for the same position regardless of disabling condition;

(7) To obtain medical information or to require or request a medical examination where such information or examination is for the purpose of establishing an employee health record;

(8) To administer pre-employment tests, provided that the tests (i) measure only job-related abilities, (ii) are required of all applicants for the same position unless such tests are limited to determining the extent to which the person's disabling condition would interfere with his or her ability to safely and satisfactorily perform the duties of the job in question or the possible accommodations for the job in question, and (iii) accurately measure the applicant's aptitude, achievement level, or whatever factors they purport to measure rather than reflecting the impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills of a person with a disability except when those skills are requirements of the job in question, provided that an employer shall not be liable for improper testing which was administered by a State agency acting as an employment agency.

168A-9. Defenses.

Any employer may assert affirmative defenses in any action brought under this Chapter. This section shall not create any inference that an employment action which is not listed as an affirmative defense is therefore, by implication, a discriminatory practice, so long as the employment action is not otherwise prohibited by this Chapter. The following is a non-exclusive list of affirmative defenses:

(1) The failure of the qualified person with a disability to comply with or meet the employer's work rules and policies or performance standards, provided that such person is not held to rules or standards different from other employees without a disability similarly employed;

(2) The excessive, willful or habitual tardiness or absence of a qualified person with disability, provided that the standard used by the employer in determining whether such tardiness or absence is excessive is the same as that applied by the employer to employees without a disability similarly employed; or

(3) A bona fide seniority or merit system, or a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of work or production, or differences in location of employment.

168A-10. Prohibition of employer retaliation.

No employer shall discharge, expel, refuse to hire, or otherwise discriminate against any person or applicant for employment, nor shall any employment agency discriminate against any person, nor shall a labor organization discriminate against any member or applicant for membership because such person has opposed any practice made a discriminatory practice by this Chapter or because he has testified, assisted or participated in any manner in proceedings under this Chapter.

168A-11. Violation; Civil action.

(a) A person with a disability aggrieved by a discriminatory practice prohibited by G.S. 168A-5 through 168A8, or a person aggrieved by conduct prohibited by G.S. 168A-10, may bring a civil action to enforce rights granted or protected by this Chapter against any person described in G.S. 168A-5 through 168A-8 or in G.S. 168A-10 who is alleged to have committed such practices or engaged in such conduct. The action shall be commenced in superior court in the county where the alleged discriminatory practice or prohibited conduct occurred or where the plaintiff or defendant resides. Such action shall be tried to the court without a jury.

(b) Any relief granted by the court shall be limited to declaratory and injunctive relief, including orders to hire or reinstate an aggrieved person or admit such person to a labor organization. In a civil action brought to enforce provisions of this Chapter relating to employment, the court may award back pay. Any such back pay liability shall not accrue from a date more than two years prior to the filing of an action under this Chapter. Interim earnings or amounts earnable with reasonable diligence by the aggrieved person shall operate to reduce the back pay otherwise allowable.

(c) No court shall have jurisdiction over an action filed under this Chapter where the plaintiff has commenced federal judicial or administrative proceedings under Section 503 or Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. Sec. 793 and 29 USC 794 , as amended, or federal regulations promulgated under those sections; or under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 , et seq., as amended, or federal regulations promulgated under that Act, involving or arising out of the facts and circumstances involved in the alleged discriminatory practice under this Chapter. If such proceedings are commenced after a civil action has been commenced under this Chapter, the State court's jurisdiction over the civil action shall end and the action shall be forthwith dismissed.

(d) In any civil action brought under this Chapter, the court, in its discretion, may award reasonable attorney's fees to the substantially prevailing party as part of costs.

Sickle Cell/Hemoglobin C Discrimination

95-28.1. Discrimination on account of sickle cell trait or hemoglobin C trait prohibited.

No person, firm, corporation, unincorporated association, State agency, unit of local government or any public or private entity shall deny or refuse employment to any person or discharge any person from employment on account of the fact such person possesses sickle cell trait or hemoglobin C trait. The term "sickle cell trait" is defined as the condition wherein the major natural hemoglobin components present in the blood of the individual are hemoglobin A (normal) and hemoglobin S (sickle hemoglobin) as defined by standard chemical and physical analytic techniques, including electrophoresis; and the proportion of hemoglobin A is greater than the proportion of hemoglobin S or one natural parent of the individual is shown to have only normal hemoglobin components (hemoglobin A, hemoglobin A2, hemoglobin F) in the normal proportions by standard chemical and physical analytic tests. The term "hemoglobin C trait" is defined as the condition wherein the major natural hemoglobin components present in the blood of the individual are hemoglobin A (normal) and hemoglobin C as defined by standard chemical and physical analytic techniques, including electrophoresis; and the proportion of hemoglobin A is greater than the proportion of hemoglobin C or one natural parent of the individual is shown to have only normal hemoglobin components (hemoglobin A, hemoglobin A2, hemoglobin F) in the normal proportions by standard chemical and physical analytic tests, provided, however, that this section shall not be construed to give employment, promotion, or layoff preference to persons who possess the above traits, or to prevent such persons being discharged for cause.

Discrimination against Military

1Sec. 127B-10. [Policy].

The General Assembly finds and declares that military personnel in North Carolina vitally effect the general economy of this State and that it is in the public interest and public welfare to ensure that no discrimination against military personnel is practiced by any business.

Sec. 127B-11. [Private employers; Discrimination prohibited].

No person shall discriminate against any officer, warrant officer or enlisted person of the military or naval forces of the State or of the United States because of their membership therein. No member of these military forces shall be prejudiced or injured by any person, employer, officer or agent of any corporation, company or firm with respect to their employment, position or status or denied or disqualified for employment by virtue of their membership or service in the military forces of this State or of the United States.

Sec. 127B-12. [Public employers; Discrimination prohibited].

No officer or employee of the State, or of any county, city and county, municipal corporation, school district, water district, or other district shall discriminate against any officer, warrant officer or enlisted person of the military or naval forces of the State or of the United States because of their membership therein. No member of the military forces shall be prejudiced or injured by any officer or employee of the State, or of any county, city and county, municipal corporation, school district, water district, or other district with respect to their employment, appointment, position or status or denied or disqualified for or discharged from their employment or position by virtue of their membership or service in the military forces of this State or of the United States.

Sec. 127B-13. [Public places; Refusal of entrance prohibited].

No person shall prohibit or refuse entrance to any officer, warrant officer or enlisted person of the military or naval forces of this State or of the United States into any public place of entertainment, of amusement, or accommodation because the officer or enlisted persn is wearing the uniform of the organization to which they belong or because of their membership or service in the military forces of this State or of the United States.


Sec. 127B-14. [Employer discrimination; Additional provisions].

No employer or officer or agent of any corporation, company or firm, or other person shall discharge any person from employment because of the performance of any emergency military duty by reason of being an officer, warrant officer or enlisted person of the military or naval forces of this State or of the United States.

Sec. 127B-15. [Violation of article; Penalties].

Any person who violated the provisions of this Article shall be deemed guilty of a Class 2. Each violation shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.

Chapter 127B, Article 2

Sec. 127A-202.1. [North Carolina National Guard members; Discrimination or retaliation prohibited].

(a) It is the policy of this State that all individuals shall be afforded the right to perform, apply to perform, or have an obligation to perform service in the North Carolina National Guard without fear of discrimination or retaliatory action from their employer or prospective employer on the basis of that membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation.

(b) An individual who is a member of the North Carolina National Guard who performs, has performed, applies to perform, or has an obligation to perform service in the North Carolina National Guard shall not be denied initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any benefit of employment by an employer on the basis of that membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation.

(c) A person shall be considered to have denied a member of the North Carolina National Guard initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or a benefit of employment in violation of this section if the member's membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation for service in the North Carolina National Guard is a motivating factor in that person's action, unless the person can prove by the greater weight of the evidence that the same unfavorable action would have taken place in the absence of the member's membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a person to pay salary or wages to a member of the North Carolina National Guard during the member's period of active service.

(e) The Commissioner of Labor shall enforce the provisions of this section according to Article 21 of Chapter 95 of the General Statutes, including the rules and regulations issued pursuant to that Article.

95-28.1A. Discrimination on the basis of genetic information prohibited.

(a) No person, firm, corporation, unincorporated association, State agency, unit of local government, or any public or private entity shall deny or refuse employment to any person or discharge any person from employment on account of the person's having requested genetic testing or counseling services, or on the basis of genetic information obtained concerning the person or a member of the person's family. This section shall not be construed to prevent the person from being discharged for cause.

(b) As used in this section, the term "genetic test" means a test for determining the presence or absence of genetic characteristics in an individual or a member of the individual's family in order to diagnose a genetic condition or characteristic or ascertain susceptibility to a genetic condition. The term "genetic characteristic" means any scientifically or medically identifiable genes or chromosomes, or alterations or products thereof, which are known individually or in combination with other characteristics to be a cause of a disease or disorder, or determined to be associated with a statistically increased risk of development of a disease or disorder, and which are asymptomatic of any disease or disorder. The term "genetic information" means information about genes, gene products, or inherited characteristics that may derive from an individual or a family member.

130A-148. Discrimination on the basis of AIDS/HIV. ....

(i) Except as provided in this section, no test for AIDS virus infection shall be required, performed or used to determine suitability for continued employment, housing or public services, or for the use of places of public accommodation as defined in G.S. 168A-3(8), or public transportation.

Further it shall be unlawful to discriminate against any person having AIDS virus or HIV infection on account of that infection in determining suitability for continued employment, housing, or public services, or for the use of places of public accommodation, as defined in G.S. 168A-3(8), or public transportation.

Any person aggrieved by an act or discriminatory practice prohibited by this subsection relating to housing shall be entitled to institute a civil action pursuant to G.S. 41A-7 of the State Fair Housing Act. Any person aggrieved by an act or discriminatory practice prohibited by this subsection other than one relating to housing may bring a civil action to enforce rights granted or protected by this subsection.

The action shall be commenced in superior court in the county where the alleged discriminatory practice or prohibited conduct occurred or where the plaintiff or defendant resides. Such action shall be tried to the court without a jury. Any relief granted by the court shall be limited to declaratory and injunctive relief, including orders to hire or reinstate an aggrieved person or admit such person to a labor organization.

In a civil action brought to enforce provisions of this subsection relating to employment, the court may award back pay. Any such back pay liability shall not accrue from a date more than two years prior to the filing of an action under this subsection. Interim earnings or amounts earnable with reasonable diligence by the aggrieved person shall operate to reduce the back pay otherwise allowable. In any civil action brought under this subsection, the court, in its discretion, may award reasonable attorney's fees to the substantially prevailing party as a part of costs.

A civil action brought pursuant to this subsection shall be commenced within 180 days after the date on which the aggrieved person became aware or, with reasonable diligence, should have become aware of the alleged discriminatory practice or prohibited conduct.

Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to prohibit an employer from:

(1) Requiring a test for AIDS virus infection for job applicants in preemployment medical examinations required by the employer;

(2) Denying employment to a job applicant based solely on a confirmed positive test for AIDS virus infection;

(3) Including a test for AIDS virus infection performed in the course of an annual medical examination routinely required of all employees by the employer; or

(4) Taking the appropriate employment action, including reassignment or termination of employment, if the continuation by the employee who has AIDS virus or HIV infection of his work tasks would pose a significant risk to the health of the employee, coworkers, or the public, or if the employee is unable to perform the normally assigned duties of the job.

Equal Employment and Opportunity in State Employment

126-16. Equal opportunity for employment and compensation by State departments and agencies and local political subdivisions.

All State departments and agencies and all local political subdivisions of North Carolina shall give equal opportunity for employment and compensation, without regard to race, religion, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, or handicapping condition as defined in G.S. 168A-3 to all persons otherwise qualified, except where specific age, sex or physical requirements constitute bona fide occupational qualifications necessary to proper and efficient administration. This section with respect to equal opportunity as to age shall be limited to individuals who are at least 40 years of age.

126-16.1. Training.
Each State agency, each State Department, and The University of North Carolina shall:

(1) Enroll each newly appointed supervisor or manager within one year of appointment in the Equal Employment Opportunity Institute operated by the Division of Equal Opportunity Services of the Office of State Personnel. Current managers and supervisors are encouraged to enroll/participate in the Institute.

(2) Be responsible for providing supplies and resource materials for managers and supervisors who are enrolled from that department, agency or university.

126-17. Retaliation by State departments and agencies and local political subdivisions.

No State department, agency, or local political subdivision of North Carolina shall retaliate against an employee for protesting alleged violations of G.S. 126-16.

126-34.1. Grounds for contested case under the State Personnel Act defined.

(a)A State employee or former State employee may file in the Office of Administrative Hearings a contested case under Article 3 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes only as to the following personnel actions or issues:

(1) Dismissal, demotion, or suspension without pay based upon an alleged violation of G.S. 126-35, if the employee is a career State employee.

(2) An alleged unlawful State employment practice constituting discrimination, as proscribed by G.S. 126-36, including:

a. Denial of promotion, transfer, or training, on account of the employee's age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, creed, political affiliation, or handicapping condition as defined by Chapter 168A of the General Statutes.

b. Demotion, reduction in force, or termination of an employee in retaliation for the employee's opposition to alleged discrimination on account of the employee's age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, creed, political affiliation, or handicapping condition as defined by Chapter 168A of the General Statutes.

(3) Retaliation against an employee, as proscribed by G.S 126-17, for protesting an alleged violation of G.S. 126-16.

(4) Denial of the veteran's preference granted in accordance with Article 13 of this Chapter in initial State employment or in connection with a reduction in force, for an eligible veteran as defined by G.S. 126-81.

(5) Denial of promotion for failure to post or failure to give priority consideration for promotion or reemployment, to a career State employee as required by G.S. 126-7.1 and G.S. 126-36.2.

(6) Denial of an employee's request for removal of allegedly inaccurate or misleading information from the employee's personnel file as provided by G.S. 126-25.

(7) Any retaliatory personnel action that violates G.S. 126-85.

(8) Denial of promotion in violation of G.S. 126-14.2, where an initial determination found probable cause to believe there has been a violation of G.S. 126- 14.2.

(9) Denial of employment in violation of G.S. 126-14.2, where an initial determination found probable cause to believe that there has been a violation of G.S. 126-14.2.

(10) Harassment in the workplace based upon age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, creed, or handicapping condition, whether the harassment is based upon the creation of a hostile work environment or upon a quid pro quo.

(b) An applicant for initial State employment may file in the Office of Administrative Hearings a contested case under Article 3 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes based upon:

(1) Alleged denial of employment in violation of G.S. 126-16.

(2) Denial of the applicant's request for removal of allegedly inaccurate or misleading information from the personnel file as provided by G.S. 126-25.

(3) Denial of equal opportunity for employment and compensation on account of the employee's age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, creed, political affiliation, or handicapping condition as defined by Chapter 168A of the General Statutes. This subsection with respect to equal opportunity as to age shall be limited to persons who are at least 40 years of age. An applicant may not, however, file a contested case where political affiliation was the reason for the person's nonselection for

(i) an exempt policymaking position as defined in G.S. 126-5(b)(3),

(ii) a chief deputy or chief administrative assistant position under G.S. 126-5(c)(4), or

(iii) a confidential assistant or confidential secretary position under G.S. 126-5(c)(2).

(4) Denial of the veteran's preference in initial State employment provided by Article 13 of this Chapter, for an eligible veteran as defined by G.S. 126-81.

(5) Denial of employment in violation of G.S. 126-14.2, where an initial determination found probable cause to believe that there has been a violation of G.S. 126-14.2.

(c) In the case of a dispute as to whether a State employee's position is properly exempted from the State Personnel Act under G.S. 126-5, the employee may file in the Office of Administrative Hearings a contested case under Article 3 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(d) A State employee or applicant for State employment may file in the Office of Administrative Hearings a contested case under Article 3 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes based upon a false accusation regarding, or disciplinary action relating to, the employee's alleged violation of G.S. 126-14 or G.S. 126-14.1.

(e) Any issue for which appeal to the State Personnel Commission through the filing of a contested case under Article 3 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes has not been specifically authorized by this section shall not be grounds for a contested case under Chapter 126.

126-34.2. Alternative dispute resolution.

(a)Notwithstanding the provisions of Articles 6 and 7 of this Chapter, or the other provisions of this Article, with the consent of the parties, a matter for which a State employee, a former State employee, or an applicant for State employment has filed a contested case under Article 3 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes may be handled in accordance with alternative dispute resolution procedures adopted by the State Personnel Commission.

(b) In its discretion, the State Personnel Commission may adopt alternative dispute resolution procedures for the resolution of matters not constituting grounds for a contested case under G.S. 126-34.1.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the right of any person to file in the Office of Administrative Hearings a contested case under Article 3 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.


126-36. Appeal of unlawful State employment practice.

(a)Any State employee or former State employee who has reason to believe that employment, promotion, training, or transfer was denied the employee or that demotion, layoff, transfer, or termination of employment was forced upon the employee in retaliation for opposition to alleged discrimination or because of the employee's age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, creed, political affiliation, or handicapping condition as defined by G.S. 168A-3 except where specific age, sex or physical requirements constitute a bona fide occupational qualification necessary to proper and efficient administration, shall have the right to appeal directly to the State Personnel Commission.

(b) Subject to the requirements of G.S. 126-34, any State employee or former State employee who has reason to believe that the employee has been subjected to any of the following shall have the right to appeal directly to the State Personnel Commission:

(1) Harassment in the workplace based upon age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, creed, or handicapping condition, whether the harassment is based upon the creation of a hostile work environment or upon a quid pro quo.

(2) Retaliation for opposition to harassment in the workplace based upon age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, creed, or handicapping condition, whether the harassment is based upon the creation of a hostile work environment or upon a quid pro quo.


126-36.1. Appeal to Personnel Commission by applicant for employment.

Any applicant for State employment who has reason to believe that employment was denied in violation of G.S. 126-16 shall have the right to appeal directly to the State Personnel Commission.

143-300.35. Waiver of immunity.

(a) State Employee Federal Remedy Restoration Act. (a) The sovereign immunity of the State is waived for the limited purpose of allowing State employees, except for those in exempt policy-making positions designated pursuant to G.S. 126-5(d), to maintain lawsuits in State and federal courts and obtain and satisfy judgments against the State or any of its departments, institutions, or agencies under:

(1) The Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. Section 201, et seq.

(2) The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. Section 621, et seq.

(3) The Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. Section 2601, et seq.

(4) The Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 12101, et seq.

(b) The amount of monetary relief a State employee receives under subsection (a) of this section shall not exceed the amounts authorized under G.S. 143-299.2 or the amounts authorized under the applicable federal law under this section, whichever is less.


Protection for Reporting Harassment.

115C-335.5. Protection against retaliation for reporting harassment.

No employee of a local board of education shall be disciplined in any way solely for the reason that the employee has filed a written complaint alleging sexual harassment by students, other local board employees, or school board members, unless the employee reporting the harassment knows or has reason to believe the report is false.

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