Employment Discrimination in North Carolina

Avoid employment discrimination against protected classes in North Carolina.

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What are the protected classes in North Carolina?

In all 50 states, federal law makes it illegal to discriminate based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions)
  • Disability
  • Age (40 and older)
  • Citizenship status
  • Genetic information

In addition, North Carolina state law also prohibits discrimination based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Disability: physical or mental
  • Age
  • Genetic information
  • AIDS/HIV
  • Lawful use of lawful product when not at work
  • Military status or service
  • Sickle cell or hemoglobin C trait

How many employees must a company in North Carolina have to be subject to antidiscrimination laws?

Under federal law, companies with 15 or more employees are covered by Title VII, the primary law prohibiting employment discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination based on genetic information. Companies with 20 or more employees are subject to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the federal law that prohibits discrimination against employees 40 years or older. Companies with four or more employees must comply with the employment discrimination provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of citizenship status. And all companies of any size must pay men and women equally for doing equal work, by virtue of the Equal Pay Act.

In North Carolina, companies with 15 or more employees are subject to the state's antidiscrimination law.

What government agency regulates workplace discrimination in North Carolina?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that regulates workplace discrimination. You can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by calling 800-669-4000 or check out its website at www.eeoc.gov. The website will help you locate an EEOC field office in North Carolina.

The Employment Discrimination Bureau of the Department of Labor enforces state antidiscrimination law in North Carolina. You can contact the Employment Discrimination Bureau at 919-807-2796 or 800-NC-LABOR or go to its website.

For more information on employment discrimination, see The Manager's Legal Handbook, by attorneys Lisa Guerin and Amy DelPo (Nolo).

Last updated on 2/01/10.

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