In response to some confusion about the impact of the HB2, we offer the following table to help illustrate some ways that the Federal anti-discrimination laws differ from the state law that was available to North Carolinians until the passage of HB2.

Please see the previous blog at http://thenoblelaw.com/hb2-north-carolina-protects-employers-discriminate/ for more information about how the HB2 eliminates any state law protection against discriminatory firings.

COMPARISON OF STATE vs. FEDERAL PROCESS

State Federal
Administrative agency prerequisite None Before filing lawsuit, must obtain Notice of Right to Sue from EEOC
Statute of limitations 3 years 180 days to file Charge, 90 days from issuance of Notice of Right to Sue to file lawsuit
Venue County of employee’s residence or employer’s business In federal judicial district, at courthouse to which randomly selected judge is assigned
Filing fee $200 $400
Filing process Delivering documents to clerk at courthouse by mail or in person Electronic filing, after receipt of training and approved password from clerk, or hand delivery to staffed clerk’s office
Discovery plan None, except as provided by Rules or specifically requested by parties Issued by Court, after Defendant answers Complaint and parties confer and provide their requests
Discovery start Any time, including with the Complaint After Court issues scheduling order, 3-4 months after Complaint filing
Discovery scope Only as limited by Rules or protective order Extremely limited, per Court order
Jury pool Selected from residents of judicial district or county Selected from residents of judicial district
Remedies Back and front wages, compensatory damages (no limit), punitive damages (up to $250K or 3x compensatory damages) Back and front wages, compensatory and punitive damages (total of both capped at $50K-$300K, depending on employer size)
Attorneys fees No authorization for court award Available to prevailing party
Costs Available to prevailing party Available to prevailing party
Public Access to court filings Only in-person, at courthouse, except for filings under seal Nationally available online, except for filings under seal