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
|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 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|