What Federal or State Laws Protect Me As an Employee in North Carolina?

There are a number of federal and state laws that protect you as an employee here in North Carolina. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Laws that protect you from discrimination in the workplace, such as Title VII of Civil Rights Act and NC Equal Employment Practices Act
  • Laws that protect your right to fair pay, such as the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act and Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Laws that protect your right to family or medical leave, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

If you feel that your rights may have been violated, call The Noble Law today to schedule a consultation. We’re here to help you stand up for your rights and for fair compensation.

Your Employment Rights

State and federal employment laws protect you in three primary areas:

  • You have a right to be free from harassment and workplace discrimination
  • You have a right to take family and medical leave
  • You have a right to receive fair pay for your work that you performed

What Does it Mean to Be an At-Will Employee?

It should be noted that employment in North Carolina is at-will. What this means is that an employer can terminate you for any reason – or even no reason – at any time, as long as it is not an illegal reason, without incurring any legal liability. Similarly, you can leave your job at any time for any reason without exposing yourself to any legal consequences.

Illegal Reasons for Termination from Employment

The key here as it pertains to protecting your rights is determining what constitutes an “illegal reason.” In short, an illegal reason is something that violates one of your employment rights protected by federal or state laws. All employees have a right to a workplace that is safe and free of dangerous conditions or other safety hazards. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of your other key rights:

  • Laws that protect you from discrimination and harassment for any reason, such as race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disabilities, citizenship, retaliatory actions due to you filing health or safety complaints in the workplace, or your medical or genetic history or that of a relative’s. Examples of some of these state and federal laws include Title VII of Civil Rights Act, Age Discrimination Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, NC Equal Employment Practices Act, Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act, Genetic Information and Non-Discrimination Act, Immigration Reform and Control Act.
  • Laws that protect your rights to family and medical leave, such as: Family and Medical Leave Act, North Carolina FMLA Laws Extensions that provide unpaid leave for specific situations such as school leave or leave to obtain a protective order, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
  • Your right to fair wages for your work performed and protection from wage theft is protected by state and federal laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

Common Types of Damages You May Receive

If any of these rights have been violated, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, some of the types of damages you may receive include:

  • Back pay
  • Front pay
  • Lost benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reinstatement
  • Promotion
  • Reasonable accommodations
  • Punitive damages

Fighting for the Justice Our Clients Deserve

While an employer does possess natural leverage over you due to the at-will employment relationship, that does not mean that your rights can be violated. If this has happened to you, our attorneys at The Noble Law strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced lawyer so you can fully understand your legal rights.

At The Noble Law, our core values include equity, empathy, and integrity, and we take pride in fighting for the rights of employees who have been wronged.

If you believe your employment rights have been violated, call us today to schedule an in-depth consultation. Give us a chance to help you achieve the justice that you deserve.

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