"EEO" wrongful discharge may soon return to North Carolina

I don't plan to post much more about North Carolina's HB 2 "bathroom bill" until we start getting court decisions, but this is newsworthy.

As I've previously noted, HB 2 had a provision that eliminated the cause of action for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy based on violations of the N.C. Equal Employment Practices Act, NCGS Section 143-422.2. That law says that it violates the public policy of the State for employers of 15 or more employees to discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex (biological sex only, since HB 2 was enacted), or disability.

The General Assembly has voted to repeal the provisions of HB 2 that took away this cause of action.

That's a lot of negatives. In other words, the new bill (HB 169) would reinstate common-law wrongful discharge/public policy claims based on the North Carolina EEPA. However, the statute of limitations under the new bill would be only one year instead of the previous three.

HB 169 is with Gov. Pat McCrory, who has already expressed his objection to the elimination of the EEPA cause of action in the original HB 2.

In other words, we expect Gov. McCrory to sign the bill. I'll let you know when it's official.

Despite political pressure from both sides, the General Assembly did not make any other changes to the original HB 2.

Robin Shea has 30 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
Continue Reading



Back to Page