North Carolina is an employee at-will state, meaning most employees may be fired for any reason or not reason at all. However, there are common law exceptions and statutory exceptions to the employee at-will doctrine.
Common law is law that is created by the courts. North Carolina recognizes the public policy exception to the at-will doctrine. If an employer terminates an employee in violation of public policy, then the employee would have viable grounds to sue for wrongful discharge.
North Carolina has recognized common law claims for retaliatory discharge for the following grounds, among others:
- Refusal to engage in illegal activity
- Conduct that creates a danger to the public
- Violation minimum wage
- Discrimination based on age, race, gender, or a disability
Statutory law is law created the legislature. Under the Retaliatory Discrimination Act (REDA) and employee may not be discharged or discriminated against for, in good faith, filing a complaint, initiating an investigation, inquiry, inspection or other action; or providing information or testimony concerning:
- NC Workers Compensation Act
- NC Wage and Hour Act
- Occupational Safety and Health Act
North Carolina’s Persons with Disabilities Act also provides protection for whistleblower and employees. While the North Carolina False Claims Act protects whistleblowers that report fraud against the government programs, like Medicaid.
If feel that you are victim of workplace retaliation, discrimination, or are considering becomes a whistleblower, contact Miller Law Group for a free consultation, or call 919=348-4361.