We recently reported that last year retaliation claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) were the highest ever recorded. North Carolina employers face another threat for retaliation charges - The Employment Discrimination Bureau. The North Carolina Department of Labor’s Employment Discrimination Bureau enforces North Carolina’s Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA). Employees who feel that they have been subjected to discrimination and/or retaliation because of a North Carolina statutory protected right can file a REDA complaint.
These NC statutory protected rights include involvement with the following:
- Workers’ Compensation Claims
- Wage and Hour Complaints
- Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) Complaints
- Mine Safety and Health (MSHA) Complaints
- Genetic Testing
- Sickle Cell or Hemoglobin Carriers
- NC National Guard
- The Juvenile Justice System
- Victims of Domestic Violence
- Pesticide Regulation Complaints
All complaints must be filed within 180 days of the date of the alleged discrimination / retaliation. Complaints are investigated by the Employment Discrimination Bureau. The Bureau may issue subpoenas to require the attendance and testimony of witnesses under oath. If the Bureau determines that there is reasonable cause to believe the charge is true, either the employee or the Commissioner of Labor may file suit in state court. Jury trials are available. Victims of unlawful retaliation will be reinstated to their jobs with back pay and attorney’s fees. Triple damages are available in cases of willful violation.
For more information about the Employment Discrimination Bureau or REDA, go to http://www.nclabor.com/edb/edb.htm.