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Employee Handbooks - Work Rules - Employee Conduct: North Carolina

Employee Handbooks - Work Rules - Employee Conduct requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Michelle Rippon, Constangy Brooks & Smith, LLP


  • North Carolina is an employment at will state. See At Will Nature of Employment.
  • North Carolina law provides that both public and private employers with three or more employees may not discharge or otherwise discriminate against individuals because they engage in or have engaged in the lawful use of lawful products (such as tobacco) as long as the activity occurs off premises during nonworking hours and does not adversely affect job performance or the safety of other employees. See Lawful Use of Lawful Products During Nonworking Hours.
  • Employers may not require county or municipal employees to contribute funds for political or partisan purposes or in any way support a political candidate for office as a duty or condition of employment. See Political Activities.
  • A permit to carry a handgun does not authorize an employee to carry a concealed handgun. See Handguns.
  • Smoking is prohibited in state occupied buildings and vehicles, public schools and in public workspaces except in designated areas. If feasible at least 20% of indoor space should be designated smoking permitted. See Smoking.
  • Employers in North Carolina may not discharge or demote an employee because the employee has been called for jury duty or is serving as a grand or petit juror. See Jury Duty.
  • Employers are required to grant four hours per year leave to any employee who is a parent or guardian for a school-aged child so that the employee may be involved in the child's school. See Leave for Parental Involvement in Schools.
  • North Carolina does not require testing for controlled substance or restrict the type of testing that an employer may choose to administer. See Drug and Alcohol Testing.
  • In North Carolina it is a felony to willfully intercept, use any device to intercept, disclose the contents of, or use the contents of any wire, oral or electronic communication without the consent of at least one party to the communication. See Wiretapping.