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EEO - Discrimination: North Carolina

EEO - Discrimination requirements for other states

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

Author: Michelle Rippon, Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP


  • North Carolina does not have a statute that is analogous to Title VII. North Carolina has an Equal Employment Practices Act which establishes as a matter of public policy that private employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against employees on account of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy) or handicap. It does not provide for a private cause of action or offer any remedies. See Equal Employment Practices Act.
  • The North Carolina Persons with Disabilities Protection Act prohibits discrimination against any qualified person with a disability. The definition can include both physical and mental disabilities. See North Carolina Persons with Disabilities Protection Act.
  • Additional discrimination laws that go beyond the protected categories in Title VII include laws that prohibit discrimination based on the sickle cell trait or the hemoglobin C trait, genetic testing information, and persons having AIDS virus or HIV infection. See Discrimination Based on Sickle Cell Trait or Hemoglobin C Trait; Genetic Testing or Information; AIDS Testing.
  • Employees who perform any military duty are protected from discrimination. See Military Personnel.
  • Employers may not discriminate against employees for the lawful use of lawful products during nonworking hours (smoker's protection). See Smoking and Lawful Off Duty Conduct.
  • Employers are prohibited from asking job applicants about criminal records that have been expunged. See Ban the Box Law.
  • Localities including Charlotte have requirements pertaining to discrimination. See Local Requirements.