North Carolina Termination (with Discharge) laws & compensation compliance analysis

North Carolina Termination (with Discharge): What you need to know

North Carolina is an employment-at-will state.
This means that an employer or employee can generally terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason, unless a law or agreement provides otherwise. However, important exceptions to the doctrine of employment at will have been created by North Carolina statutes and court decisions.
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As a general rule, if a federal, state, or local law grants employees the right to engage in an activity or to enjoy a benefit, employees should never be disciplined, discharged, or otherwise retaliated against for requesting or attempting to do so.
To list a few key examples, state law prohibits employers from discharging employees for engaging in the following activities:
Jury service. Employers are prohibited from discharging or demoting an employee because he or she has been called for jury duty or is serving as a juror (NC Gen. Stat. Sec. 9-32).
Military service. North Carolina employers may not discriminate against or discharge an employee because he or she is a member of the state or federal military or because he or she must perform emergency military duty (NC Gen. Stat. Sec. 127B-10 et seq.). In addition, employers may not discriminate or retaliate against an employee or applicant on the basis of membership or application for membership in the North Carolina National Guard (NC Gen. Stat. Sec. 127A-202.1).
Unemployment compensation. It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for testifying in an unemployment compensation proceeding (NC Gen. Stat. Sec. 96-15.1).
Union membership. It is illegal to retaliate against an employee on the basis of union membership or nonunion membership (NC Gen. Stat. ...

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North Carolina Termination (with Discharge) Resources

Type Title
Checklists Termination Checklist I
Policies Termination pay policy (strict)
White Papers Workplace Stress—What Are the Costs?
See all Termination (with Discharge) Resources