Under the North Carolina Equal Employment Practices Act, it is the public policy of the state to protect and safeguard the right of all persons to seek, obtain, and hold employment without discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability. The Act covers employers with 15 or more employees (NC Gen. Stat. Sec. 143-422.1 et seq.). The Act does not specifically address the issue of preemployment inquiries. However, federal law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also covers employers with 15 or more employees and prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. According to Title VII guidelines issued by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), preemployment questions about protected characteristics indicate that the applicant's response will be used for making hiring decisions and may constitute evidence of discrimination. Therefore, employers should avoid making any inquiry that will elicit information about an applicant's protected status. There is more information about preemployment inquiries.