Protected classes. 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 (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 143-422.1 et seq.).
Disabilities. The North Carolina Persons with Disabilities Protection Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of physical or mental disability. The act expressly prohibits an employer from inquiring if an applicant has a disability before it makes a conditional offer of employment (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 168A-1 et seq.). The act covers employers with 15 or more employees.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Employers in the state are prohibited from discriminating against an employee with AIDS if the individual does not pose a health threat to others, but are not prohibited from:
• Requiring a test for AIDS virus infection from job applicants in preemployment medical examinations required by the employer;
• Denying employment to a job applicant based solely on a confirmed positive test for AIDS virus infection;
• Including a test for AIDS virus infection performed in the course of an annual medical examination routinely required of all employees by the employer; or
• Taking the appropriate employment action, including reassignment or termination of employment, if the continuation of his or her work tasks by the employee who has AIDS or the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) would pose a significant risk to the health of the employee, coworkers, or the public, or if the employee is unable to perform ...