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N.C. discrimination complaint bars federal claim

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Firing,Human Resources

North Carolina state employees who take their discrimination complaints to the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings lose the right to litigate the same claims later in federal court under Title VII. They don’t get two bites at the apple.

Recent case: Warren Follum was fired from his job at North Carolina State University. He filed a complaint with the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings, alleging sex and age discrimination and wrongful discharge.

When the administrative law judge ruled he had been fired for just cause and had not been discriminated against, he appealed and he filed a federal discrimination lawsuit.

But the federal court dismissed the case, reasoning that he had chosen to battle it out in the state system and couldn’t also go to federal court. (Follum v. North Carolina State University, No. 5:08-CV-526, ED NC, 2009)

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