Most workers have just 180 days to file discrimination charges — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Most workers have just 180 days to file discrimination charges

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Good news for North Carolina employers: Most employees have just 180 days to file discrimination claims against their employers. That applies to all employees except those who work in New Hanover County or for the state of North Carolina. Those employees have 300 days to file.

Recent case: Carol Bratcher, who is black and over age 40, claimed her employer progressively forced her into less responsible positions. She said she had been denied training opportunities and promotions.

Her employer eventually fired her after she refused to sign on to a plan to address work deficiencies. Bratcher filed an EEOC discrimination complaint 201 days after her discharge.

The employer asked the court to dismiss her case because she filed it late. Bratcher’s attorneys argued that she had up to 300 days to file her claim. In states with their own discrimination agencies, employees do have up to 300 days to file—but North Carolina does not have such an agency. But, Bratcher argued that two North Carolina counties—New Hanover and Orange—and the city of Durham have human relations commissions and fair employment ordinances, extending the deadline to 300 days.

However, the North Carolina Supreme Court invalidated the Orange County ordinance, and Durham suspended its ordinance. Therefore, the only remaining ordinance is New Hanover County’s. Since Bratcher didn’t work in that county, she couldn’t use the ordinance to her advantage. (Bratcher v. Pharmaceutical Product Development, No. 5:07-CV-451, ED NC, 2008)

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