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The N.C. Department of Labor is charged with promoting the "health, safety and general well-being" of more than 4 million workers in the state. The department serves the needs of the workplace through a variety of programs aimed at making the employees of North Carolina safe.

A commissioner of labor is elected every four years as head of the department and also serves on the Council of State. Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry is now in her fourth term. The commissioner has broad regulatory and enforcement powers to carry out the department's duties and responsibilities.

The department is divided into three divisions: Administration, Occupational Safety and Health, and Standards and Inspections.



  • The Communications Division provides information to media outlets and the general public
  • The Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program seeks to provide assistance to low-income individuals toward attaining self-sufficiency. The program is designed to help low-wealth individuals build assets for the start-up of new businesses, post-secondary educational investments or the purchase of a home.
  • The Legal Affairs Division handles rulemaking activity and provides legal support to the department.
  • The Research and Information Technology Division collects information and data related to department functions, including the Census for Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) and nonfatal injury and illness rates.

Occupational Safety and Health Division

  • Administers the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973
  • The Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau of OSH conducts pre-occupancy inspections of migrant housing pursuant to the Migrant Housing Act. All housing providers must register with the bureau within 45 days of occupancy.
  • The East and West Compliance bureaus conduct about 4,500 safety and health inspections a year. The division investigates work-related accidents and deaths and conducts randomly scheduled and follow-up inspections with firms previously cited for OSH violations.
  • Through its Consultative Services Bureau, the division offers free consultative workplace safety and health visits to the state's small businesses and the public sector.
  • Employers can request training and technical assistance through the Education, Training and Technical Assistance Bureau. The services of the bureau, including on-site visits and telephone assistance, are free.
  • The N.C. Department of Labor Library provides more than 12,000 volumes,120 periodical titles and about 1,300 audiovisual items on various topics regulated by the department to the public free of charge.
  • The Planning, Statistics and Information Management Bureau compiles and analyzes OSH statistical data and releases investigative documents to NCDOL staff and the public.

Standards and Inspections Division

Boiler Safety Bureau  
  • Enforces the 1976 Uniform Boiler and Pressure Vessel Act of North Carolina.
  • Regulates the construction, installation, repair, alteration, inspection, use and operation of more than 90,000 vessels on record that are subject to the law.
Elevator and Amusement Device  
  • Oversees the safe installation and operation of all elevators, escalators, workman's hoists, dumbwaiters, moving walks, aerial passenger tramways, amusement rides, inclined railways and lifting devices for people with disabilities that operate in public establishments (except federal buildings) and private places of employment.
  • Anyone who plans to erect any equipment under this bureau's jurisdiction must submit plans and applications for prior approval.
Employment Discrimination Bureau  
  • Enforces the Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA) of 1992, which protects employees who in good faith file an inquiry into workers' compensation claims or exercise their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Mine Safety and Health Act, or the Wage and Hour Act.
  • REDA also protects those employees who are sickle cell anemia/hemoglobin C carriers. Employees involved in National Guard service, the juvenile justice system, domestic violence or genetic testing are protected from discrimination.
Mine and Quarry Bureau  
  • Enforces the 1975 Mine Safety and Health Act of North Carolina.
  • Conducts inspections and provides training and assistance for those operating mines and quarries in the state.
  • More than 440 private sector mines, quarries, and sand and gravel pit operations employ more than 4,650 citizens in the state fall under the bureau's jurisdiction.
Wage and Hour Bureau  
  • Administers the N.C. Wage and Hour Act of 1979, which sets laws covering minimum wage, maximum hours, wage payment and child labor.
  • Enforces the Private Personnel Service Act, which requires all employment services charging fees to applicants to register with the department.
  • Enforces the Controlled Substance Examination Regulation Act, which sets minimum procedures to be followed by employers who choose to test employees and applicants for drugs.



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