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Bureau Contact

Christine Ryan
Interim Bureau Chief


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Frequently Asked Questions

1.What is a retaliatory or discriminatory employment action? 
A retaliatory or discriminatory action is any adverse employment action in terms, conditions, privileges or benefits of employment.  Examples are:

  • discharge
  • suspension
  • demotion and/or reduction in wages
  • retaliatory relocation.

2. Who can file a REDA complaint?
The person filing the complaint is called the "complainant".  The complainant can be:

  • Any employee
  • Any person who causes a covered activity listed above to be initiated on an employee's behalf
  • Any person who exercises any right on behalf of an employee under the protections of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Wage and Hour Act, or the Mine Safety and Health Act.

3. Who can a REDA complaint be filed against?
The person/organization that the complaint is filed against is called the "respondent". The respondent may be any person(s), which includes any individual, partnership, association, corporation, business trust, legal representative, the state, a city, town, municipality, local agency or other entity of government

4. How is a REDA complaint filed?

  • The complainant should call the Employment Discrimination Bureau Information Officer and inquire about his situation.
  • If appropriate, a complaint form and instructional information is mailed to the complainant.
  • The complaint must be in writing and signed by the complainant.
  • The completed and signed complaint must be filed with the EDB within 180 days of the date of the last retaliatory or discriminatory act.
5. What happens after a REDA complaint is filed with the N.C. Department of Labor?
  • A copy of the complaint is sent to the respondent;
  • The file is assigned to a discrimination investigator;
  • The respondent is contacted for facts, documents and statements;
  • The complainant is contacted for facts, documents and statements;
  • Other parties/ witnesses may be contacted for information or documents;
  • A determination is made based on the evidence obtained;
  • If the respondent fails to provide information, a determination may be made based on the available evidence in the file; if the complainant does not cooperate with the investigation, the complaint will be dismissed.
6. What happens when it is determined that there is no violation of REDA [a 'No Merit' finding]?
  • Both the complainant and respondent are advised that the allegation of retaliation or discrimination could not be proven;
  • The complainant is given a Right-to-Sue letter which permits the complainant to file a civil lawsuit. The lawsuit must be filed within 90 days of the date of the Right-to-Sue letter.
7. What happens when it is determined that there is a violation of REDA [a 'Merit' finding]?
  • The Department of Labor will attempt to eliminate the alleged violation by informal methods which may consist of conference, conciliation and persuasion. If this effort fails, either:
  • The Commissioner of Labor may file a civil action in Superior Court on behalf of the complainant; or
  • The complainant may be given a Right-to-Sue letter which permits the complainant to file a civil lawsuit in Superior Court. The lawsuit must be filed within 90 days of the date of the Right-to-Sue letter.

8. What remedies are available under REDA?
Any or all of the following remedies may be sought under REDA:

  • An injunction to stop the continuing violation of REDA.
  • Reinstatement of the complainant to the same position held before the retaliatory action or discrimination or to an equivalent position.
  • Reinstatement of full fringe benefits and seniority rights.
  • Compensation for lost wages, lost benefits, and other economic losses that were proximately caused by the retaliatory action or discrimination.
9. In addition to the above, what may a court award / impose?
  • If the court finds there was a willful violation of REDA, the court can triple the amount awarded from compensation for lost wages, lost benefits, and other economic losses that were proximately caused by the retaliatory action or discrimination.
  • Assess the respondent costs and expenses including attorneys’ fees for bringing the action.

Note: If the court determines that the complainant's action is frivolous, the complainant may be assessed the reasonable costs and expenses of the respondent in defending the actions brought pursuant to the complaint

 

 

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