NC's Employment-at-Will and Right-to-Work Laws Explained

7:19 PM, Jan 10, 2012   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- Hearing about the firings of police officers in Candor spurred a viewer question about our state's labor laws.

He asked about North Carolina's "Hire at Will, Fire at Will" law.

According to the North Carolina Department of Labor - - two laws apply here.

The term is actually "Employment-At-Will". It simply means that unless there is a specific law or contract providing protection otherwise an employer can treat its employees as it sees fit.

That means the employer can fire an employee at the will
of the employer for any reason or no reason at all.

"I know what that's like," said Christopher Phillips.  "And it hurts. I think there needs to be better laws on the books that can protect a worker."

But Becky Reiser from Reidsville sees it differently. "You know that from the beginning. So, you can't necessarily go into a situation and say you were completely caught off guard because you did know that is a possibility. You live in NC they can let you go," shared Reiser.

The other law is our state's Right-To-Work law.

This is how it breaks down.

The Right-To-Work law means a person's right to work cannot be denied because that person belongs or does not belong to a labor union.

"The way the economy is now there's no job that's safe unfortunately, and that's a sad thing. But I think a Right-To-Work is going to be much better," stated Phillips. 

Some workers are protected, and cannot be fired for "no reason."

Our laws protect workers against discrimination based on age, race, and sex and being pregnant.

In these cases, the worker has the right to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate the firing.

WFMY News 2

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