| Read Time: 3 minutes | Employment Law
reda complaint

North Carolina has several laws protecting employees regarding safety, preventing discrimination, fair pay, and fair work opportunities. Suppose your employer fires or punishes you for speaking out against a violation of your employee rights. In that case, you can file a complaint under the Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA) to get your job back or recoup your financial losses. 

This article explains how to initiate a REDA complaint and what a complainant can expect from the process. But this is just a general overview. If you want to know the best way to handle any complaint against workplace retaliation, you should speak to one of our skilled employment attorneys at EMP Law. We are award-winning advocates and can win you stellar results when negotiating settlements or arguing your case in court.
Feel free to give us a call or reach out to us on our website to schedule an appointment.

Filing a North Carolina REDA Complaint

When you are a victim of unlawful retaliation at work, you can file a REDA complaint with the North Carolina Department of Labor. Employees can access a North Carolina Department of Labor REDA complaint form by calling the Employment Discrimination Bureau of Information Officer. When the employee submits the completed form to the Department of Labor, it must be signed. 

What Happens After I Initiate a Complaint?

After the Department of Labor receives your NC REDA complaint, it sends your complaint to your employer and assigns the case to a discrimination investigator. The Department of Labor will then contact you, your employer, and any other parties and witnesses to gather information, statements, and documents regarding your claim. 

Evidence you may need to support your case could include: 

  • Personnel records,
  • Wage records, 
  • Pay stubs, 
  • Receipts, 
  • Invoices, 
  • Witness testimony, 
  • Employer policies, 
  • Employment agreements, 
  • Photographs, and 
  • Correspondence. 

Once the Department of Labor receives evidence from you and the other parties in your complaint, it will determine whether you have proved your employer committed a REDA violation. 

When an employer has been found liable for a violation of REDA, the Department of Labor may attempt to resolve the matter through a conference, persuasion, or conciliation. If these methods don’t work, the Commissioner of Labor might file a civil suit against your employer on your behalf or give you a right-to-sue letter that allows you to file a civil lawsuit on your own. If the Department of Labor does not find a REDA violation, it will give you a right-to-sue letter so you can pursue litigation. 

What Can I Win in a Successful Retaliation Complaint?

There are several types of legal relief available to you in a REDA claim, including:

  • Job reinstatement; 
  • Compensation for any financial harm you experience, including lost wages, lost benefits, and other financial losses; 
  • An order for your employer to end its retaliatory conduct; and
  • Reinstatement of your seniority rights and benefits. 

You can recover these remedies in a claim through the Department of Labor. Still, if you file a civil lawsuit, you can also recover treble damages and attorney fees for an employer’s willful misconduct. Our experienced employment attorneys at EMP Law can review the unique facts of your case to determine what legal strategy may give you the best chance of success and maximize your relief. 

Does REDA Apply to Every Worker and Employer?

Employees can file REDA complaints against any of the following types of employers: 

  • Individuals,
  • Business trusts,
  • State or local government entities, 
  • Businesses, or 
  • Legal representatives of the above-listed entities. 

You must be a full-time employee to file legal action under REDA. REDA remedies are not available to independent contractors. However, you should check with an employment attorney whether you are an independent contractor—multiple employers misclassify their employees to avoid obligations under state and federal laws. 

All employees except federal employees can initiate a REDA complaint in North Carolina. An employee who suffers retaliation for helping a coworker assert their rights also has the right to file a REDA claim.   

How Long Do I Have to Submit a Complaint Under REDA?

You must submit your REDA complaint within 180 days of suffering retaliation. And if you receive a right-to-sue letter from the Department of Labor, you have 90 days from the date of the letter to file a lawsuit in civil court. You should consult EMP Law immediately to meet these deadlines and retain your right to recover damages. 

Speaking to Us Is Your First Step to Relief

Our employment attorneys at EMP Law have decades of experience and have received top honors from the legal community. When you are facing a dispute with a current or former employer, our impressive track record and experience can help you win everything you deserve. We are here for you if you need an advocate who can get the most out of your employment claim. Call us or reach out to us on our website to schedule an appointment. We have offices in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, but we also help employees throughout North Carolina.

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Michael provides compassionate, diligent, and creative legal services that are tailored to meet each client’s specific needs. His experience relating to clients from diverse backgrounds makes him well suited for representing his clients across a broad range of legal areas. He practices in the areas of employment law and family law, and is experienced in criminal law.

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