The North Carolina legislature added nondiscrimination and nonretaliation protections for employees who serve in the North Carolina Wing – Civil Air Patrol. Effective December 1, 2023, it is unlawful for any employer to discriminate or retaliate against any employee who is a member of the NC Wing Civil Air Patrol based on membership status or an authorized absence required to perform duties.

There are specific criteria defining an authorized absence.  An absence is authorized if: (1) the employee is required to perform duties for a State approved mission or US Air Force authorized mission, (2) the absence is no longer than seven consecutive scheduled working days for the employee, and (3) the total absences do not exceed fourteen scheduled working days in one calendar year. Unless an employee chooses to use paid leave which is otherwise available, an employer is not required to pay the employee during the leave. An employer can require that an employee requesting time off submit the employee’s mission order.

This new North Carolina law serves as a reminder to employers of the ever-evolving state and local leave laws around the country. If you have questions about your leave of absence policies or whether an individual employee’s absence is legally protected, please contact your Jackson Lewis lawyer. Jackson Lewis also offers a leave law map database that provides subscribers with a detailed explanation of state and local leave laws around the country. The Leave and Accommodation Suite is developed and updated continually by our Disability, Leave & Health Management attorneys.