CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One of the least discussed aspects of the state’s new discrimination law is the fact that is strikes down an employee’s right to sue a company for wrongful termination.
Rick Copeland is in his 60s and was fired last March from his job as a vice president at BB&T’s office in Gastonia.
“I was the oldest guy making the most money,” Compton said.
He was speaking in the office of his attorney Josh Van Kampen, who specializes in employment law.
Compton filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He says he was regularly contributing to making BB&T a successful business and had even been given recent awards.
So, he believes there is only one reason he was let go: “It was purely an age discrimination case,” he says.
But now with HB2, Compton can no longer file suit in state court. His only avenue is to go federal.
Said Van Kampen, “That’s because the law virtually eliminated the North Carolina prohibition on discrimination based on, in Rick’s case, age, disability.”
Thirty years of legal precedent vanished overnight.
“We immediately had to pickup a phone and call all of our clients and say they had just lost half their claims,” Van Kampen said.
Rick says for himself and others, it is just now fair.
“We expect our legislature, our governor, to do the things necessary to protect the people in the state,” he said.
The legislature is set to go into regular session later this month. So far there has been no formal move announced to try to repeal or change HB2.
Copyright 2016 WCNC