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N. Carolina Common Law same as Colorado's

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  • Barry
    Although we now hold that the existence of an alternative remedy does not automatically preclude a claim for wrongful discharge based on the public policy
    Message 1 of 1 , May 30, 2011
      Although we now hold that the existence of an alternative remedy does not automatically preclude a claim for wrongful discharge based on the public policy exception, we also hold that under certain circumstances a legislative remedy may be deemed exclusive. If federal legislation preempts state law under the Supremacy Clause, U.S. Const. art. VI, cl. 2, then state claims, such as one for wrongful discharge, will be precluded. See English v. General Electric Co., 496 U.S. 72, 110 S.Ct. 2270, 110 L.Ed.2d 65 (1990). Additionally, if our state legislature has expressed its intent to supplant the common law with exclusive statutory remedies, then common law actions, such as wrongful discharge, will be precluded. See Biddix v. Henredon Furniture Industries, 76 N.C.App. 30, 331 S.E.2d 717 (1985) (vitality of common law actions for nuisance and continuing trespass dependent upon federal preemption and whether state Clean Water Act precludes common law civil actions). We hold therefore that absent (a) federal preemption or (b) the intent of our state legislature to supplant the common law with exclusive statutory remedies, the availability of alternative remedies does not prevent a plaintiff from seeking tort remedies for wrongful discharge based on the public policy exception. The availability of alternative common law and statutory remedies, we believe, supplements rather than hinders the ultimate goal of protecting employees who have been fired in violation of public policy. Amos v. Oakdale Knitting Co. , 416 SE 2d 166, 171 - NC: Supreme Court 1992
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