The Division of Employment Security handles North Carolina's unemployment insurance program. The program is a federal-state partnership. The state funds the program with unemployment taxes paid by employers on employee wages. DES receives many inquiries for help with various employment issues. Other agencies may be responsible for resolving your workplace issue.

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The Human Relations Commission promotes equality in housing, employment practices, public accommodations, education, justice and governmental services. 

The Industrial Commission administers the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act and the North Carolina Tort Claims Act. It also administers the Law Enforcement Officers’, Firemen’s, Rescue Squad Workers’, and Civil Air Patrol Members’ Death Benefits Act, the Childhood Vaccine-Related Injury Compensation Program, and Compensation to Persons Erroneously Convicted of Felonies.

The Civil Rights Division of the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings is responsible for charges alleging discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, or disability in employment, or charges alleging retaliation for opposing discrimination brought by previous and current state employees or applicants for employment for positions covered by the State Personnel Act.

The North Carolina Department of Insurance regulates the insurance industry, including licensing insurance professionals, educating consumers about different types of insurance and handling consumer complaints. NCDOI also licenses bail bondsmen, oversees motor clubs and collection agencies, protects consumers from fraud and illegal behavior with a staff of sworn law enforcement officers, educates North Carolinians about safety issues, interprets the state’s building codes, suggests new and improved codes to protect citizens, obtains and maintains insurance coverage for state-owned buildings and property, and assists with answering questions about Medicare and Medicaid through its Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program. NCDOI is also home to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, and houses the Office of State Fire Marshal.

The North Carolina Department of Labor conducts safety and health inspections and investigates work-related accidents and deaths. It also regulates the safety of boilers, elevators and amusement rides. NCDOL enforces regulations related to minimum wage, overtime pay, hours and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The North Carolina Department of Revenue collects the state’s tax revenue and enforces the state’s revenue laws. Local governments cannot impose taxes unless the General Assembly authorizes it. The General Assembly allows local governments to impose property taxes, which are collected by local taxing units. NCDOR exercises general and specific supervision over the valuation and taxation of property throughout the state. The General Assembly also allows cities and counties to impose local sales and use taxes, which are collected and administered by NCDOR.


The U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for occupational safety, wage and hour standards, unemployment insurance benefits, reemployment services and some economic statistics. USDOL enforces more than 180 federal laws and thousands of federal regulations. USDOL’s Employment Law Guide describes the statutes and regulations administered by USDOL that affect businesses and workers.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, familial status and national origin.