What folks in North Carolina continually fail to recognize is that whistle blower laws at the municipal/county government level are virtually non-existent!
This is a right to work, at-will state. They can fire you at any time, and for the flimsiest of excuses. She can sue, but it's likely not to amount to much, and she will have to decide if she wants to go through the hassle, and the money to do so. All of these things favor the employer.
Unless a solid case can be made for a violation of state or federal law (and you can bet that the lawyer weasels looked at this closely before they pulled the trigger), she probably doesn't have much of a leg to stand on.
It is JUST the way them good ol' boys like it! I see a classic bait and switch here...employees of all stripes are told they will have to come in during an emergency and do their jobs (meanwhile, everyone else has run for the hills, are hunkered down, or getting drunk with family) and they will be compensated by the in-force pay plan.
This employee (apparently) attempted to ensure her folks were paid according to that plan. Now, the county (apparently) is backing out of that agreement.
I hope she has a compelling case...but, look at who is running things around here (ethically challenged) and you'll soon see that in order to get along, you must go along (if you want to remain employed).
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