(a) A person with a disability aggrieved by a discriminatory practice prohibited by G.S. 168A‑5 through 168A‑8, or a person aggrieved by conduct prohibited by G.S. 168A‑10, may bring a civil action to enforce rights granted or protected by this Chapter against any person described in G.S. 168A‑5 through 168A‑8 or in G.S. 168A‑10 who is alleged to have committed such practices or engaged in such conduct. The action shall be commenced in superior court in the county where the alleged discriminatory practice or prohibited conduct occurred or where the plaintiff or defendant resides. Such action shall be tried to the court without a jury.
(b) Any relief granted by the court shall be limited to declaratory and injunctive relief, including orders to hire or reinstate an aggrieved person or admit such person to a labor organization. In a civil action brought to enforce provisions of this Chapter relating to employment, the court may award back pay. Any such back pay liability shall not accrue from a date more than two years prior to the filing of an action under this Chapter. Interim earnings or amounts earnable with reasonable diligence by the aggrieved person shall operate to reduce the back pay otherwise allowable.
(c) No court shall have jurisdiction over an action filed under this Chapter where the plaintiff has commenced federal judicial or administrative proceedings under Section 503 or Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §§ 793 and 794, as amended, or federal regulations promulgated under those sections; or under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., as amended, or federal regulations promulgated under that Act, involving or arising out of the facts and circumstances involved in the alleged discriminatory practice under this Chapter. If such proceedings are commenced after a civil action has been commenced under this Chapter, the State court's jurisdiction over the civil action shall end and the action shall be forthwith dismissed.
(d) In any civil action brought under this Chapter, the court, in its discretion, may award reasonable attorney's fees to the substantially prevailing party as part of costs. (1985, c. 571, s. 1; 1999‑160, s. 1.)