143-553. Conditional continuing employment; notification among employing entities; repayment election.

(a) All persons employed by an employing entity as defined by this Part who owe money to the State and whose salaries are paid in whole or in part by State funds must make full restitution of the amount owed as a condition of continuing employment; provided, however, that no employing entity shall terminate for failure to make full restitution the employment of such an employee who owes money to the University of North Carolina Health Care System or to East Carolina University's Division of Health Sciences for health care services.

(b) Whenever a representative of any employing entity as defined by this Part has knowledge that an employee owes money to the State and is delinquent in satisfying this obligation, the representative shall notify the employing entity. Upon receipt of notification an employing entity shall terminate the employee's employment if after written notice of his right to do so he does not repay the money within a reasonable period of time; provided, however, that where there is a genuine dispute as to whether the money is owed or how much is owed, or there is an unresolved issue concerning insurance coverage, the employee shall not be dismissed as long as he is pursuing administrative or judicial remedies to have the dispute or the issue resolved.

(c) An employee of any employing entity who has elected in writing to allow not less than ten percent (10%) of his net disposable earnings to be periodically withheld for application towards a debt to the State shall be deemed to be repaying the money within a reasonable period of time and shall not have his employment terminated so long as he is consenting to repayment according to such terms. Furthermore, the employing entity shall allow the employee who for some extraordinary reason is incapable of repaying the obligation to the State according to the preceding terms to continue employment as long as he is attempting repayment in good faith under his present financial circumstances, but shall promptly terminate the employee's employment if he ceases to make payments or discontinues a good faith effort to make repayment. (1979, c. 864, s. 1; 2007-306, s. 2; 2012-194, s. 68(a).)