126-14. Promise or threat to obtain political contribution or support.

(a) It is unlawful for a State employee or a person appointed to State office, other than elective office or office on a board, commission, committee, or council whose function is advisory only, whether or not subject to the North Carolina Human Resources Act, to coerce:

(1) a State employee subject to the North Carolina Human Resources Act,

(2) a probationary State employee,

(3) a temporary State employee, or

(4) an applicant for a position subject to the North Carolina Human Resources Act

to support or contribute to a political candidate, political committee as defined in G.S. 163-278.6, or political party or to change the party designation of the individual's voter registration by threatening that change in employment status or discipline or preferential personnel treatment will occur with regard to an individual listed in subdivisions (1) through (4) of this subsection.

(a1) It is unlawful for an individual as defined in G.S. 138A-3(30)a. to coerce a person as described in G.S. 138A-32(d)(1), (2), or (3) to support or contribute to a political candidate, a political committee as defined in G.S. 163-278.6, or a political party by threatening discipline or promising preferential treatment with regard to that person's business with the individual's State office or that person's activities regulated by the individual's State office.

(b) Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(c) A State employee subject to the North Carolina Human Resources Act, probationary State employee, or temporary State employee who without probable cause falsely accuses a State employee or a person appointed to State office of violating this section shall be subject to discipline or change in employment status in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 126-35, 126-37, and 126-38 and may, as otherwise provided by law, be subject to criminal penalties for perjury or civil liability for libel, slander, or malicious prosecution. (1967, c. 821, s. 1; 1985, c. 469, s. 2; 1991, c. 505, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 931; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2010-169, s. 1(a); 2013-382, s. 9.1(c).)