Take Action! Tell Governor McCrory and lawmakers to end legal discrimination in NC and repeal HB2
We can all agree that North Carolina should never tolerate legal discrimination against anyone. Unfortunately, Governor McCrory recently signed HB2, legislation passed by the General Assembly that returns North Carolina to an era where businesses can discriminate against customers and employers can discriminate against workers.
Under the North Carolina Constitution, the legislature has the authority to determine what local governments can and cannot do. For decades, however, the General Assembly has provided our municipal and county governments freedom to regulate private businesses in a limited way, including prohibiting discrimination and boosting the wages of the employees of public contractors. The City of Charlotte recently used this authority to pass an important ordinance preventing public and private discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Yet HB2, which was introduced, passed, and signed into law in just 12 hours, permits just this kind of discrimination. Specifically, the bill would:
- Ban local governments from prohibiting businesses from engaging in any type of discrimination. The draft would effectively overturn Charlotte’s new ordinance, permit private businesses to discriminate against gays, lesbians, and transgendered residents, and prevent local communities from regulating other types of discrimination by private businesses.
- Enact sweeping new restrictions on the ability of governments to protect workers and raise wages. Public contracts with private businesses have been an important tool used by local governments to raise wages and ensure basic job standards in their community. In an unprecedented overreach, the bill prohibits local governments from considering wages, benefits, and basic job safety standards when awarding public contracts—in effect telling local governments what they can and can’t do with their own money.
- Eliminate state law remedies for employees who are fired based on their race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap. Specifically, section 3.2 of the bill ended an employee’s private right to sue an employer who fires him or her for any one of these discriminatory reasons. As a result, this leaves employees who are fired simply because they are black or a female or Christian without any effective protections under state law. North Carolina now joins Mississippi as the only state without any state law protecting private sector employees from workplace discrimination
This legislation is bad news for North Carolina’s economy. It empowers businesses to discriminate and weakens the ability of local governments to raise wages—policies that will do nothing to create jobs or grow an economy that works for everyone.
Take Action! Tell the General Assembly to stop discrimination and repeal HB2!