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NC Justice Center Take Action- End Discrimination in NC

NC Justice Center

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Take Action! Tell the General Assembly to stop taking away our communities’ freedoms!

We can all agree that North Carolina’s local governments need more freedom to protect their residents against discrimination, defend workers, and build an economy that benefits everyone in their community.

Unfortunately, the General Assembly has called a special session this week for the sole purpose of taking these freedoms away from our local communities.

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 draft legislation unveiled this morning without any public input takes these freedoms away from our local communities. If it becomes law, the bill would:

  1. 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 gay, lesbian, and transgendered residents, and prevent local communities from regulating other types of discrimination by private businesses.

  2. 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.

  3. Eliminate state law remedies for employees who are fired based on their race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap. If it becomes law, North Carolina will join Mississippi as the only state without any state law protecting private sector employees from workplace discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age or disability. The bill eliminates an employee’s private right of action to sue an employer who fires him or her for a discriminatory reason.

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 taking away our communities’ freedoms!

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