Does North Carolina’s “Bathroom Bill” Effectively Legalize Employment Discrimination?

Many individuals, groups and corporations have spoken out in opposition to North Carolina’s outrageous, discriminatory “bathroom bill.”

The controversial law, known as House Bill 2 (HB2) or the “Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act,” is arguably the most anti-LGBT legislation in the country. In addition to the detrimental effects this bill has on transgender individuals, it also has a significant effect on employment law and employees’ rights. HB2 effectively legalizes discrimination against employees based on race,
religion, color, national origin, age, or sex.

Buried in the “bathroom bill,” which was revealed to legislators the same morning they were called to vote on it, is a clause which strips all North Carolina employees of their right to file a lawsuit against an employer who discriminates against workers based on race, religion, color, national origin, age, biological sex, or handicap. Part III, Section 422.2 declares that discrimination against employees in the aforementioned protected classes is illegal; however, Section 422.3 states that, “This Article does not create, and shall not be construed to create or support, a statutory or common law private right of action, and no person may bring any civil action based upon the public policy expressed herein.”

This clause, completely unrelated to bathroom usage, overturns long-established employment law that provided legal protection for employees in North Carolina for decades. According to HB2, it is illegal for employers to discriminate, but if they do, employees cannot sue them for it.

Mr. Gold is the principal shareholder of the Pennsylvania & New Jersey employment law firm of Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. in Philadelphia, a preeminent law firm in the field of employment law and civil rights litigation. His practice, as well as that of the law firm, is concentrated in the representation of both employees and employers in all aspects of employment related litigation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including claims under federal and state anti-discrimination laws and federal civil rights laws.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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