Equality NC Director/ Rep. Chris Sgro was unhappy with adjournment being called and that the other 75 representatives in attendance voted to adjourn:
— Chris Sgro (@cristoferosgro) July 2, 2016
Apparently, Rep. Sgro was unaware one of his non-profit’s biggest complaints about HB 2 was neutered.
House Bill 169 was sent to Governor McCrory for his signature last Friday, July 1st as the legislature adjourned. The bill’s title is, ‘Restore State Claim for Wrongful Discharge’ and is connected to HB 2.
The bill appears to reverse the addition G.S. 143‑422.3 made by HB 2 by removing the restriction on civil actions at the state level for employment discrimination. The related language is stricken below:
SECTION 1.(a) G.S. 143‑422.3 reads as rewritten:
“§ 143‑422.3. Investigations; conciliations.
The Human Relations Commission in the Department of Administration shall have the authority to receive charges of discrimination from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission pursuant to an agreement under Section 709(b) of Public Law 88‑352, as amended by Public Law 92‑261, and investigate and conciliate charges of discrimination. Throughout this process, the agency shall use its good offices to effect an amicable resolution of the charges of discrimination.
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.“
The bill also added an entirely new section to G.S. 1‑54. The addition is number 12, which reads, ” For wrongful discharge in violation of the public policy set forth in G.S. 143‑422.2.“
G.S. 143-422.2 lists the non-discrimination criteria for employers and in part reads, “It is the public policy of this State to protect and safeguard the right and opportunity of all persons to seek, obtain and hold employment without discrimination or abridgement on account of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap by employers which regularly employ 15 or more employees.”
The bill states the act would be effective March 23, 2016.
UPDATE: On Monday July 18th, Governor McCrory signed the bill.
The Governor’s statement:
“Today, we have restored the right to sue for discrimination in state courts, which I requested before this year’s legislative session began. With this action we have now reinstated all statewide non-discrimination policies that were previously in place, meaning North Carolina is now one of 49 states that allows citizens to sue in state court for employment discrimination.
“The issue of gender identity and expression in regards to access to bathrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities is a national issue that will be settled in the courts, in response to North Carolina and 21 other states challenging the federal overreach by the Obama administration.”