DOJ: North Carolina HB2 Law Violates Civil Rights Act

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The U.S. Department of Justice notified North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) on Wednesday that recently passed House Bill 2 violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

HB2, a sweeping piece of legislation that prevents cities and counties from passing their own anti-discrimination laws and eliminated the right to sue for workplace discrimination of any kind, was rushed through the state legislature and signed by McCrory in late March. The law has been heavily criticized by LGBT advocates and provoked boycotts of the state from major corporations and musicians.

“The State is engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination against transgender state employees and both you, in your official capacity, and the State are engaging in a pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of Title VII rights by transgender employees of public agencies,” Principal Deputy Assistant General Vanita Gupta wrote in the letter to McCrory obtained by local Raleigh TV station WRAL.

The Justice Department letter was focused specifically on transgender state employees.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits an employer from discriminating against an individual based on sex. The DOJ alleged that HB2 also violates Title IX, which prohibits education discrimination based on sex.

“HB 2, which took effect on March 23, 2016, is facially discriminatory against transgender employees on the basis of sex because it treats transgender employees, whose gender identity does not match their biological sex, as defined by HB2, differently from similarly situated non transgender employees,” the letter reads.

The DOJ gave North Carolina officials a Monday deadline to address the violation “by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement HB2.”

Similar letters were sent to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and the University of North Carolina advising them that they too had violated Titles VII and IX.

Read the DOJ’s letter below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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