North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) late Wednesday night signed rushed legislation that, as is widely known, eliminates local governments' ability to pass anti-discrimination measures to protect gay and transgender individuals. But what received less immediate attention was that the new law guts workplace discrimination protections for virtually everyone.
A section of the new law alters the state's law that had allowed private sector employees to sue their employers under state discrimination law discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap.
"It takes away a right that people have had for 30 years," Bill Rowe, the director of advocacy at the North Carolina Justice Center told TPM on Friday. "It’s a pretty big change that caught us all by surprise."
Due to differences between filing a suit in federal court, as opposed to state court, this change could discourage people from filing an employment discrimination claim, Rowe said. The statute of limitations for filing in federal court is much shorter, and the court filing fee is higher on the federal level as well. There are also fewer federal district courts in the state, making it less convenient for some workers to sue.
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