The LGBT advocacy groups opposing House Bill 2 sought Monday to spotlight how the law affects women – and not just transgender women affected by the bathroom provision.
With the U.S. Department of Justice seeking to revoke the law’s requirement that transgender people use the bathroom that matches their birth certificate, much of the discussion surrounding HB2 has been diverted from its lesser-known provisions.
Beyond bathrooms, the law bans local governments from passing nondiscrimination ordinances or requiring their contractors to follow employment practices such as higher wages. And it stops lawsuits alleging workplace discrimination from being filed in state courts – those cases now must go to federal courts, where suing can be more difficult.
“A majority of minimum wage earners in North Carolina are women, and HB2 targets them by preventing cities from setting their own minimum wage,” said Crystal Richardson, director of advocacy for Equality North Carolina. “Adding insult to injury, women who face wage discrimination – or other types of discrimination in the workplace – can no longer sue in state court. HB2 must be repealed because it’s not only bad for our state’s reputation and our economy, but it’s bad for women.”
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Equality NC, along with Human Rights Campaign, held the press conference Monday to highlight women’s issues.
Gov. Pat McCrory has called on legislators to repeal the provision involving employment discrimination lawsuits, although he defends the rest of the law. So far though, no Republican-sponsored legislation has been filed to change the lawsuit provision.