By many accounts, North Carolina has lost in excess of $400 million in business revenue (and a whole lot of basketball games) due to HB2. HB2, for those who don’t know, is the controversial law that limited who could use which bathrooms and was the subject of fierce protests by many in the LGBTQ communities. HB2 also limited state level discrimination claims (later rescinded by the legislature) and restricted the ability of local municipalities to raise the minimum wage.
Now, Charlotte City Council has repealed their non-discrimination ordinance in an effort to strike a deal with North Carolina’s state legislature to repeal HB2 and return things to the status quo. And, the status quo may actually be better for transgender Tar Heels because they will no longer be “formally” banned from public bathrooms. However, Charlotte’s repeal only goes into effect if the State of North Carolina repeals HB2 and that did not come to pass even after 9 hours of debate yesterday.
The bathroom battles are not over in North Carolina or nationwide (especially with a new administration waiting in the wings). But, in general, employers and private companies are better off permitting access to the bathroom that transgender employees and customers choose to use.
I’ve written several posts on bathroom access and employment litigation regarding bathroom access. See my posts here (OSHA guidance on bathroom access), here (EEOC settlement of litigation which included bathroom access claims), here (11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned summary judgment in favor of employer in discrimination claim that involved restroom access), here (addressing Houston’s bathroom access ordinance) and here (litigation involving Hobby Lobby that included restroom access claims).
Dori K. Stibolt is a partner with the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP. Dori defends and counsels management in labor and employment litigation matters pertaining to wage and overtime claims, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, leave/restraint, and whistle-blower claims. You can contact Dori at 561-804-4417 or firstname.lastname@example.org.