UPDATE 31 March 2017: Rather than delete an old post, I’m using the link to post information about the 15 local nondiscrimination ordinances that the North Carolina General Assembly brought back to life March 30. HB2 had repealed them; yesterday’s law overruled that repeal. PDFs available on request from firstname.lastname@example.org.
From: Sarah Dunning (Rep. Verla Insko)
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2017 9:20 AM
To: ‘Pat Oglesby’
Cc: Gina Insko (Rep. Verla Insko)
Subject: LGBT protection ordinances in North Carolina
My name is Sarah Dunning and I am Rep. Insko’s research intern. I looked at the list you were given by Equality NC and contacted those cities and counties to find out what exactly their anti-discrimination protections were. Most indicated to me that they have some kind of ordinance or resolution that protects the LGBT community from discrimination: Buncombe County, Mecklenburg County, Orange County, Asheville, Bessemer City, Boone, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem. Guilford County and Franklinton were the only items on the list that I could not find any kind of ordinance that protected the LGBT community from discrimination.
In the cases of Boone, Carrboro, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem, there are only anti-discrimination protections for Town employees. Guilford County and Franklinton were unable to provide me with any specific ordinance or resolution, and after looking myself in their online ordinances, I did not find anything that seemed relevant.
Durham County and High Point have not gotten back to me at this time, although looking online at Durham County’s ordinances it appears that, at the very least, they too prohibit discriminating based on sexual orientation for public employees.
In the cases of Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem, any ordinances mentioned were what I was able to find looking through their codes online. If you would like more thorough or detailed information, I can contact people in those cities and get back to you.
Here is the list of relevant ordinances. I was sent PDF copies of ordinances from several cities/counties, so I attached those to this email so you could read them for yourself.
Buncombe County: Has something called a “respectful workplace ordinance” which I have attached to this email.
Durham County: “Sec. 18-81. – Policy. Consistent with merit principles, the policy of the county shall be to foster, maintain and promote equal employment opportunity to all persons without regard to age, sex, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, physical or mental condition, affectional preference, non-job-related handicap, political affiliation, marital status, or other nonmerit factors, except where they constitute bona fide occupational qualifications for job performance or are required by occupational necessity. (Ord. of 3-25-91, art. IV, § 1)”
Guilford County: does not appear to have any relevant ordinances
Mecklenburg County: PDF of resolution attached to this email.
Orange County: PDF of ordinances attached to this email.
Asheville: I was given this link to a Google Drive with the ordinances https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BySa0wyXWUQVd1NDNGRmODZ1YXc
Bessemer City: This is not an ordinance, but it has been adopted by the city council: “ARTICLE IV. RECRUITMENT AND EMPLOYMENT Section 1. Equal Employment Opportunity Policy. It is the policy of the City to foster, maintain and promote equal employment opportunity. The City shall select employees on the basis of the applicant’s qualifications for the job and award them, with respect to compensation and opportunity for training and advancement, including upgrading and promotion, without regard to age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or marital status. Applicants with physical disabilities shall be given equal consideration with other applicants for positions in which their disabilities do not represent an unreasonable barrier to satisfactory performance of required duties with or without reasonable accommodation.
Section 2. Implementation of Equal Employment Opportunity Policy. All personnel responsible for recruitment and employment will continue to review regularly the implementation of this personnel policy and relevant practices to assure that equal employment opportunity based on reasonable, job-related requirements is being actively observed to the end that no employee or applicant for employment shall suffer discrimination because of age, sex, race, color, religion, disability, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or marital status. Notices with regard to equal employment matters shall be posted in conspicuous places on City premises in places where notices are customarily posted.” (I was emailed this in plain text from the Town Manager.)
Boone: I was told by the Town Clerk that Boone has not passed any ordinances or resolutions, but that “as an equal opportunity employer, federal law prohibits discrimination against a person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and sexual orientation), national origin, age, disability or genetic information.”
Carrboro: Carrboro has not passed any ordinances that extend protections to the general public. In the case of town employees, “No applicant for employment or employee shall be deprived of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affected as an employee because of such individual’s age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, non-disqualifying disability, sexual orientation, marital status, gender identity, or gender expression.” (see http://www.townofcarrboro.org/DocumentCenter/View/100)
Chapel Hill: Looking online at Chapel Hill’s codes and ordinances, I found these:
“Sec. 14-9. – Non-discrimination. The town is committed to equal employment opportunity for all persons. The town will not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, color, religion, non-job-related disability, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or marital status in any term, condition or privilege of employment with the town.”
“Sec. 10-113. – Rights of individuals. (a) Grantee shall not deny service or otherwise discriminate against subscribers or citizens on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, disability, family status, marital status, veteran status or sexual preference. Grantee shall comply at all times with all other applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, relating to non-discrimination in the provision of goods and services.”
“Sec. 14-128. – Definitions used in this article. … (b) Discrimination. Discrimination is any adverse action on any term or condition of employment taken against any employee because of race, sex, religion, national origin, handicapping condition, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Discrimination includes harassment due to any of the above bases.” (see http://www.townofchapelhill.org/town-hall/government/code-of-ordinances)
Charlotte: [PO note: Charlotte repealed its entire ordinance in December 2016 in anticipation of full repeal of HB2. They can’t now (March 2017) bring it back]: Looking online, I found these ordinances:
“Sec. 2-152. – Purpose and intent. It is the intent of the city to avoid becoming a passive participant in private sector commercial discrimination by refusing to procure goods and services from business firms that discriminate in the solicitation, selection, hiring, or treatment of vendors, suppliers, subcontractors, or commercial customers 1 on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or disability in connection with city contracts or solicitations by providing a procedure for receiving, investigating, and resolving complaints of discrimination involving city contracts or solicitations. (Ord. No. 2398, § 1, 9-24-2003; Ord. No. 7056, § 1, 2-22-2016, eff. 4-1-2016)”
“Sec. 12-29. – Powers of conciliation division. Within the limitations provided by law, the conciliation division of the community relations committee created by this article has the power to: (1) Use the facilities and staff of the committee created under this article, as authorized by the committee, to effectuate the purposes and policies of this chapter; (2) Receive, initiate, seek to conciliate, and hold hearings on complaints alleging violations of this chapter; (3) Approve or disapprove plans to eliminate or reduce discrimination with respect to race, color, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or national origin; (4) Furnish technical assistance required by persons subject to this chapter to further compliance with this chapter; and (5) Render at least annually a comprehensive written report to the committee created by this article and to the mayor and the city council. (Code 1985, § 12-19; Ord. No. 7056, § 2, 2-22-2016, eff. 4-1-2016)”
“Sec. 2-166. – Mandatory nondiscrimination contract clause. Every contract and subcontract shall contain a nondiscrimination clause that reads substantially as follows:
As a condition of entering into this agreement, the company represents and warrants that it will fully comply with the city’s commercial non-discrimination policy, as described in section 2, article V of the City Code, and consents to be bound by the award of any arbitration conducted thereunder. As part of such compliance, the company shall not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or disability in the solicitation, selection, hiring, or treatment of subcontractors, vendors, suppliers, or commercial customers 1  in connection with a city contract or contract solicitation process, nor shall the company retaliate against any person or entity for reporting instances of such discrimination. The company shall provide equal opportunity for subcontractors, vendors and suppliers to participate in all of its subcontracting and supply opportunities on city contracts, provided that nothing contained in this clause shall prohibit or limit otherwise lawful efforts to remedy the effects of marketplace discrimination that has occurred or is occurring in the marketplace. The company understands and agrees that a violation of this clause shall be considered a material breach of this agreement and may result in termination of this agreement, disqualification of the company from participating in city contracts or other sanctions. (Ord. No. 2398, § 1, 9-24-2003; Ord. No. 7056, § 1, 2-22-2016, eff. 4-1-2016)”
Durham: The Clerk to the Board sent me a PDF of a resolution passed by the city council which states that “Durham is an open and welcoming city dedicated to the principles of equality, diversity, acceptance, nondiscrimination, and full inclusion and engagement by any resident in the civil rights, benefits, and privileges of all residents regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information” and calls for the repeal of HB2. I have attached that resolution to this email. I was also sent the minutes from that city council meeting if you are interested in reading those.
Franklinton: I was directed by the Town Manager to look at Franklinton’s codes and ordinances online. I did not find anything protecting the LGBT community. Here is a link to the codes: http://www.franklintonnc.us/departments/zoning_department/ordinances.php
Greensboro: It appears that Greensboro offers protections only to town employees.
“Prohibition against discrimination in city services. It is the policy of the city that the city will not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, gender, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, political affiliation, religion, physical or mental disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity in authorizing or making available the use of city facilities or in the delivery of city programs, services or activities. (Ord. No. 15-011, § 1, 1-6-15)” (see https://www.municode.com/library/nc/greensboro/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=COOR_CH2AD_ARTVICIDE_S2-202PRAGDISE)
High Point: I could not find anything online for High Point but I have contacted the City Clerk, Lisa Veirling, and am waiting for a response.
Raleigh: It looks like Raleigh only offers protections to city employees.
“Sec. 4-1004. – POLICY OF NONDISCRIMINATION. (a) The policy of the City of Raleigh is, and shall be, to oppose any discrimination based on actual or perceived age, mental or physical disability, sex, religion, race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial or marital status, economic status, veteran status or national origin in any aspect of modern life. (see https://www.municode.com/library/nc/raleigh/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=DIVIICOGEOR_PT4COSE_CH1THDECOSE_ARTAGEPR_S4-1004PONO)
Winston-Salem: It appears that Winston-Salem only offers protections to city employees. “Sec. 1. – Equal employment opportunity. (a) Employment practices in city government shall at all times adhere to the spirit and letter of federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations promulgated thereunder guaranteeing equal employment opportunities and promoting fairness in compensation to all persons without regard to and prohibiting discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, creed, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, handicap, age, political affiliation or national origin, unless a bona fide occupational qualification exists.” (see https://www.municode.com/library/nc/winston-salem/codes/personnel?nodeId=PEPO_ARTICOEM_S1EQEMOP)