Bill Summary for H 1078 (2015-2016)

Summary date: 

May 12 2016

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 1078 (Public) Filed Tuesday, May 10, 2016
AN ACT TO PROTECT ALL NORTH CAROLINIANS AGAINST DISCRIMINATION IN ALL WALKS OF LIFE.
Intro. by Sgro, Harrison, Fisher, Alexander.

View: All Summaries for BillTracking:

Bill summary

Part I names the act The Equality for All Act.

Part II provides for additional protection in housing.

Amends GS 41A-3 to add protected status to the terms defined in the State Fair Housing Act (Act), and defines the term to mean a person's race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status, or genetic information.

Amends GS 41A-4 to prohibit discriminatory housing practices in transactions, as specified in the statute, because of the protected status of another person, as defined in GS 41A-3 as amended, changing the existing language, which only extends protection under the statute to discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicapping condition, or familial status. Changes language throughout the statute referencing discrimination based on those listed categories by instead referring to a person's protected status.

Amends GS 41A-5, providing for what constitutes a violation of the Act, by changing the language throughout the statute referencing discriminatory acts based on a person's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicapping condition, or familial status with the term "protected status."

Current GS 41A-6(a) establishes seven exemptions from the unlawful discriminating housing practices found in GS 41A-4, except for subsection (a)(6). Amends GS 41A-6(a)(2) to exempt the rental of four or fewer rooms in a private house (currently, the rental of a room or rooms in a private house), not a boarding house, if the lessor or a member of the lessor's family resides in the house. Amends GS 41A-6(a)(3) to exempt religious institutions or organizations or charitable or educational organizations operated, supervised, or controlled by religious institutions or organizations which give preference to members of the same religion in a real estate transaction as long as membership in such religion is not restricted by a protected status, other than religion (currently, as long as membership in such religion is not restricted by race, color, sex, national origin, handicapping condition, or familial status).

Part III provides for additional protection in employment.

Amends GS 143-422.2(a), as amended by SL 2016-3, Section 3.1, to change the policy statement establishing the policy of the State to protect and safeguard the right and opportunity of all persons to seek, obtain, and hold employment without discrimination or abridgment on account of race, religion, color, national origin, age, or handicap; to include protection from employment discrimination based on disability, marital status, familial status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status, and genetic information; and to remove protection for biological sex. Also amends the statute to apply to employers which regularly employ more than one employee (was, employers which regularly employ 15 or more employees).

Further amends the statute to eliminate the legislative declarations of subsection (c) that declare that the regulation of discriminatory practices in employment is properly an issue of general, statewide public concern and the declaration that Article 49A (Equal Employment Practices) supersedes and preempts any conflicting action by local government or political subdivision of the State.

Amends GS 143-422.3, as amended by SL 2016-3, Section 3.2, by placing existing language into new subsection (a) and eliminating the declaration that Article 49A does not create, and should not be construed to create or support, a statutory or common law private right of action, and that no person may bring a civil action based upon the public policy expressed in the Article. Also enacts new subsection (b) to establish that if the Human Relations Commission (Commission) of the Department of Administration, authorized to receive, investigate, and conciliate charges of discrimination under subsection (a), is unable to effect an amicable resolution of the charges of discrimination, the complainant and the Commission may proceed with an enforcement action using the procedures provided in GS 41A-7 (concerning complaints of unlawful discriminatory housing and enforcement by the Commission).

Amends GS 126-16 by adding sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, and military or veteran status under the equal opportunity for employment and compensation requirements that all State agencies, departments, and institutions and all local political subdivisions of the State must follow.

Amends GS 126-34.02(b), specifying the issues that may be heard as contested cases after completion of the employee's agency grievance procedure and the Office of State Human Resources review, by adding sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, and military or veteran status to existing (b1) and (b2) to discrimination or harassment and retaliation claims that may be brought by current or former State employees or applicants.

Amends GS 153A-449(a) (authorizing counties to contract with private entities), as amended by SL 2016-3, Section 2.2, by establishing that a county may require a private contractor (currently, may not require) under the statute to abide by regulations or controls on the contractor's employment practices or mandate (removes or prohibit langauge) the provisions of goods, services, or accommodations to any member of the public as a condition of bidding on a contract or a qualification-based selection, except as otherwise required or allowed by State law. Amends GS 160A-20.1(a) (authorizing cities and towns to contract with private entities), as amended by SL 2016-3, Section 2.3, by making identical changes as in GS 153A-449.(a), described above.

Part IV provides for additional protection in places of public accommodation.

Amends Article 49B (Equal Access to Public Accommodation) of GS Chapter 143, as enacted by SL 2016-3, Section 3.3. Amends the legislative declaration in GS 143-422.11 by establishing that it is the policy of the State to protect and safeguard the right and opportunity of all individuals within the State to enjoy fully and equally the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of places of public accommodation free of discrimination because of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, marital status, familial status, military or veteran status, or genetic information. Eliminates biological sex from the list of specified classes that are to be free from discrimination in the statute and the provision deeming the designation of multiple or single occupancy bathrooms or changing facilities according to biological sex as defined in GS 143-760(a)(1), (3), and (5) to not constitute discrimination under the statute. Establishes that it is not to be deemed discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity for a public accommodation to provide separate bathrooms or changing facilities based on gender. Requires a place of public accommodation to provide access to those facilities based on a person's gender identity. Eliminates subsection (b) that declared that the regulation of discriminatory practices in public accommodations is properly an issue of general, statewide public concern and the declaration that Article 49A (Equal Employment Practices) supersedes and preempts any conflicting action by local government or political subdivision of the State.

Amends GS 143-422.13, similarly to GS 143-422.3 as amended by the act, by placing existing language into new subsection (a) and eliminating the declaration that Article 49B does not create, and should not be construed to create or support, a statutory or common law private right of action, and that no person may bring a civil action based upon the public policy expressed in the Article. Also enacts new subsection (b) to establish that if the Human Relations Commission (Commission) of the Department of Administration, authorized to receive, investigate, and conciliate charges of discrimination under subsection (a), is unable to effect an amicable resolution of the charges of discrimination, the complainant and the Commission may proceed with an enforcement action using the procedures provided in GS 41A-7 (concerning complaints of unlawful discriminatory housing and enforcement by the Commission).

Part V provides for additional protections in the extension of credit.

Enacts GS 75-43 to establish that no person engaged in any form of lending money in the State, or to residents of the State, can discriminate in the extension of credit on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status, or genetic information.  Allows a person who claims to have been injured by a violation of the statute or who reasonably believes he or she will be irrevocably injured by a violation of the statute to file a complaint with the Human Relations Commission (Commission). Requires the Commission to work with the relevant parties to develop an amicable resolution of the charges of discrimination, and if the Commission cannot, then allows the complainant and the Commission to proceed with an enforcement action pursuant to GS 41A-7. Provides that filing a complaint under subsection (b) does not preclude the filing of an action under subsection (c), which provides that a violation of the statute constitutes a violation of the Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practice provisions of GS 75-1.1.

Part VI provides for additional protections in insurance.

Amends GS 58-3-25, establishing that no insurer can refuse to insure or refuse to continue to insure an individual or limit the amount, extent, or kind of coverage because of the race, color, or national or ethnic origin of that individual, by adding religion, sex, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military or veteran status, or genetic information of an individual.

Part VII provides for additional protections in education.

Enacts GS 115C-47, concerning the powers and duties granted to local boards of education, by adding new subsection (64) to direct local boards of education to adopt a policy to establish that the local board of education and school personnel employed by the local board cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status, or genetic information. Requires the policy to include that any person who claims to have been injured by an unlawful discriminatory practice or who reasonably believes that he or she will be irrevocably injured by an unlawful discriminatory practice may file a complaint with the Human Relations Commission (Commission). Directs the Commission, upon receipt of a complaint, to work with the relevant parties to develop an amicable resolution to the charge of discrimination, and that if the Commission is unable to effect an amicable resolution of the charges of discrimination, the complainant and the Commission may proceed with an enforcement action using the procedures provided in GS 41A-7.

Repeals GS 115C-47(63) (as enacted by SL 2016-3, Section 1.1) that required local boards of education to establish single-sex multiple occupancy bathroom and changing facilities as provided in GS 115C-521.2 (as enacted by SL 2016-3, Section 1.2).

Amends GS 115C-218.45(e), concerning admission requirements of charter schools, which says that a charter school cannot limit admission to students on the basis of race, color (currently, creed), national origin, or religion, by adding the classes of age, sex, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status, or genetic information, and removes the class of ancestry. Establishes that a charter school that serves only certain grade levels may limit admission based on age.

Amends GS 115C-218.55, which establishes that a charter school cannot discriminate on the basis of national origin, disability, (removes ethnicity and gender), by adding race, color, religion, age, sex, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status, and genetic information. Provides that any person who claims to have been injured by an unlawful discriminatory practice or who reasonably believes that he or she will be irrevocably injured by an unlawful discriminatory practice may file a complaint with the Human Relations Commission (Commission).  Directs the Commission, upon receipt of a complaint, to work with the relevant parties to develop an amicable resolution to the charge of discrimination, and if the Commission is unable to effect an amicable resolution of the charges of discrimination, the complainant and the Commission may proceed with an enforcement action using the procedures provided in GS 41A-7.

Repeals GS 115C-521.2 (as enacted by SL 2016-3, Section 1.2), which directed local boards of education to require every multiple occupancy bathroom or changing facility that is designated for student use to be designated for and used only by students based on their biological sex.

Amends GS 115C-562.5(c1) to prohibit a nonpublic school from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status, or genetic information (currently, with respect to the categories listed in 42 USC 2000d). Provides that any person who claims to have been injured by an unlawful discriminatory practice or who reasonably believes that he or she will be irrevocably injured by an unlawful discriminatory practice may file a complaint with the Human Relations Commission (Commission). Directs the Commission, upon receipt of a complaint, to work with the relevant parties to develop an amicable resolution to the charge of discrimination, and if the Commission is unable to effect an amicable resolution of the charges of discrimination, the complainant and the Commission may proceed with an enforcement action using the procedures provided in GS 41A-7.

Amends GS 115D-77 to establish that it is the policy of the State Board of Community Colleges (Board) and the local board of trustees of the State not to discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, age, or disability, and adds the classes of color, sex, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status, and genetic information, and removes the class of gender. Establishes that the Board and each board of trustees must give equal opportunity for employment and compensation of personnel at community colleges without regard to race, religion, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, or disability, except where specific age, sex, or physical or mental requirements constitute bona fide occupational qualifications, and adds the classes of marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status, and genetic information. Provides that any person who claims to have been injured by an unlawful discriminatory practice or who reasonably believes that he or she will be irrevocably injured by an unlawful discriminatory practice may file a complaint with the Human Relations Commission (Commission). Directs the Commission, upon receipt of a complaint, to work with the relevant parties to develop an amicable resolution to the charge of discrimination, and if the Commission is unable to effect an amicable resolution of the charges of discrimination, the complainant and the Commission may proceed with an enforcement action using the procedures provided in GS 41A-7.

Enacts GS 116-11(2a) to direct the Board of Governors to adopt a policy to provide that the University of North Carolina (UNC) and its affiliates and personnel employed by UNC and its affiliates cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status, or genetic information. Requires the policy to include that any person who claims to have been injured by an unlawful discriminatory practice or who reasonably believes that he or she will be irrevocably injured by an unlawful discriminatory practice may file a complaint with the Human Relations Commission (Commission). Directs the Commission, upon receipt of a complaint, to work with the relevant parties to develop an amicable resolution to the charge of discrimination, and if the Commission is unable to effect an amicable resolution of the charges of discrimination, the complainant and the Commission may proceed with an enforcement action using the procedures provided in GS 41A-7.

Part VIII provides additional duties to the Human Relations Commission.

Amends GS 143B-391 to add to the duties of the North Carolina Human Relations Commission the administration of GS 143-422.3, GS 143-422.13, GS 75-43, GS 115C-47(64), GS 115C-218.55, GS 115C-562.5, GS 115D-77, and GS 116-11.

Part IX provides for appropriations.

Appropriates $788,076 from the General Fund to the Commission in recurring funds for the 2016-17 fiscal year, with $545,407 to be used for operating expenses and $242,669 to be used to fund the new positions of Program Assistant IV, Human Relations Specialist I, Human Relations Specialist I, and Administrative Assistant. Effective July 1, 2016.

Provides that to the extent any of the provisions of the act are in conflict with any provisions of SL 2016-3, the provisions of the act supersede and replace the provisions of SL 2016-3.

Parts I-VIII apply to causes of action arising on or after the effective date of the act.

© 2021 School of Government The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This work is copyrighted and subject to "fair use" as permitted by federal copyright law. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the express written permission of the publisher. Distribution by third parties is prohibited. Prohibited distribution includes, but is not limited to, posting, e-mailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, installing on intranets or servers, and redistributing via a computer network or in printed form. Unauthorized use or reproduction may result in legal action against the unauthorized user.

Printer-friendly: Click to view