AN ACT REPEALING S.L. 2016-99 AND S.L. 2016-3; PREEMPTING REGULATION OF ACCESS TO BATHROOMS, SHOWERS, AND CHANGING FACILITIES; EXPANDING STATE PROTECTED CLASSES AS TO EMPLOYMENT AND PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS; ALLOWING LOCAL NONDISCRIMINATION ORDINANCES AND OPTIONAL REFERENDA; AND ENHANCING CRIMINAL PENALTIES RELATED TO OFFENSES IN CERTAIN PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS.
Repeals SL 2016-3 (Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, commonly known as House Bill 2) and SL 2016-99 (Restore State Claim for Wrongful Discharge, which amended House Bill 2).
States that the regulation of access to multiple occupancy bathrooms, to showers, and to changing facilities is a matter of general, statewide concern and the entire field of regulation of such access is preempted from regulation except as provided by an act of the General Assembly.
Specifies that only the General Assembly may regulate access to multiple occupancy bathrooms, to showers, and to changing facilities within the state, except where owned or under the direct control of a city.
Changes the name of GS Chapter 143, Article 49A, to Equal Employment and Equal Access to Public Accommodations Act (was, Equal Employment Practices), and makes the following changes to the Article.
Amends GS 143-422.2 to make it the State's public policy to protect and safeguard the right and opportunity of all persons to seek, obtain, and hold employment without discrimination or abridgement on account of race, sex, national origin, citizenship, religion, age, veteran status, genetic information, pregnancy, handicap, or disability (was, limited to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, or handicap) by employers which regularly employ 15 or more employees. Adds that it is the public 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 accommodations free of discrimination because of race, sex, national origin, citizenship, religion, age, veteran status, genetic information, pregnancy, handicap, or disability. Defines place of public accommodations, as it is used in the Article, as having the same meaning as defined in GS 168A-3(8), excluding any private club or other establishment that is not open to the public. GS 168A-3(8) defines place of public accommodations to include, but is not limited to, any place, facility, store, other establishment, hotel, or motel which supplies goods or services on the premises to the public or which solicits or accepts the patronage or trade of any person. Deletes from the statute the statement that this Article and other applicable provisions of the General Statutes supersede and preempt any ordinance, regulation, resolution, or policy adopted or imposed by a unit of local government or other political subdivision of the State that regulates or imposes any requirement upon an employer pertaining to the regulation of discriminatory practices in employment, except such regulations applicable to personnel employed by that body that are not otherwise in conflict with State law.
Amends GS 143-422.3 to give the Human Relations Commission in the Department of Administration the authority to receive, investigate, and conciliate complaints of discrimination in places of public accommodations and requires the Commission to use its good offices to effect an amicable resolution of the complaints of discrimination.
Amends GS 41A-4 to expand on the specified discriminatory housing practices to also prohibit discrimination based on citizenship, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, or veteran status.
Amends GS 41A-5 to expand on protections under the State Fair Housing Act to also prohibit discrimination based on citizenship, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, or veteran status.
Enacts new GS 160A-499.5 to allow a city, after providing at least 30 days' public notice of the text of the proposed ordinance, to enact an ordinance that expands within the city's territorial jurisdiction the protected classes established under Article 49A of GS Chapter 143 and GS Chapter 41A by a majority vote of the governing board. Specifies that the ordinance becomes effective 90 days after adoption unless a petition to override the ordinance is presented to the governing board; such a petition must be signed by at least the number of registered voters that is equal to 10% of the number of registered voters who cast votes in the most recent municipal election. If presented with a valid override petition, the county board of elections is required to conduct a referendum during the next general or municipal election, whichever is earliest, on whether the ordinance should become effective. Sets out additional requirements for the referendum. Prohibits an ordinance adopted under this statute from: (1) applying to the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction; (2) applying to a State or county entity; (3) modifying the restrictions on city contracts in GS 160A‑20.1(a); (4) regulating access to multiple occupancy bathrooms, to showers, or to changing facilities, unless the property is owned by, or under the direct control of, the city; (5) applying to a charitable organization or a religious institution, as defined in the statute; and (6) being construed to prevent a city from establishing nondiscrimination policies for its own employees.
GS 160A-20.1 allows a city to contract with and appropriate money to any person, association, or corporation, in order to carry out any public purpose that the city is authorized by law to engage in. Amends the statute to prohibit a city from requiring a private contractor under the statute to abide by regulations or controls on the contract's employment practices or mandate or prohibit the provision 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 115D-77 to expand on protections in the nondiscrimination policy of the State Board of Community Colleges and of local boards of trustees of the State to also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex (was, gender), citizenship, veteran, genetic information, pregnancy, and handicap status. Also extends the nondiscrimination policy to prohibit discrimination against visitors. Authorizes local boards of trustees to adopt nondiscrimination policies for those institutions. Makes conforming changes to the nondiscrimination policy of the State Board of Community Colleges and of local boards of trustees concerning employment practices, and authorizes the State Board of Community Colleges to adopt nondiscrimination policies for its own employees.
Enacts GS 116.44.1A to set forth nondiscrimination policies for the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina system to prohibit discrimination among students or against visitors, and in employment practices based on race, religion, color (for employment practices only), national origin, citizenship, sex, age, veteran status, pregnancy, handicap, disability, or genetic information, except where specific age, sex, or physical or mental requirements constitute bona fide occupational qualifications. Authorizes the Board to adopt nondiscrimination practices for its own employees. Sets forth an identical nondiscrimination policy for the board of trustees for each constituent institution.
Enacts GS 15A-1340.16E to enhance the sentencing of a defendant who committed any of the specified felonies in a public changing facility or a changing facility in a place of public accommodation. Defines a changing facility as a facility designed or designated to be used by a person in various states of undress, including but not limited to a restroom, locker room, changing room, or shower room. Defines places of public accommodations as the term is defined in GS 168A-3(8). Applies to convictions of the following offenses: second degree forcible rape, second degree forcible sexual offense, indecent exposure for purpose of arousing sexual desire, secretly peeping into room occupied by another person (specifically GS 14-202(g), or (h)), taking indecent liberties with children, and taking indecent liberties with a student. Provides that if a person is convicted of any of these felonies and it is found that the felony was committed in a public changing facility or a changing facility in a place of public accommodations, the person is guilty of a felony one class higher than the underlying felony for which the person was convicted. Sets out information that must be included in the indictment. Requires the State to prove the issue beyond a reasonable doubt during the same trial in which the defendant is tried for the felony. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest to the felony but pleads not guilty to the issue above then a jury must be impaneled to determine that issue.
Amends GS 14-202 to establish that it is a Class A1 misdemeanor for any person who secretly peeps into any room occupied by another person where the room is a public changing facility or a changing facility in a place of public accommodations. Establishes that it is a Class I felony for any person who secretly peeps into any room occupied by another person while in possession of any device which may be used to create a photographic image where the room is a public changing facility or a changing facility in a place of public accommodations. Establishes that it is a Class A1 misdemeanor for any person who secretly peeps underneath or through the clothing being worn by another person for the purpose of viewing the body or undergarments or another person without their consent while in a public changing facility or in a changing facility in a place of public accommodations. Makes conforming changes.
Amends GS 14-277.3A(d) to establish that a defendant who commits the offense of stalking while in a public changing facility or in a changing facility in a place of public accommodations is guilty of a Class H felony.
Amends GS 14-27.33 to establish that it is a Class I felony for any person to commit the offense of sexual battery in a public changing facility or a place of public accommodations.
Amends GS 14-33 to establish that it is a Class A1 misdemeanor for any person to commit an assault while in a public changing facility or in a changing facility in a place of public accommodations.
Amends GS 14-190.9(a) to establish that it is a Class 1 misdemeanor to willfully expose the private parts of his or her person in the presence of another person in a public changing facility or in a changing facility in a place of public accommodations, unless the conduct is punishable under subsection (a1) of the statute.
Sections 7-12 of the act are effective December 1, 2017, and apply to offenses committed on or after that date. The remainder of the act is effective when it becomes law.
© 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.