On Thursday, Governor Cooper signed into law a measure repealing North Carolina’s controversial HB2 law that limited use of public restrooms and changing facilities to the gender on that person’s birth certificate. While most of the controversy surrounding the law dealt with the restroom issue, the repeal measure preserves portions of HB2 that impact private North Carolina employers.
According to the new law, municipal governments in North Carolina are prohibited from adopting ordinances that regulate the practices of private employers through December 1, 2020. In addition to equal employment opportunity measures, the new law effectively prohibits cities in the state from adopting minimum wage requirements for businesses that exceed the state’s $7.25 level. In recent years, cities outside of North Carolina have adopted “living wage” measures that impose higher minimum wages for businesses operating within their municipalities. For at least the next three years, North Carolina municipalities will not have the legislative authority to consider such changes.