Special Session Will Disadvantage All Workers in North Carolina

NC General Assembly building

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jeremy Sprinkle, Communications Director, jeremy@aflcionc.org, 336-255-2711

Special Session, HB 2 Will Disadvantage All Workers in North Carolina

Lower wages, less safe workplaces, weaker benefits, and more discrimination

RALEIGH, N.C. (March 23, 2016) – The North Carolina General Assembly has convened for an expensive special session primarily, ostensibly to override the Charlotte ordinance regarding transgender use of bathrooms.  House Bill 2 does that, but it goes much further in ways that will disadvantage all workers.

HB 2 provides that no local government or other political subdivision may impose on employers any requirements as to wages, hours, benefits, leave, or child labor protection that are greater than what the legislature allows.  Further, no city or county may require any contractor doing work with them to follow any employment practices that are more beneficial to workers than permitted by the legislature.  In other words, the General Assembly is taking away the ability of any local jurisdiction to require employers – even those with whom they are contracting – to provide higher wages, safer workplaces, more generous benefits like paid leave, or any other safeguards for workers above and beyond the low-bar the legislature itself deems appropriate.

Finally, another provision of HB 2 strips away the right of private sector employees to use state law to challenge workplace discrimination.  If enacted, it would have North Carolina join Mississippi as the only state without any state law protecting private sector employees from workplace discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age or disability.

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The North Carolina State AFL-CIO is the largest association of local unions and union councils in North Carolina, representing over a hundred thousand union members, fighting for good jobs, safe workplaces, workers’ rights, consumer protections, and quality public services on behalf of ALL working people.  PO Box 10805, Raleigh, NC 27605.

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