Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in North Carolina
By Christy Mallory, Brad Sears
Approximately 159,000 LGBT workers in North Carolina are not expressly protected from discrimination under state or federal laws. At least 14 localities in the state offer some protections for LGBT workers through local ordinances or personnel policies, however, these laws apply only to local government employees. As a result, 98% of North Carolina’s workforce has no explicit legal protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Public opinion in the state supports the passage of statewide legal protections for LGBT people.
Adding sexual orientation and gender identity to existing statewide non-discrimination laws would result in 58 additional complaints being filed in the state each year; 50 filed by private sector workers in the courts, and eight filed administratively by government workers. The cost of enforcing the additional complaints would be negligible, and would not require additional court or administrative staff.