Politifact Gives Governor McCrory's Bogus Claims on HB2 "False" Rating
A new state law that bans cities and counties creating their own non-discrimination laws has put Governor McCrory's destructive leadership into the national spotlight. As businesses such as Wells Fargo, IBM, Lowe's, and Red Hat condemn the law, McCrory has struggled to defend it. Now Politifact has given his most recent claims a "false" rating, further showing how low McCrory has sunk.
Taking a broader look at the law, it also took away a right that had previously been available to residents of any and every city in the state – the ability to file a state lawsuit over discriminatory firing.
Such claims had been accepted by state courts since the 1980s, but they are no longer valid under HB2.
"This Article does not create, and shall not be construed to create or support, a statutory or common law private right of action, and no person may bring any civil action based upon the public policy expressed herein," the law states.
"This is a seismic issue," said Eric Doggett, a Raleigh lawyer who works in employment discrimination. "It’s huge. It’s a massive loss of rights, and it happened with almost no debate."
Laura Noble, a Chapel Hill employment discrimination lawyer, agreed.
"I won’t refer to this as a ‘bathroom bill’ because that's really not what it's about," she said. "It’s about the elimination of discrimination protections."
The law does say people who believe they were fired for discriminatory reasons can still bring suits to the state executive branch’s Human Resource Commission.
But Doggett said that group doesn’t have the ability to award damages, like the state courts did until last Wednesday.
"There’s no remedy," he said. "They have no teeth. … If we state it's the public policy of this state not to discriminate on those bases, it doesn’t mean anything if we can't enforce it."
Noble concurred, saying that no matter the state discrimination policy is now, it’s largely meaningless.
"What's the point of having it on the books if there's no sanctions if someone violates it?" She said.
People can still file federal discrimination lawsuits. However, both attorneys said federal courts have a much shorter statute of limitations than state courts – less than six months, compared to three years – which often stops plaintiffs from suing if they have a case but waited too long.