North Carolina's new law gets strong pushback from major employers

Dive Brief:

  • North Carolina's new law that bans transgender individuals from public restrooms may backfire, as the law is giving pause to potential employers considering the Tar Heel state as a place to locate, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
  • Recently, gay-rights advocates delivered a letter signed by more than 100 corporate executives (from companies such as American Airlines, Bank of America and Starbucks) urging Gov. Pat McCrory to repeal the nation's first state law that, among other things, limits bathroom options for transgender people a law already being challenged in court.
  • For example, New Jersey-based Braeburn Pharmaceuticals said it's "reevaluating our options based on the recent, unjust legislation" regarding plans to build a $20 million manufacturing and research facility in Durham County, according to the Virginian-Pilot. 

Dive Insight:

The lobbying power of major corporations certainly can harm North Carolina's reputation as a place where potential employers want to set up shop.

Recently, Georgia got bad news from Walt Disney Co., Marvel Studios and, who threatened to go elsewhere should the state pass a similar law. The NFL also voiced that Atlanta would lose standing as a potential Super Bowl site. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal vetoed the law, which allowed "individuals, businesses and faith organizations to deny services to others based on their sincerely held religious beliefs."

DJ Peterson, who advises companies on political, social and economic issues as founder of Longview Global Advisors, told the Virginian-Pilot that employers opposing the law and who signed the letter may be expressing core corporate values. But they also want to be seen favorably by customers and motivate highly educated, high-value employees who value diversity.

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