H.B. 2 Is Repealed, But...What Does This Mean?

by Smith Anderson

Smith Anderson

North Carolina has repealed House Bill 2.[1] In its place, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted law: 

  • Preempting state agencies and related entities from regulating access to multiple occupancy restrooms, showers or changing facilities (“Multiple Occupancy Restrooms”), except in accord with a state law; and
  • Prohibiting local governments from enacting or amending ordinances that regulate private employment practices or public accommodations until December 2020. 

AN H.B. 2 REFRESHER            

H.B. 2, which was enacted in March 2016: 

  • Revised North Carolina's public policy against employment discrimination to make clear that the prohibition on discrimination because of sex was limited to discrimination because of biological sex, 
  • Added a state public policy against public accommodation discrimination, but made clear that the prohibition on sex discrimination was limited to a prohibition on biological sex discrimination,
  • Prohibited local governments from enacting laws prohibiting such discrimination or regulating certain wage and hour issues,
  • Prohibited transgender persons from using public agency Multiple Occupancy Restrooms designated for the gender to which they identify, and
  • Barred all people, not just LGBT persons, from bringing lawsuits for violation of the state public policy against discrimination in employment and public accommodations. The General Assembly later amended H.B. 2 to restore the right of non-LGBT persons to bring lawsuits for violation of the state public policy against discrimination in employment, although it reduced the statute of limitations for such claims from three years to one year.[2]


With the repeal of H.B. 2, the law of North Carolina has been returned to its pre-H.B. 2 state. For example:

  • In the employment law context, as before H.B. 2: (i) North Carolina’s public policy against employment discrimination once again includes a prohibition against discrimination because of sex, rather than H.B. 2’s prohibition on discrimination because of biological sex, and (ii) employees may assert claims for wrongful discharge in violation of that public policy for three years from the date of discharge. 
  • In the public accommodation context, as before H.B. 2, North Carolina law includes no prohibition on public accommodation discrimination. 
  • In the Multiple Occupancy Restrooms context, as before H.B. 2, North Carolina law does not regulate the use of Multiple Occupancy Restrooms.   

At the same time, the repeal does impose some new restrictions on state agencies and related entities. Specifically: 

  • State agencies and related entities are preempted from regulating access to Multiple Occupancy Restrooms, leaving any such regulation in the hands of the North Carolina General Assembly. Specifically, state agencies and related entities are preempted from regulating access to Multiple Occupancy Restrooms in any way other than in accord with state laws that may be enacted in the future.
  • Local governments are prohibited from enacting new laws (or amending old laws) that regulate, in any way, private employment or public accommodations until December 2020. 


  • North Carolina law does not prohibit private sector businesses and employers from adopting policies that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.[3] This means that the state permits private sector businesses and employers to decide whether or not to adopt such policies.

  • North Carolina law does not regulate private sector business and employer decisions with regard to employee or public access to Multiple Occupancy Restrooms.[4] This means that the state permits private sector businesses and employers to decide whether to impose gender-based requirements for access to such facilities, as well as the nature of any such requirements.
  • North Carolina employers will not be subject to newly enacted or amended local laws regulating employment discrimination, wages, hours and other benefits, or regulating public accommodations, until December 2020. 
  • North Carolina employers may be subject to local laws regulating employment discrimination, wages, hours and other benefits, or regulating public accommodations, that were in effect before H.B. 2, but the enforceability of such laws is unclear. 

[1] The repeal was the result of House Bill 142 (H.B.142) which became effective on March 30, 2017.

[2] House Bill 169.

[3] Private sector employers are required to comply with all applicable federal laws, including those that may be interpreted by federal agencies and courts as prohibiting discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity and requiring employees be allowed to use the restrooms and facilities of the gender to which they identify. 

[4] See note 3.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Smith Anderson | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Smith Anderson

Smith Anderson on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.