FILED SENATE
Mar 30, 2021
GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
S.B. 396
SESSION 2021 PRINCIPAL CLERK
S D
SENATE BILL DRS35178-LR-30B
Short Title: Equality for All. (Public)
Sponsors: Senators Murdock, Marcus, and Nickel (Primary Sponsors).
Referred to:
1 A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
2 AN ACT TO PROTECT ALL NORTH CAROLINIANS AGAINST DISCRIMINATION IN
3 ALL WALKS OF LIFE.
4 The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
5
6 PART I. HOUSING
7 SECTION 1.1. G.S. 41A-3 reads as rewritten:
8 "§ 41A-3. Definitions.
9 For the purposes of this Chapter, the following definitions apply:
10 …
11 (5a) "Protected status" means a person's race, color, national origin, religion, age,
12 disability, sex, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender
13 identity, military or veteran status, or genetic information.
14 …."
15 SECTION 1.2. G.S. 41A-4 reads as rewritten:
16 "§ 41A-4. Unlawful discriminatory housing practices.
17 (a) It is an unlawful discriminatory housing practice for any person in a real estate
18 transaction, because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicapping condition, or
19 familial status the protected status of another person to:
20 (1) Refuse to engage in a real estate transaction;
21 (2) Discriminate against a person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of a real
22 estate transaction or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection
23 therewith;
24 (2a), (2c) Repealed by Session Laws 2009-388, s. 1, effective October 1, 2009.
25 (3) Refuse to receive or fail to transmit a bona fide offer to engage in a real estate
26 transaction;
27 (4) Refuse to negotiate for a real estate transaction;
28 (5) Represent to a person that real property is not available for inspection, sale,
29 rental, or lease when in fact it is so available, or fail to bring a property listing
30 to his attention, or refuse to permit him to inspect real property;
31 (6) Make, print, circulate, post, or mail or cause to be so published a statement,
32 advertisement, or sign, or use a form or application for a real estate transaction,
33 or make a record or inquiry in connection with a prospective real estate
34 transaction, which indicates directly or indirectly, an intent to make a
35 limitation, specification, or discrimination with respect thereto;
*DRS35178-LR-30B*
General Assembly Of North Carolina Session 2021
1 (7) Offer, solicit, accept, use, or retain a listing of real property with the
2 understanding that any person may be discriminated against in a real estate
3 transaction or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection
4 therewith; or
5 (8) Otherwise make unavailable or deny housing.
6 …
7 (b1) It is an unlawful discriminatory housing practice for any person or other entity whose
8 business includes engaging in residential real estate related transactions to discriminate against
9 any person in making available such a transaction, or in the terms and conditions of such a
10 transaction, because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicapping condition, or
11 familial that person's protected status. As used in this subsection, "residential real estate related
12 transaction" means:
13 (1) The making or purchasing of loans or providing financial assistance (i) for
14 purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing, or maintaining a dwelling, or
15 (ii) where the security is residential real estate; or
16 (2) The selling, brokering, or appraising of residential real estate.
17 The provisions of this subsection shall not prohibit any financial institution from using a loan
18 application which inquires into a person's financial and dependent obligations or from basing its
19 actions on the income or financial abilities of any person.
20 (c) It is an unlawful discriminatory housing practice for a person to induce or attempt to
21 induce another to enter into a real estate transaction from which such person may profit:
22 (1) By representing that a change has occurred, or may or will occur in the
23 composition of the residents of the block, neighborhood, or area in which the
24 real property is located with respect to race, color, religion, sex, national
25 origin, handicapping condition, or familial the protected status of the owners
26 or occupants; or
27 (2) By representing that a change has resulted, or may or will result in the
28 lowering of property values, an increase in criminal or antisocial behavior, or
29 a decline in the quality of schools in the block, neighborhood, or area in which
30 the real property is located.
31 (d) It is an unlawful discriminatory housing practice to deny any person who is otherwise
32 qualified by State law access to or membership or participation in any real estate brokers'
33 organization, multiple listing service, or other service, organization, or facility relating to the
34 business of engaging in real estate transactions, or to discriminate in the terms or conditions of
35 such access, membership, or participation because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin,
36 handicapping condition, or familial that person's protected status.
37 …
38 (g) It is an unlawful discriminatory housing practice to discriminate in land-use decisions
39 or in the permitting of development based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin,
40 handicapping condition, familial a person's protected status, or, except as otherwise provided by
41 law, the fact that a development or proposed development contains affordable housing units for
42 families or individuals with incomes below eighty percent (80%) of area median income. It is
43 not a violation of this Chapter if land-use decisions or permitting of development is based on
44 considerations of limiting high concentrations of affordable housing."
45 SECTION 1.3. G.S. 41A-5(a) reads as rewritten:
46 "§ 41A-5. Proof of violation.
47 (a) It is a violation of this Chapter if:
48 (1) A person by his act or failure to act intends to discriminate against a person.
49 A person intends to discriminate if, in committing an unlawful discriminatory
50 housing practice described in G.S. 41A-4 he was motivated in full, or in any
51 part at all, by race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicapping
Page 2 DRS35178-LR-30B
General Assembly Of North Carolina Session 2021
1 condition, or familial a person's protected status. An intent to discriminate
2 may be established by direct or circumstantial evidence.
3 (2) A person's act or failure to act has the effect, regardless of intent, of
4 discriminating, as set forth in G.S. 41A-4, against a person of a particular race,
5 color, religion, sex, national origin, handicapping condition, or familial of a
6 protected status. However, it is not a violation of this Chapter if a person
7 whose action or inaction has an unintended discriminatory effect, proves that
8 his action or inaction was motivated and justified by business necessity.
9 …."
10 SECTION 1.4. G.S. 41A-6(a) reads as rewritten:
11 "§ 41A-6. Exemptions.
12 (a) The provisions of G.S. 41A-4, except for subdivision (a)(6), do not apply to the
13 following:
14 …
15 (3) Religious institutions or organizations or charitable or educational
16 organizations operated, supervised, or controlled by religious institutions or
17 organizations which give preference to members of the same religion in a real
18 estate transaction, as long as membership in such religion is not restricted by
19 race, color, sex, national origin, handicapping condition, or familial status;a
20 protected status other than religion;
21 …."
22
23 PART II. EMPLOYMENT
24 SECTION 2.1. G.S. 143-422.2 reads as rewritten:
25 "§ 143-422.2. Legislative declaration.
26 (a) It is the public policy of this State to protect and safeguard the right and opportunity
27 of all persons to seek, obtain and hold employment without discrimination or abridgement on
28 account of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap sex, sexual orientation,
29 gender identity, disability, marital status, familial status, military or veteran status, or genetic
30 information by employers which regularly employ 15 one or more employees.
31 (b) It is recognized that the practice of denying employment opportunity and
32 discriminating in the terms of employment foments domestic strife and unrest, deprives the State
33 of the fullest utilization of its capacities for advancement and development, and substantially and
34 adversely affects the interests of employees, employers, and the public in general.
35 (c) Repealed by Session Laws 2017-4, s. 1, effective March 30, 2017."
36 SECTION 2.2. G.S. 126-16 reads as rewritten:
37 "§ 126-16. Equal opportunity for employment and compensation by State departments and
38 agencies and local political subdivisions.
39 All State agencies, departments, and institutions and all local political subdivisions of North
40 Carolina shall give equal opportunity for employment and compensation, without regard to race,
41 religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial
42 status, military or veteran status, age, disability, or genetic information to all persons otherwise
43 qualified."
44 SECTION 2.3. G.S. 126-34.02(b) reads as rewritten:
45 "(b) The following issues may be heard as contested cases after completion of the agency
46 grievance procedure and the Office of State Human Resources review:
47 (1) Discrimination or harassment. – An applicant for State employment, a State
48 employee, or former State employee may allege discrimination or harassment
49 based on race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender
50 identity, marital status, familial status, military or veteran status, age,
51 disability, genetic information, or political affiliation if the employee believes
DRS35178-LR-30B Page 3
General Assembly Of North Carolina Session 2021
1 that he or she has been discriminated against in his or her application for
2 employment or in the terms and conditions of the employee's employment, or
3 in the termination of his or her employment.
4 (2) Retaliation. – An applicant for State employment, a State employee, or former
5 State employee may allege retaliation for protesting discrimination based on
6 race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity,
7 marital status, familial status, military or veteran status, age, disability,
8 political affiliation, or genetic information if the employee believes that he or
9 she has been retaliated against in his or her application for employment or in
10 the terms and conditions of the employee's employment, or in the termination
11 of the employee's employment.
12 (3) Just cause for dismissal, demotion, or suspension. – A career State employee
13 may allege that he or she was dismissed, demoted, or suspended for
14 disciplinary reasons without just cause. A dismissal, demotion, or suspension
15 which is not imposed for disciplinary reasons shall not be considered a
16 disciplinary action within the meaning of this section. However, in contested
17 cases conducted pursuant to this section, an employee may appeal an
18 involuntary nondisciplinary separation due to an employee's unavailability in
19 the same fashion as if it were a disciplinary action, but the agency shall only
20 have the burden to prove that the employee was unavailable. In cases of such
21 disciplinary action the employee shall, before the action is taken, be furnished
22 with a statement in writing setting forth the specific acts or omissions that are
23 the reasons for the disciplinary action and the employee's appeal rights. The
24 employee shall be permitted 15 days from the date the statement is delivered
25 to appeal under the agency grievance procedure. However, an employee may
26 be suspended without warning pending the giving of written reasons in order
27 to avoid undue disruption of work, to protect the safety of persons or property,
28 or for other serious reasons.
29 (4) Veteran's preference. – An applicant for State employment or a State
30 employee may allege that he or she was denied veteran's preference in
31 violation of the law.
32 (5) Failure to post or give priority consideration. – An applicant for State
33 employment or a State employee may allege that he or she was denied hiring
34 or promotion because a position was not posted in accordance with this
35 Chapter; or a career State employee may allege that he or she was denied a
36 promotion as a result of a failure to give priority consideration for promotion
37 as required by G.S. 126-7.1; or a career State employee may allege that he or
38 she was denied hiring as a result of the failure to give him or her a
39 reduction-in-force priority.
40 (6) Whistleblower. – A whistleblower grievance as provided for in this Chapter."
41
42 PART III. PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS
43 SECTION 3.1. Chapter 143 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new
44 Article to read:
45 "Article 49B.
46 "Equal Access to Public Accommodations.
47 "§ 143-422.10. Short title.
48 This Article shall be known and may be cited as the "Equal Access to Public
49 Accommodations Act."
50 "§ 143-422.11. Legislative declaration.
Page 4 DRS35178-LR-30B
General Assembly Of North Carolina Session 2021
1 It is the public policy of this State to protect and safeguard the right and opportunity of all
2 individuals within the State to enjoy fully and equally the goods, services, facilities, privileges,
3 advantages, and accommodations of places of public accommodation free of discrimination
4 because of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity,
5 disability, marital status, familial status, military or veteran status, or genetic information. It shall
6 not be deemed to constitute discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity
7 for a public accommodation to provide separate bathrooms or changing facilities based on
8 gender, but a place of public accommodation shall provide access to such facilities based on a
9 person's gender identity.
10 "§ 143-422.12. Place of public accommodations defined.
11 For purposes of this Article, place of public accommodations has the same meaning as
12 defined in G.S. 168A-3(8) but shall exclude any private club or other establishment not, in fact,
13 open to the public.
14 "§ 143-422.13. Investigations; conciliations.
15 (a) The Human Relations Commission in the Department of Administration shall have
16 the authority to receive, investigate, and conciliate complaints of discrimination in public
17 accommodations. Throughout this process, the Human Relations Commission shall use its good
18 offices to effect an amicable resolution of the complaints of discrimination.
19 (b) If the Commission is unable to effect an amicable resolution of the charges of
20 discrimination, the complainant and the Commission may proceed with an enforcement action
21 using the procedures provided in G.S. 41A-7."
22
23 PART IV. CREDIT