On Aug. 9, 2021, the Charlotte City Council voted unanimously to amend its ordinances to include familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, pregnancy, and natural hairstyle as classes protected against discrimination. The previous nondiscrimination ordinance had been in place since 1968.
Other highlights of the nondiscrimination ordinance:
- Governs discrimination in employment of all employers.
- Since this is an “ordinance” it would be enforced by the Charlotte Community Relations Committee, which is led by a 45-member board appointed by the mayor, city council, and Mecklenburg County commissioners. The Community Relations Committee already enforces fair housing laws and presides over various fairness and multicultural programs while leading conflict resolution efforts.
- The new bill does not regulate bathrooms.
- The city’s nondiscrimination ordinance will officially take effect Oct. 1, 2021. The employment protections portion will begin on Jan. 1, 2022.
The mayor has charged council’s Budget and Effectiveness Committee with determining the details of enforcement and fines which will have two months to finish its work.