PayPal is withdrawing plans to open an operation center in Charlotte, North Carolina in reaction to the state overturning a local law that would have let transgender people use public bathrooms that match their gender identities.
North Carolina will lose 400 jobs after Paypal pulled its facility, according to CNN Money. Last week, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed House Bill 2, which prevents cities from protecting gay and bisexual people from discrimination, and specifically restricts transgender individuals’ rights to use restrooms and other facilities that don’t match their “biological sex.” The law has caused a downward spiral in potential business for the local economy.
As PayPal CEO Dan Schulman wrote in a statement: “The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture. As a result, PayPal will not move forward with our planned expansion into Charlotte.”
Prior to the PayPal North Carolina project, the company was known to be a supporter of LGBT rights. It is one of a small handful of companies that earned a 100% ranking on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2016 Corporate Equality Index, a national report on corporate policies related to LGBT workplace equality.
The PayPal announcement is the biggest tangible economic backlash to the state law that more than 100 corporate heads have decried as unfair. They say the law makes it more difficult to attract talent to North Carolina jobs.
“Our decision is a clear and unambiguous one. But we do regret that we will not have the opportunity to be a part of the Charlotte community and to count as colleagues the skilled and talented people of the region. As a company that is committed to the principle that everyone deserves to live without fear of discrimination simply for being who they are, becoming an employer in North Carolina, where members of our teams will not have equal rights under the law, is simply untenable,” Schulman wrote.
The North Carolina discrimination law that prevents cities from creating non-discrimination policies based on gender identity. The measure also mandates that students in state schools use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender when they were born.
On March 23, North Carolina, in an emergency session, passed the controversial Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act. Critics have blasted the law for excluding gays and transgender people from legal protections.
As a result, PayPal’s North Carolina project was terminated in Charlotte, which was expected to employ 400 people. In addition to PayPal, more than 100 other companies joined in protest of the law. But PayPal is the first to announce that it has scrap its expansion plan to add jobs in the state.