WORT’s Jonathan Zarov interviews Duncan McFadyen, a Host/Reporter with the NPR affiliate WFAE in Charlotte, NC. Today’s topic is North Carolina legislature’s response to Charlotte’s expanded non-discrimination ordinance, House Bill 2, passed Thursday March 25, 2016.
Duncan McFadyen writes:
The bill includes a bathroom provision that’s a direct response to Charlotte’s ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity at any place open to the public. Another part prevents local governments from imposing higher wage standards on employers. And, it also establishes a statewide non-discrimination policy for employment and places of public accommodation. But the legislature limits those protections to race, religion, color, national origin, age, biological sex, or handicap; sexual orientation and gender identity are not included.
The legislation also specifically prohibits people from using the non-discrimination law as a basis for civil lawsuits. Charlotte employment attorney Luke Largess says this means “they have eliminated the right of anyone in North Carolina to bring a discrimination lawsuit in state court.”
The law gives sole authority to resolve employment discrimination claims to the state Human Relations Commission in the Department of Administration. A department spokesman says the Commission only handles claims of housing discrimination; it refers people with employment claims to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—or the EEOC. The commission is reviewing the new law, he says, but for now it will continue to refer those claims to the federal government.
Duncan is a native North Carolinian, born and raised in Wilmington. A lifelong musician, he got his start in broadcasting as a volunteer classical music host at his hometown public radio station, WHQR. He went on to host “Morning Edition” there, and then at WCQS in Asheville.
He enjoys live music, hiking, playing the piano, Scotch whisky, and craft beer.
Duncan is an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by way of Duke University.