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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 8, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 15
Discrimination doesn't pay

PayPal to cancel NC operations center
Section One
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Discrimination doesn't pay

PayPal to cancel NC operations center

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The state of North Carolina learned that discrimination doesn't pay on April 5, when PayPal announced it was canceling plans for a new global operations center in Charlotte, North Carolina's largest city.

The center would have provided more than 400 new jobs for Charlotte residents, but like many other corporations, PayPal decided it could not invest in a state that legalized anti-LGBT discrimination.

On March 23, the North Carolina legislature rammed through a law repealing Charlotte's new nondiscrimination ordinance and forbidding the state's municipalities from enacting protections for their LGBT residents or raising the minimum wage above $7.25 per hour. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed it into law the same day.

'The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal's mission and culture,' PayPal CEO Dan Schulman wrote in a statement posted on the company's website. 'As a result, PayPal will not move forward with our planned expansion into Charlotte.

'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 also promised that PayPal would work to repeal the North Carolina law.

'While we will seek an alternative location for our operations center, we remain committed to working with the LGBT community in North Carolina to overturn this discriminatory legislation, alongside all those who are committed to equality,' he wrote.

Freedom for All Americans executive director Matt McTighe said, 'PayPal's withdrawal from North Carolina is indisputable evidence that discriminatory laws like HB 2 have significant and immediate consequences on a state's economy and brand.

'Gov. Pat McCrory and other legislative leaders in the state have implied that, despite the immense backlash that began immediately after they rushed this discriminatory bill through the legislature, there would be no economic fallout. That claim is clearly false, and now we know that North Carolina will lose at least $4 million in economic investment and miss out on more than 400 new jobs because of this law.'

PayPal is only the latest of many major corporations that condemned North Carolina because of the new law. Others include American Airlines, Apple, Bank of America, Bayer, Citrix, Dow Chemical, Google, IBM, Marriott Hotels, the NBA, and Wells Fargo.

Duke University, based in Durham, N.C., also condemned the law.

Fears of a similar corporate backlash reportedly influenced Georgia's Republican Gov. Nathan Deal to veto his state's 'religious freedom' bill on March 28.

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Discrimination doesn't pay

PayPal to cancel NC operations center

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