Charles Johnson Interviewed on Charlotte’s Nondiscrimination Ordinance



Practice Areas

July 29, 2021

Charles E. Johnson spoke with The Charlotte Ledger about Charlotte’s proposed nondiscrimination ordinance. If passed by the city council, the ordinance would prohibit businesses from discriminating against customers or employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Questions remain on the ordinance’s effectiveness: federal law already provides protection from most forms of discrimination, and the proposed ordinance funnels claims through an administrative process instead of the courts. An employment and labor attorney at Robinson Bradshaw, Johnson shared his thoughts on the potential results of the proposed law.

“I think it will have an effect as a statement of aspiration and expectation as to how employers and others will comport themselves,” Johnson said. “Will it lead to significant enforcement measures or administrative proceedings? That remains to be seen.”

Johnson also shared advice for local companies that may be affected by the ordinance.

“My advice would be the same advice that I have given under federal law, which is existing anti-discrimination law prohibits any employer from discriminating on the basis of not only sex, but sexual orientation and gender identity,” he said. “I would encourage any employer to make sure that its policies extend to sexual orientation and identity and that its practices absolutely prohibit discrimination on that basis.”

The article, “Charlotte contemplates a ban on workplace discrimination, but some employment lawyers are underwhelmed: ‘momentous’ or just symbolism?” is available only to paid subscribers of The Charlotte Ledger newsletter.

Johnson's quote was also featured in the Charlotte Business Journal. That article, "CBJ Morning Buzz: Nondiscrimination ordinance back on city agenda; Sonic shifting gears on its fastest-growing business?" is available here.

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