PayPal cancels plans to expand in Charlotte over HB2

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) – California-based PayPal will not create 400 jobs in North Carolina in response to  the state’s passing of House Bill 2, the company’s CEO said in a lengthy statement Tuesday.

PayPal had planned to employ more than 400 people in Charlotte at a new global operations center. PayPal, based out of San Jose, California, is a worldwide online payment system and is a publicly traded company.

“In the short time since then, legislation has been abruptly enacted by the state of North Carolina that invalidates protections of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens and denies these members of our community equal rights under the law,” PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said 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.

“This decision reflects PayPal’s deepest values and our strong belief that every person has the right to be treated equally, and with dignity and respect. These principles of fairness, inclusion and equality are at the heart of everything we seek to achieve and stand for as a company. And they compel us to take action to oppose discrimination.”

PayPal made the announcement March 16 at a major news conference in Charlotte. Gov. Pat McCrory was at the announcement and said the state was “excited to add this prominent name as a major operations center right here.”

In response to PayPal’s move, McCrory said Tuesday, “I anticipate PayPal will continue to provide that service and accept consumer money in the state of North Carolina, as they accept consumer money in nations throughout the world that frankly have disagreements with some of the policies they’re disagreeing with in North Carolina.”

But the excitement, as PayPal immediately raised concerns after McCrory signed House Bill 2.

Some powerful companies and organizations have spoken out against the bill. The NBA, for example, has raised questions about whether it will hold the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte. But PayPal’s move Tuesday is the largest, most tangible response in opposition to the bill. PayPal had planned to invest $3.6 million into the move to a center in north Charlotte by the end of 2017, according to WBTV in Charlotte.

Last Thursday, equality rights groups delivered a letter to McCrory from dozens of CEO’s, including Shulman, demanding HB2 be repealed.

House Bill 2 has three primary parts, one of which establishes a person’s sex by what is on their birth certificate. The bill overrode a Charlotte ordinance that would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of their gender identity.

But the bill also went beyond the scope of the Charlotte ordinance and defined what could be discrimination in North Carolina. The bill did not include language about discrimination over sexual orientation – in other words, people who are gay. The bill also states that its regulations supersede any local ordinances.

“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,” PayPal’s Schulman said.

A third part of the bill forbids cities and counties from setting requirements for employers when it comes to wage levels.REACTION TO THE PAYPAL ANNOUNCEMENT

“The threat that HB 2 poses to jobs and our economy is no longer a possibility, it’s a reality. Everyday working families are suffering from this law.

“These are new, better paying jobs North Carolina won’t get because Governor McCrory has put his political ideology above all else. It’s time to reverse course and take actions to undo the damage.

“Governor, it’s time to show some leadership and repeal HB 2.”_ Attorney General Roy Cooper

“Attorney General Cooper continues to side with out-of-state and Washington, D.C. special interests over what’s best for North Carolina and its families. Not only has Roy Cooper decided not do the job he is paid over $120,000 to do, his out-of-state campaign backers like the Human Rights Campaign are actively recruiting companies to protest North Carolina and inflict economic damage so they can take advantage of the situation to continue to falsely attack Governor McCrory. North Carolina deserves better than these destructive campaign tactics.” – Russell Peck, Pat McCrory Campaign Manager 

“If our action in keeping men out of women’s bathrooms and showers protected the life of just one child or one woman from being molested or assaulted, then it was worth it. North Carolina will never put a price tag on the value of our children. They are precious and priceless. If a corporation wanting to do business in North Carolina does not see the worth of our children in the same light, then I wish them well as they do business somewhere else.”_ Lt. Gov. Dan Forest

“So after PayPal was forced to settle after violating economic sanctions on Cuba, Sudan and Iran, and even processed payments for someone looking to buy nuclear-weapons technology on the black market, the California-based company now has a problem doing business in North Carolina?

“This is corporate hypocrisy and bullying at its worst, and as a working mother I’m proud to live in a state that stands up for the privacy and safety of women and children by overturning an ordinance pushed by a convicted sex offender to allow men into women’s restrooms.”_ North Carolina GOP vice chair Michele NixRELATED LINKS

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