PayPal drops plan for NC center over transgender law

PayPal drops plan for NC center over transgender law

PayPal is walking away from plans to build an operations center in North Carolina out of opposition to a new law that many advocates call discriminatory to transgender people. 

The planned global operations center in Charlotte, N.C., would have created 400 skilled jobs, the company said. 

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"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," company CEO Dan Shulman said in a statement Tuesday.  

Last month, the North Carolina legislature called a special session and quickly passed a bill banning people in the state from using a bathroom that does not match the gender on a person's birth certificate. The law also prevents local cities from creating their own anti-discrimination ordinances. 

The state law came about to override an anti-discrimination ordinance that was passed in Charlotte. 

"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," Shulman said. 

PayPal said it would start looking for new locations but said it "remains committed" to working with the LGBT community in the state. 

The law has been widely scorned by advocates and a number of high-profile companies. Last month, a group of companies sent a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory (R) condemning the law. The letter was signed by companies including Apple, Google, Facebook, Airbnb, Salesforce, Twitter and a number of others outside the tech community. 

Rep. Alma Adams (D), who represents a portion of Charlotte, blamed the governor for PayPal's decision. 

"A job-creating, economy-boosting new venture is now crushed because of discriminatory ideals - putting 400 North Carolinians who would have been employed in skilled jobs, at a loss," she said. 

— Updated at 1:15 p.m.