One Equal World

PayPal Cancels Operations Center Expansion in North Carolina

Posted on: April 19, 2016

Close-up of gay pride flag

Close-up of gay pride flag

In late March, online payment giant PayPal announced plans to open a $3.6 million operations center in North Carolina. They called the plans a done deal, a solid investment. Now, two weeks later, they’ve entirely pulled back and canceled those plans. And they have not been reticent about sharing the reason why – it is entirely due to North Carolina’s new state law that prohibits cities from banning discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans people.

Moving into a state “where members of our teams will not have equal rights under the law is simply untenable,” said PayPal’s CEO and president Dan Schulman as a part of the announcement on Tuesday, April 5th.

It’s a substantial loss to Charlotte, where the new center would have opened, and Mecklenburg County. PayPal itself would have invested $3.6 million there by the end of 2017, and the new business would have created at least $20.4 million in income per year to the county. And it is just one, if the largest, of over twenty companies to react to the new laws by leaving. Other companies include Lionsgate films, which has moved the production of an upcoming TV series to Vancouver, Canada, and Braeburn Pharmuticals, who are reconsidering the placement of a new research and manufacturing company.

Under the new ‘religious freedom’ laws, companies are still allowed to have policies against discrimination, but that does not protect their LGBT staff, customers, or partners, from being turned down for service at the business next door, and PayPal and those like them find that unacceptable.

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