The Wake County Board of Commissioners today unanimously voted to adopt an ordinance to protect residents from discrimination. It will apply only to the unincorporated areas of the county outside of city or town limits when it goes into effect on Feb. 1, 2022, unless a Wake County municipality independently adopts it.
“No one should be discriminated against because of who they are,” said Matt Calabria, Chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. “Through this ordinance, we’re showing our residents and the world that equality, fairness, and inclusion are core values in our community.”
The ordinance allows a person who believes a business or organization has discriminated against them to file a complaint with the County Manager’s Office for investigation. If the complaint falls within the county’s jurisdiction and is factually validated, the county will offer a conciliation process to help resolve the dispute.
Protected classes covered under the ordinance include: race, natural hair or hairstyles, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, pregnancy, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or ancestry, National Guard or veteran status, religious belief or non-belief, age or disability.
“This is an important step to strengthen our business community,” said Adrienne Cole, president and CEO of the Raleigh Chamber. “We embrace all efforts and initiatives around diversity, equity, and inclusivity, as does our business community. The Chamber is proud to support this work, and we will continue our support through our Triangle Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Alliance.”
Wake County is also proud to note that Equality NC has endorsed this ordinance. It furthers the board’s goal to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion.