University of North Carolina officials have until Monday to comply with federal civil rights laws on transgender bathroom use, the U.S. Justice Department said.
The warning to UNC officials came the same day the department told Gov. Pat McCrory that House Bill 2 puts the state itself in violation of the law. The state also has until Monday to “remedy” the situation.
HB2 requires people to use bathrooms in government buildings that match what’s on their birth certificate. Critics say it prevents transgender persons from choosing the bathrooms or locker rooms of the gender with which they identify.
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Vanita Gupta, the department’s top civil rights lawyer, told the university that violated federal law.
“This policy discriminates on the basis of sex, including gender identity, because it treats transgender individuals whose gender identities do not match their gender assigned at birth differently from similarly situated non-transgender individuals,” she wrote, adding that constitutes discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Title IX.
“UNC is therefore discriminating against transgender individuals on the basis of sex and gender identity,” she wrote.
The UNC System received about $1.4 billion in federal money in 2014-2015, according to system officials.
“We take this determination seriously and will be conferring with the Governor’s Office, legislative leaders, and counsel about next steps and will respond to the Department by its May 9 deadline,” System President Margaret Spellings said in a statement Wednesday.