PayPal has cancelled plans for a major new office in Charlotte, North Carolina, in protest over a new piece of legislation that the company has called discriminatory.
The legislation in question, House Bill 2, was passed toward the end of last month, and its central point of contention is its requirement that individuals use bathrooms corresponding to their biological sex at birth; it also restricts cities from enacting their own anti-discrimination laws. The bill has drawn public scorn from a number of high-profile companies including tech giants like Apple and Google.
Now, PayPal has joined the outcry, announcing that it will seek a different location for its planned “global operations center”, which it said would have employed a staff of 400. The company cited the new legislation as the reason for the project’s cancellation, asserting that it “perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture.”
While there are likely multiple considerations factoring into the backlash from the corporate sector, in PayPal’s case one can draw some parallels between its stance on House Bill 2 and past communications regarding the company’s values. Shortly after the company became independent last year, CEO Dan Schulman framed PayPal’s mission in democratic terms, suggesting that PayPal’s digitization of payments and banking reflects a broader effort to establish “open, easy access to digital financial systems and networks” and to facilitate “equitable and affordable financial participation in the economy.” As such, the company does appear to take issue with discriminatory practices in general.