Monday, November 23, 2009

Florida Competitive Workforce Bill Filed To Add Anti-Discrimination Protections Statewide

Equality Florida applauds the filing of the Competitive Workforce bill in the Florida House of Representatives. House bill 391, filed by Rep. Kelly Skidmore, would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Florida’s civil rights statues.

Currently, it is legal to discriminate against someone in employment, housing and public accommodations because that person is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). The bill would add these categories into laws that already protect Floridians based on race, age, disability, sex and religion.

“I am proud to be the sponsor of this very important legislation,” said Representative Skidmore, “I look forward to working with Equality Florida and all Floridians who believe that discrimination is wrong and ought to be illegal."

As the Competitive Workforce Bill was being filed, the Tampa City Council voted to add “gender identity and gender expression” to its existing human right ordinance, which already includes sexual orientation protections.

“Even as cities and companies across our state adopt policies banning anti-gay and gender identity-based discrimination, Florida law fails to provide statewide protection to LGBT Floridians against workplace discrimination,” said Mallory Wells, Public Policy Director for Equality Florida, “Equality Florida is working with fair-minded legislators to introduce this legislation because no one should lose their job because of who they are.”

Organizations and businesses can sign on to support the Competitive Workforce Bill, by going to: http://eqfl.org/competitiveworkforce/

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