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Transgender state employees claim workplace discrimination

Every individual in Florida has the right to a workplace that is free from harassment and discrimination. Sometimes, workplace discrimination does not come in the form of specific words or actions but in more indirect ways, such as in the type of benefits a worker can get. Recently, two transgender state employees filed discrimination claims after their insurance denied specific types of medical treatments.

The lawsuits claim that the state's chosen health care provider acted in a discriminatory manner by blocking their efforts to get gender-affirming treatments. They claim these treatments were medically necessary, and a denial violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There are legal protections available to many types of workers, shielding them from discrimination in the workplace, but there are still many questions surrounding the legal protections available on both state and federal levels to LGBTQ workers.

At this time, Florida is one of the states that excludes transition-related procedures and treatments from the health benefits available to state employees. The plaintiffs claim they are pursing this legal action because they want to bring attention to the difficulties still faced by many employees in the workplace and in the types of employer-provided medical care they can receive. Certain private-sector employers in the state do offer coverage that includes gender-affirming treatment.

Workplace discrimination can come in many forms. If a person believes that he or she is a victim, legal action may be appropriate. Like these two workers, victims of unfair treatment can bring attention to their plight and seek to hold parties deemed responsible fully accountable. 

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