Earlier this week, we began a discussion about sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. Despite Florida's vibrant GLBT community, we are among 29 states that do not prohibit employers from engaging in gay and lesbian discrimination at work.
Florida has a large and vibrant gay and lesbian community. Despite this, however, there are no state protections against discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation. Individual localities like Broward County have adopted some protective ordinances, but GLBT rights are still lacking in Florida.
Last month, we reported that the GLBT Competitive Workforce Act is not likely to receive a hearing in the Florida House of Representatives. The bill seeks protections against discriminatory treatment in the workplace based on sexual orientation, age, disability and race.
Sad news came last week when it was relayed that a bill making its way through the state House of Representatives aimed at protecting the rights of Florida's LGBT community would not likely receive a hearing this year. The bill seeks to provide such individuals with basic protections against discriminatory practices and unfair treatment in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation, age, disability and race.A key player in the formation of the "Competitive Workforce Act" (House Bill 361) has been an organization by the name of Equality Florida. Their director of public policy, Mallory Wells, informed the news media last week that due to the high number of new lawmakers in their first year of service, the focus of her organization was forced to shift during this legislative session to networking with and educating these individuals on fundamental issues affecting the LGBT community. Wells believes such action was necessary before pushing for specific legislation like the Competitive Workforce Act.