Florida Historic First Hearing on LGBT Nondiscrimination

The Florida Competitive Workforce Act enjoys bipartisan support

Posted by Melanie Nathan,  Feb 04, 2016.

The Florida Competitive Workforce Act (HB 45/SB 120) will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee next Monday, February 8th at 1:30 PM. The meeting will be held in Room 110 of the Senate Office Building.

 “This is a huge breakthrough not only for Florida but for the South and the nation as the third most populous state takes up long overdue, basic protections,” said Nadine Smith, Equality Florida’s Executive Director. “We are thrilled that the Florida Competitive Workforce Act will receive a full hearing and ample time for discussion after a disappointing postponement last week. We thank Senator Diaz de la Portilla for his vision and leadership in hearing this bill and moving our state forward.”

“There is no question that discrimination exists against gay and transgender Floridians in employment, housing, and public spaces, and we thank the bipartisan sponsors of this bill, Senator Joe Abruzzo (D-Boynton Beach) and Rep. Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo) for quarterbacking this landmark legislation.”

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 8.48.50 AMBill sponsors Rep. Raschein and Senator Abruzzo are joined by a bipartisan group of 40 co-sponsors. More than 400 Florida businesses, including major Fortune 500 companies, support the legislation through the Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce coalition. The diverse membership includes businesses big and small, as well as major industries like tourism, restaurants and lodging, and chambers of commerce.

Currently 55% of Florida’s population, in 41 municipalities, are protected at the local level by nondiscrimination laws, but no uniform statewide law exists, leaving many vulnerable to discrimination. The bill would add sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to pre-existing nondiscrimination laws that already cover race, religion, disability, age and other categories.

The hearing will be held in the Senate Judiciary on Monday, February 8, at 1:30 pm in 110 Senate Office Building.


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