Back in 2016, the LGBT activist and rights group SAVE teamed up with Miami Congressman Carlos Curbelo and marketing executive Mike Valdes-Fauli to for what is now known as the Business Equality Network, an ever-expanding group of local businesses in favor of workplace equality.
The group and its network have used the last year to continually add business allies that agree all people, including those who identify as LGBT, deserve to play on a level playing field at their workplace. According to SAVE, there are currently still large parts of Florida have no non-discrimination law that protects LGBT members from being discriminated against in their place of employment.
They’re out to fix that. And fast.
“SAVE’s Business Equality Network is about a group of South Florida businesses that are taking a stand and saying that discrimination is bad for business,” said SAVE Campaign Manager Bren Pantilione. “We want the most qualified workers here in the state, regardless of who they are.
One of SAVE’s top priorities is working on non-discrimination protections that protect LGBT people in the workplace.
“If we want to live in a Florida that grows by attracting the very best talent, has a strong economy, and is a vibrant place to live, then we must celebrate, respect, and protect everyone who works, lives and plays in our great state,” Pantilione said. “Passing this type of legislation would ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and help Florida companies attract the best and brightest employees and enhance the state's reputation as an open and inclusive world business center.”
South Florida counties and municipalities have a slew of local protections for LGBT people, but that’s the case for many parts of the state. SAVE is out to fix this, so everyone, no matter where they live, can rest easy at their job knowing they don’t have to hide who they are out of fear of termination.
“There has been work at the city and county levels to get these protections, and currently 60 percent of the state population is covered. In Florida, 11 counties out of 67 have an ordinance prohibiting private employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and 25 cities have an ordinance prohibiting private employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In areas where non-discrimination protections have not been passed, it is legal to fire someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
SAVE is reaching out to you, and the entire community, to become a part of the Business Equality Network. The more business that sign up, and the more people that support their non-discrimination fight, the faster Florida can become a total workplace non-discrimination state. If your business would like to join the fight, sign up www.save.lgbt/business_equality_network.