Florida Gay Rep. Joe Saunders Sponsors LGBT Workplace Discrimination Bill

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Three Florida legislators have filed the Competitive Workforce Act, which would prohibit discrimination in the workplace, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

In the House, Representative Joe Saunders (D- HD 49) filed the bill (HB 653), with Representative Holly Raschein (R- HD 120) co-sponsoring. In the Senate, Senator Joe Abruzzo (D- SD 25) filed SB710. Both bills were filed Feb. 7.

“The Florida Competitive Workforce Act will help improve the business climate here in Florida,” said Raschein in a media release. “For any business to thrive, they must be able to recruit and retain a diverse group of top talent to their company. This bill would allow Florida to be more competitive in a modern market place.”

Raschein said a majority of Fortune 500 companies already protect all employees from discrimination, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it helps their bottom line.

“It is time for Florida to catch up the private sector, and to its own municipalities that have already passed these protections on the local level,” said Saunders, in a media rlelease.

As of presstime, the House bill was in the hands of the Civil Justice Subcommittee, and there was no action yet on the Senate bill.

The bill has been filed at the state level several times over the past few years, but has never made it past the committee phase.


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