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The future of employment protections for LGBT+ workers

Florida residents may have noticed the many changes brought about by the Trump administration, and more alterations could be coming with regards to employment protections. Speculation has begun about whether it will remove language barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.

Lyndon Johnson created an executive order in 1965 so that federal contractors could not discriminate based on sex, race, national origin, religion or color. Barack Obama amended the order in 2014 to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Soon after Trump took office, LGBTQ+ content was removed from federal websites. Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that he did not know whether Trump planned to undo Obama's changes to the order.

Government contractors were already largely supportive of the improved non-discrimination policies as several large companies had similar policies in place before the 2014 EO. One human rights advocate commented that many private and government sector employers want to hire the best person for the job, and the order just helps ensure employment fairness.

The executive order applies to an estimated 28 million workers, which is 22 percent of the workforce. Around 11 million of these workers especially need the order as they have no protections under state laws or corporate policies. Just 20 states offer gender identity protection while 22 offer sexual orientation protections. It is important to note that the order protects all individuals and not just those it applies to as italso helps anyone who is perceived as a minority.

Those who are discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity might feel that there is nothing they can do to correct wrongdoing, but an attorney could provide LGBT workplace discrimination assistance. Some counties and companies in Florida do offer protections to LGBT+ employees.

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