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Equality Florida objects to LGBT employee protection bill

In January, a bill was introduced in Florida that would protect LGBT employees from workplace discrimination. However, the bipartisan proposal is getting serious push-back from gay rights group Equality Florida because it fails to include protections for housing and public accommodations.

The bill, called the Florida Inclusion Workforce Act, or FIWA, would add gender identity and sexual orientation to the state's Civil Rights Act and make it illegal to discriminate against LGBT employees in the workplace. It was introduced in the Florida Senate by Republican Joe Gruters, who represents Sarasota. Two Democratic senators have also co-sponsored the proposal, and it was developed in collaboration with SAVE Florida, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, Conservatives on the Right of Equality and Translatina.

However, a representative for Equality Florida called the FIWA proposal "deplorable", claiming it leaves out housing protections for the LGBT community and leaves transgender people out in the cold. Instead, the group is pushing the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, which has been floating around for nearly a decade and has struggled to garner much legislative attention. Meanwhile, proponents of FIWA say that progress often happens in increments.

LGBT employees who face unfair workplace bias may find it helpful to seek Boca Raton, Florida, LGBT workplace discrimination assistance from an attorney. The attorney may carefully review an employee's situation and explain how to document incidents of discrimination. This documentation may then be used to file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As a result, the employee might be awarded a settlement that covers various damages, including back and front pay, lost benefits and other amounts.

Source: South Florida Gay News, "In-Depth: Local LGBT Orgs & Equality Florida Go to War", Jason Parsley, Jan. 31, 2019

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