Key Largo Representative Holly Raschein filed a bill that would add protections for gay and transgender people in Florida’s anti-discrimination law.
The Florida Competitive Workforce Act will be heard during the 2015 legislative session.
“Passing the Competitive Workforce Act makes good sense economically and benefits employers and employees by offering a law that is consistent across the state,” said Raschein.
It’s already illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, physical handicap or marital status, the LGBT community isn’t covered under state protections when it comes to employment and housing. The bi-partisan bill is seen as a win by business leaders who believe it will give the state a stronger competitive foothold in a society where alternative lifestyles are becoming widely accepted.
The bill is being celebrated by Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce, a coalition of 21 major Florida employers. The group includes giant job creators like Darden Restaurants, Florida Blue, the Marriott hotel chain, Raymond James and Tech Data. Also involved are Walt Disney World Resorts, Wells Fargo and Winn Dixie.
“The coalition is grateful to Rep. Raschein for her leadership as the primary bill sponsor in the House of Representatives,” said coalition spokeswoman Christina Johnson. “She understands the impact this has on the state’s ability to attract the best and the brightest into our workforce, and we are here to see the measure passed in Florida as similar protections already exist in 21 other states.”
The Competitive Workforce coalition is a non-profit organized specifically to pass the Compteitive Workforce Act. Raschein has been in the Florida House since 2012 and was re-elected this year. The Republican lawmaker represents voters in Key Largo’s Monroe County and parts of Miami-Dade County.
The 2015 legislative session begins March 3.