Proposed ‘Competitive Workforce Act’ would protect Florida LGBT individuals from discrimination

Last week, State Rep. Ben Diamond (D-St. Petersburg), filed the Competitive Workforce Act to protect LGBT individuals from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. Florida law currently prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, marital status, or disability. State Rep. Rene Plasencia, R-Orlando,  (R Orlando) will co-sponsor the bill.

The Competitive Workforce Act is supported by Florida Competes, a coalition of nine Fortune 500 companies and more than 450 small businesses from across the state, Diamond said. Last year, 50 members of the Florida House signed on as co-sponsors to a similar bill – more than ever before.

“Florida businesses are strong supporters of this bill,” Diamond said. “Our businesses recognize that we must update our state’s civil rights laws so we can compete in recruiting top talent to our state. Most importantly, this bill affirms the basic human rights of our LGBT community. In Florida. it should be illegal to discriminate against anyone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Fifty House members from both sides of the aisle co-sponsored the Competitive Workforce Act last session. I am very appreciative of all of my colleagues who have signed on to end discrimination in Florida. This is a bipartisan and important bill. It deserves a hearing in the Florida House and a vote.”

Diamond represents Florida House District 68 in the State Legislature. District 68 covers portions of St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park, Feather Sound, Largo, Clearwater and the unincorporated Lealman area.