Equality Florida Releases Comprehensive Brief on LGBT Workplace Discrimination in Florida



New analysis of LGBT discrimination in the workplace details how nondiscrimination laws can protect LGBT workers, boost the economy, and give business a competitive advantage.

Protecting LGBT Workers: The Need to Update Florida’s Nondiscrimination Laws was produced by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) (www.lgbtmap.org), in partnership with Equality Florida and the Equality Federation Institute, and is the culmination of a year-long analysis of a series of studies about workplace discrimination across the United States.

The comprehensive and detailed analysis tailored specifically to the Florida business landscape brings together a range of resources including demographics and census data to call for updating Florida’s nondiscrimination laws.

“Openness to diversity is a driving factor in decisions about where people choose to live and where corporations choose to relocate or expand their operations,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida. “In order to be economically competitive and attract the best and the brightest, the State and the business community must institute policies of fairness and non-discrimination. No one should have to live in fear that he or she can be fired for reasons that have nothing to do with their job performance.”

Most Americans are shocked to learn that there is no federal law that explicitly protects LGBT workers from unfair workplace discrimination and that in more than half the country, including Florida, such protections are also denied under state law. While half of Floridians live in cities or counties with protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, and 38% have protections against gender identity discrimination, the state must have consistent, statewide protections.

Poised to draw new business and top talent, Florida can only improve our national and international reputation as a welcoming and inclusive place to live, work and visit by embracing the diverse community who live and work here. Only 21 states and the District of Columbia have laws prohibiting discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation. Only 18 states and the District of Columbia explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity/expression.

By updating laws to protect people from unfair job discrimination, Florida will be a safer, fairer and more welcoming place in which to live and work.


  •  Out of the 536,000 LGBT adults in Florida, 62% can be fired based on gender identity and 50% can be fired based on sexual orientation.
  • 73% of Floridians believe that LGBT people should be treated fairly at work. Ensuring that all workers are treated fairly on the job is good for LGBT employees, good for business and good for the state of Florida.
  • Only 38% of Floridians live in cities or counties with protections against discrimination based on sex­ual orientation and gender identity.
  • More than one-third of openly LGBT employees have been harassed or discriminated against in the last five years
  • 536,000 LGBT adults live in Florida, and one in eight LGBT couples are raising children. All Floridians should be able to provide for their families free from discrimination in the workplace.
  • 14 of Florida’s 16 Fortune 500 companies have policies addressing discrimination against LGBT people.


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