TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Working with Equality Florida, Rep. Scott Randolph (D-Orlando) filed a bill today that aims to bring jobs to Florida. The Florida Competitive Workforce Act (H.B. 361) would prohibit all forms of discrimination in the workplace, including sexual orientation and gender identity.

Major corporations have long known that diversity is good for business. Today, eighty-seven percent of Fortune 500 Companies include sexual orientation provisions in their anti-discrimination policies and nearly half include gender identity and expression.

“In a time of serious economic hardship, it is imperative that we do everything we can to encourage economic growth and investment,” Representative Scott Randolph said. “This bill promotes smart business practices that will attract employers to our state and create jobs. The Florida Competitive Workforce Act seeks to move Florida forward.”

Here in Florida, Pepsico, Wells Fargo, JetBlue, BlueCross BlueShield of Florida, and other billion-dollar corporations have joined with Equality Florida in the Equality Means Business project, an effort to spotlight major employers in Florida that have adopted comprehensive non-discrimination polices and have demonstrated their commitment to valuing and pro-actively including all employees.

"Passage of this bill will dramatically improve Florida’s national and international reputation as a welcoming and inclusive place to live, work and visit." said Mallory Wells, public policy director for Equality Florida. "We're proud to work with Rep. Randolph, one of our strongest champions in Tallahassee, to promote the Competitive Workforce Act."

Florida law currently fails to protect all Floridians against workplace discrimination. The Florida Competitive Workforce Act will not only ensure equal protection for all Floridians, but it will also demonstrate that Florida understands that diversity brings the skills, perspective and other assets that are essential to establishing a competitive workforce.

Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.



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