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Equality Florida seeks LGBT state worker protections

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Oct, 1, 2018, the first day of National LGBT History Month, Equality Florida filed a petition seeking LGBT protections that Governor Rick Scott’s administration committed to more than two years ago, but has failed to act on. Equality Florida’s Petition for Rulemaking filed with the Department of Management Services would establish a rule that prohibits discrimination against state workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

In the wake of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Governor Rick Scott’s officials promised to act on an Executive Order protecting LGBT state workers and contractors from discrimination. After nearly a year of inaction, Governor Scott asserted that an Executive Order was unnecessary because of other federal protections.  

If those protections exist, they should be in state statute or rules,” said Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida. “Nearly 80% of self-identified conservative Florida voters say Governor Scott should keep his promise on the Executive Order. Time is running out for Governor Scott to honor his commitment to do right by LGBT Floridians.

Rick Scott abandoned the LGBTQ community after Pulse, and so far he has abandoned LGBTQ state workers as well,” said Brandon Wolf, a survivor of the Pulse massacre. “He could have made policy change. He didn’t. We ask LGBTQ Floridians to serve our state day in and day out while the Rick Scott administration refuses to serve them.”

The Petition for Rulemaking is based on the Department of Management Services’ responsibility to develop uniform personnel rules for state workers and its authority to adopt rules to recruit and maintain an effective workforce, including policies for employee hiring and advancement. Rick Scott’s administration now has 30 days to respond with a final answer on whether it will protect state workers.