The state of Florida does not offer employment non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation, which means employers can fire employees they suspect of being lesbian, gay, or bisexual. But Florida Senate Minority Leader Non Rich (D) has proposed new legislation to end that discrimination, which she argues will simultaneously improve Florida’s economy:
RICH: The Florida Competitive Workforce Act will not only ensure equal protection of the law for all Floridians, it will also show that Florida understands that the one of the best ways to grow our economy is to ensure we have a diverse workforce that capitalizes on the skills, perspectives and talents of all our people.
Currently, only 21 states offer employment non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation, but Rich is correct that allowing such discrimination has negative impacts, both on LGB employees and the competitiveness of the workforce in general. When employees can come out without fear of termination, they flourish and increase the productivity of their coworkers.