AT&T Florida Joins Coalition Working to End LGBT Discrimination in Florida

-Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce Coalition Grows Its Efforts-
(Tallahassee, Fla.) – The Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce (FBCW) coalition today announced that AT&T Florida has joined the more than 400 Florida businesses that support enacting the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, which would end state-sanctioned LGBT discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
With nearly 7 out of 10 Americans favoring laws that would protect the LGBT community against this kind of discrimination, now is the time for Florida to modernize current state law. Passing the Competitive Workforce Act helps protect all Florida residents and visitors, and attracts even more entrepreneurs, companies, and a diverse workforce to the state.

“AT&T established the first GLBT Employee Resource Group in corporate America in 1987 recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion in making our company successful,” said President of AT&T Florida, Joe York. “We believe that in order to remain competitive in today’s ever-changing technology industry, Florida must attract the most innovative and talented workforce. In order to do this, it is imperative that we protect the workforce from discrimination of any kind. We are proud to be a part of a coalition whose goal is to ensure all Floridians are treated equally.”

“Florida’s major employers have come together to stand shoulder to shoulder with the LGBT community and pass the Competitive Workforce Act,” said FBCW Campaign Manager Patrick Slevin. “It is an honor to have AT&T Florida on our team, helping Florida take the right step in bolstering the economy, and protecting its residents and visitors.”

Florida State Rep. Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo) and State Sen. Joe Abruzzo (D-Boynton Beach) filed House Bill 45 and Senate Bill 120 respectively that will modernize Florida’s anti-discrimination law to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While 35 counties and municipalities have passed local anti-discrimination ordinances – representing more than 10.9 million Floridians, or 55 percent of the population – a statewide measure must be enacted.

Top employers in the state have united to form the Coalition that aims to grow Florida’s economy by attracting and retaining the best workers to the state with the promise of equal opportunity employment. AT&T joins thirty-four (34) major Florida employers, including Fortune 500 companies CSX, Darden Restaurants, Marriott, NextEra Energy, Office Depot, Tech Data, Walt Disney World Resort and Wells Fargo, with more than 400 local businesses onboard.

While it is illegal to discriminate in employment, housing and public accommodations based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap or marital status, gay and transgender people are currently left out of statewide non-discrimination protections. For this reason, Florida businesses are backing the Competitive Workforce Act, which will give the state a competitive advantage in today’s evolving marketplace.