Hospitality and Tourism Industry, Law Firm Join Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce Coalition

(Tallahassee, Fla., April 8, 2014) The Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce (FBCW) today announced more members have joined the coalition which supports anti-discrimination legislation impacting the LGBT community. Leaders from Marriott International, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and Bilzin Sumberg are part of the coalition which encompasses more than 15 of the state’s largest employers.

Florida State Sen. Joe Abruzzo (D-Royal Palm Beach) and Reps. Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo) and Joe Saunders (D-Orlando) are prime sponsors of the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, SB 348/HB 239, which prohibits discrimination among the LGBT community in employment, housing and public accommodations.

Recruiting and retaining talent is critical to the state’s long-term business success, and coalition members understand that Florida employers must attract qualified and diverse applicants who reflect the diverse population of the state. The link between strong anti-discrimination laws and the ability to draw the best and the brightest is the reason that 84 percent of the nation’s largest companies have adopted comprehensive anti-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity.

“At Marriott, our core strength lies in our ability to make everyone – guests and employees feel respected and valued when they stay or work in our hotels,” said David Rodriguez, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Marriott International. “We work hard to build a workplace free of discrimination that enables all of our associates to succeed. The Competitive Workforce Act is consistent with our commitment to diversity and inclusion and will help us attract top talent from a range of backgrounds to provide stellar service at our Florida properties.”

“The tourism and hospitality industry is the state’s largest employer, representing more than one million people working in our restaurants, hotels and attractions,” said Carol Dover, President/CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “Discrimination will not be tolerated in our industry, nor should it be tolerated in any segment of the population.

“Bilzin Sumberg is strongly committed to providing a professional environment where individuals representing different genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations and religions can flourish both personally and professionally,” said John C. Sumberg, Managing Partner, Bilzin Sumberg . “Our diverse backgrounds and individual differences strengthen the work we accomplish as a firm and enhance the quality of life for each of us.”

The coalition, announced in January of this year, now include Bilzin Sumberg, C1 Bank, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, CSX Corporation, Darden Restaurants Inc., Florida Blue, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Haskell, Home Shopping Network, Marriott International, On Top of the World

Communities, Raymond James Financial Inc., St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Tech Data Corporation, University of North Florida, Walt Disney World Resort, Wells Fargo and Winn Dixie.

About Marriott International
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland with more than 4,000 properties in 79 countries and territories and reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013. Its portfolio includes 276 properties in Florida with approximately 23,000 employees. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at, and for the latest company news, visit

About the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
FRLA’s mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s hospitality industry – which represents a $76.1 billion industry, 23% of Florida’s economy, $4.6 billion in sales tax revenue, and nearly 1.1 million employees, making it the state’s number one industry. It is Florida’s premier non-profit, hospitality industry trade association. FRLA safeguards the needs of the hospitality industry, improves the business climate, promotes the highest levels of quality and safety for our patrons, provides legislative advocacy, and eases navigation of government regulation. The Association represents and serves more than 10,000 independent and household name members, suppliers, and theme parks. For more information, go to

About Bilzin Sumberg
Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP is a commercial law firm with extensive experience in the areas of Corporate & Tax, Government Relations & Land Development, International, Litigation, Real Estate and Restructuring & Bankruptcy. For more information, please visit

Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce
The Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce (FBCW) Coalition is a 501c(4) whose mission is cheap nba jerseys to support passing cheap jerseys The Competitive Workforce Act (HB 239/SB 348) which Coalition would modernize state law to include anti-discrimination protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity or A expression. The Coalition believes that the Florida Competitive Workforce wholesale jerseys Act will Our make Florida more nfl competitive in Competitive the national and global marketplace in much the Birdman same way companies have benefitted from adopting anti-discrimination policies.