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What Employees Should Know About Gender Identity Discrimination in Florida WorkplacesClient-Focused & Passionate Representation

What Employees Should Know About Gender Identity Discrimination in Florida Workplaces

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Employees in Palm Beach Gardens and throughout South Florida have protections against gender discrimination in the workplace under state and federal law. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) makes clear that prohibitions against sex discrimination under Title VII are interpreted to include prohibitions against gender discrimination. Given that employees have these protections, should employees be concerned about Florida legislation like HB 599? Our Palm Beach Gardens sex and gender discrimination lawyers want to emphasize that this proposed legislation, which would have limited gender identity protections, died — and will not be moving forward.

But what if a similar bill is proposed again and passes? What would this mean for Florida workplaces? We can explain some of the terms of that bill — keeping in mind that it failed — and tell you more about how something similar could impact gender discrimination protections in Palm Beach Gardens workplaces.

What Did HB 599 Intend? 

The language of the bill began by saying it dealt with “gender identity employment practices.” The text would have “prohibit[ed] employees and contractors of certain employers from being required to use, from providing, and from being asked to provide certain titles and pronouns.” The text of the bill also said that it would have “prohibit[ed] employees and contractors from being penalized or subjected to certain actions for not providing certain titles and pronouns.”

In short, the bill intended to prevent employees in Florida from providing their pronouns (including pronouns that do not match the employee’s sex listed on the employee’s birth certificate). The bill also intended to prevent employers from taking any action against employees who refused to use another employee’s preferred pronouns. In effect, the bill aimed to permit gender identity discrimination in the workplace.

Understanding Gender and Gender Identity Discrimination in Florida Workplaces 

With HB 599 failing in the Florida legislative session this March, employees in Florida workplaces do not need to worry about the effects that such a bill would have. However, many employees who do not use the pronouns that match the sex assigned on their birth certificate have concerns about their rights in their workplaces, and what they can do if an employer has a policy that mirrors the language in HB 599 or has similarities.

As we noted above, the EEOC has clarified that prohibitions against sex discrimination under Title VII include gender and gender identity discrimination. However, both state and federal laws only apply to employers with 15 or more employees. If you do work in a smaller workplace and have experienced gender discrimination, it is important to seek legal advice to find out about options that may be available to you.

Contact Our Palm Beach Gardens Gender and Sex Discrimination Lawyer 

If you have any questions or concerns about gender discrimination or discrimination in a workplace on the basis of gender identity, one of the experienced Palm Beach Gardens gender and sex discrimination attorneys at Sconzo Law Office can help. We can answer your questions and discuss potential ways of protecting yourself and ensuring equality in your workplace.

Sources:

eeoc.gov/sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity-sogi-discrimination

flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2024/599

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