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328,000 Florida LGBT employees vulnerable to discrimination

It was just a couple of months ago that same-sex marriage was legalized here in Florida. On the steps of the Miami-Dade courthouse, supporters cried, laughed and hugged when a judge took down the ban on the marriages.

The fight for civil rights goes on, however, after a new report surfaces that shows that more than 328,000 LGBT employees in Florida have no workplace protections from discrimination based on sexual preference and gender identification. Of our state's 67 counties, only 31 have created legal protections for LGBT workers.

The federal and state governments have also failed to enact legislation banning such discrimination.

The report on LGBT employment discrimination is from the UCLA Williams Institute. The institute also noted that a 2013 survey found that 73 percent of respondents favor passage of a statewide protection from workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. A national survey conducted in 2010 found that 81 percent of transgender people reported mistreatment or harassment in the workplace.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the media has repeatedly covered instances of employment discrimination against LGBT Florida workers.

The Williams Institute report also states that 10 percent of LGBT workers report income disparity in their workplaces. Of course, without specific protections, it might be possible for employers to deny LGBT employees raises or promotions -- or even to fire them -- based on sexual preference and gender ID.

If you face discrimination in a Miami workplace, you should discuss the facts of your situation with an experienced employment law attorney. An experienced attorney can evaluate your case and represent you in negotiations and litigation.

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