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What Are The Rights Of LGBTQ+ Employees In Florida?

Florida attorney L. Reed Bloodworth is the managing partner of Bloodworth Law.

The Orlando and Winter Haven law firm handles employment litigation for Florida employers facing federal and state legal disputes with employees on a range of issues.

What Are The Rights Of LGBTQ+ Employees In Florida?

Employment litigation attorney and Bloodworth Law partner, J. Kemp Brinson, explains that Federal laws protect the rights of LGBTQ+ employees. So what are the rights of LGBTQ+ employees in Florida?

“In Florida, there are no state statutes that specifically give LGBTQ+ employees rights any different than the rights that are guaranteed and made available under federal law,” Kemp said.

“There are a few municipalities and counties within Florida that have their own regulations. But, in terms of statewide rights, this is governed primarily by federal law, and by state law that is influenced by that federal law.

Federal Rights vs. Florida Rights

Kemp said that “this is really a federal right, as opposed to a specifically Florida right. So under some recent Supreme Court precedents, both the issue of gender identity, as well as the issue of sexual orientation are considered essentially baked into the term sex.”

Federal Law Prohibits Discrimination On The Basis Of Sex

“The federal statute prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, and the Supreme Court has determined that the phrase, “on the basis of sex” essentially means, also, on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Kemp explained that “if someone is treated differently because of their sexual orientation, or because of their gender identity, that person has been discriminated against on the basis of sex as prohibited by federal and state law.

Protection Against Blatantly Adverse Treatment

“That could take the form of straightforward discrimination,” Kemp said. “For example, blatantly adverse treatment of people based on their sexual orientation, or gender identity.

“Or, it could take the form of more subtle forms of discrimination such as sex-specific dress codes and sex-specific stereotyping.”

Kemp explained that “saying things like ‘you’re not acting like a man,’ or, ‘you’re not acting like a woman,’ or, you’re not acting lady-like,’ is stereotyping … because those terms don’t mean anything actual, other than the former cultural significance that was attached to them.

Assumptions or Presumptions

“And the idea is that someone whose gender or sexual orientation doesn’t conform with what society might think of as male or female? When, or, if that person is treated differently, based on that presumption, or any assumption about who they are? That is a form of sex discrimination,” Kemp said.

Florida Employers Governed By Federal and State Laws

Employers are governed by federal and Florida employment laws that affect their companies and employees. The Bloodworth Law employment law team notes that “every discrimination claim is different. Case details are unique, so you can’t read online or use comments made in this law firm blog post, for example, and attach it to your employee’s situations.

To clarify discrimination, harassment, or other employment laws, talk with Reed, Kemp, and the employment law team to find out how Bloodworth Law can help you, your employees, or your business.

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