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Year in Review from Palm Beach County Human Rights Council

From Palm Beach County Human Rights Council:

December 2007

Palm Beach County Commissioners amend both the County's Equal Employment Ordinance and the County's Fair Housing Ordinance to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on gender identity or expression.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum's office advises the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council that his office's policies have been revised to "provide enough latitude" to allow employees to use sick leave to care for domestic partners.

November 2007

Palm Beach Gardens revises its Equal Employment Opportunity and Harassment and Discrimination policies to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and familial status.

Palm Beach Gardens initiates basic domestic partner benefits (personal leave, acute illness leave, bereavement leave, and access to an Employee Assistance Program) for city employees.

October 2007

The Health Care District of Palm Beach County votes to offer health insurance to its employees' domestic partners.

State Senator Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton) and State Representative Kelly Skidmore (D-Boca Raton) reintroduce legislation to amend the Florida Civil Rights Act and Florida's Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. If enacted into law, Representative Skidmore's bill would also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

At the request of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink updates Florida Department of Financial Services policies to allow employees to use sick leave to care for domestic partners.

September 2007

The Palm Beach County Bar Association becomes the first county bar association in Florida to adopt a policy prohibiting discrimination in employment and membership on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

August 2007

The School District of Palm Beach County reduces health insurance premiums for employees with domestic partners so that the premiums will be the same as for married employees.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office expands domestic partner benefits to include sick leave, bereavement leave and an employee assistance plan.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's nondiscrimination policy is updated to include sexual orientation and familial status.

The Village of Royal Palm Beach amends its Equal Employment Opportunity/Americans with Disabilities Act Policy and its Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Policy to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The Fifteenth Judicial Circuit agrees to include transgender issues in its diversity training for judges and court personnel.

The Palm Beach County Bar Association agrees to include reference to Palm Beach County's historic gay rights laws in the permanent exhibit And Justice for All at the County's 1916 Historic Courtroom.

July 2007

Lake Worth amends the city's Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression.

June 2007

The Clerk and Comptroller revises her office policies so that the same continuation of health care coverage will be provided to her employees' domestic partners and their children as is provided to married employees' families under COBRA.

May 2007

Tequesta amends four Village policies (the Diversity and Workplace Equity Policy, the Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, the Hiring Process Policy and the Illegal Discrimination and Retaliation Policy) to protect Village employees from discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

April 2007

West Palm Beach amends the City's Equal Opportunity Ordinance to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and expression. The ordinance covers employment, housing and public accommodations.

The Supervisor of Elections revises his office's policy manual, reinstating (a) the full range of domestic partner benefits and (b) the prohibition against discrimination and harassment based on gender identity and expression. These had been in effect during his predecessor's administration.

March 2007

90% of PBCHRC's endorsed candidates win in municipal elections.

Jupiter revises nondiscrimination policies to include sexual orientation.

Jupiter offers the full range of domestic partner benefits to municipal employees.

February 2007

State Senator Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton) and State Representative Kelly Skidmore (D-Boca Raton) introduce legislation to amend the Florida Civil Rights and Florida's Fair Housing Act to prohibit
discrimination based on sexual orientation.

State Representative Shelley Vana (D-West Palm Beach) introduces legislation to amend the Florida Educational Equity Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in the public schools.

Hypoluxo revises nondiscrimination policies to include sexual orientation.

West Palm Beach redefines "immediate family" to include city employees' domestic partners' children and parents.

January 2007

Palm Beach County Solid Waste Authority revises nondiscrimination policies to include sexual orientation.

December 2006

School District of Palm Beach County unblocks student access to the PBCHRC, Lambda Legal, and Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) web sites.

November 2006

87.5% of the candidates endorsed by PBCHRC are elected or re-elected.

October 2006

Tax Collector implements the full range of domestic partner benefits for his employees.

School District of Palm Beach County expands domestic partner health insurance to cover all 21,000 employees - but still at a significantly higher premiums than for married employees.

Palm Beach County reduces health insurance premiums for county employees with domestic partners so that the premiums will be the same as for married employees.

Palm Beach County revises its policies so that the same continuation of health care coverage will be provided to county employees' domestic partners and their children as is provided to married employees' families under COBRA.

September 2006

Delray Beach City Commission begins to implement the full range of domestic partner benefits for City employees.

Office of the Clerk and Comptroller expands domestic partner policy to include sick leave and bereavement leave.

August 2006

West Palm Beach revises its policies so that the same continuation of health care coverage will be provided to her employees' domestic partners and their children as is provided to married employees' families under COBRA.

West Palm Beach amends a municipal policy to allow city employees to use family medical leave to care for their domestic partners.

July 2006

Delray Beach revises nondiscrimination policies to include sexual orientation.

Tax Collector revises nondiscrimination policies to include sexual orientation.

June 2006

Florida Atlantic University trustees adopts Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Regulation covering all classes protected by law, which includes sexual orientation.

May 2006

School District adopts Commercial Nondiscrimination Policy which requires its vendors to specifically state in writing that they do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

January 2006

Palm Beach County establishes a countywide Domestic Partnership Registry and grant specific rights to GLBT couples throughout the County.

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