JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Five independent city agencies will update their non-discrimination policies to include the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity," according to a news release issued Wednesday by the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, the Jacksonville Energy Authority, the Jacksonville Port Authority and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority have all agreed to make the change.
The new policy gives LGBT people who work in Jacksonville protection from being fired from or mistreated at their jobs because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“The addition of these protections at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and our other key public employers are important steps on the path to full equality in Jacksonville,” Jacksonville Coalition for Equality chair Dan Merkan said. “The Jacksonville Coalition for Equality will continue to work towards the day where every hardworking resident of Jacksonville will no longer have to worry about losing their job because of who they are.”
Mayor Lenny Curry issued an executive order in March that brought the city of Jacksonville’s nondiscrimination policies in line with those of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, extending protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender city employees from discrimination and also requiring city vendors to follow the updated employment policies.
JAA, JEA, JAXPORT and JTA have all completed updates of their employment and nondiscrimination policies to include the words ‘’sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
JSO’s updated policy is set to take effect in early October and adds the same wording to their employment policies. The U.S. Navy, Duval County Public Schools and the University of North Florida are other major public employers in the area that protect their workforces with similar policies.