[BREAKING NEWS] Broward County Passes Equal Benefits Ordinance

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Posted on November 8, 2011 - 3:59pm by stratton.

Companies must treat domestic partners and married couples equally


Left to Right: Mark Ketchum - Executive Director of Sunserve, Paul Hyman - Executive Director of the Pride Center, Stratton Pollitzer - Deputy Director of Equality Florida, Ron Mills - President of the Dolphin Democrats, and Dean Trantalis Former Vice-Mayor of Fort Lauderdale.

Just moments ago the Broward County Commission voted unanimously to approve Florida's first countywide Equal Benefits Ordinance (EBO), a measure that requires the county's vendors to provide domestic partners with benefits equal to those offered to spouses of married employees. In other words, if you want to do business with Broward County, you must treat domestic partners and married employees equally. This amazing victory is the culmination of more than a year's work on the part of Equality Florida and local organizers. Way to go team!

By enacting this ordinance, Broward County adopts one of the nation's most significant policies furthering workplace equality. Today, Broward County continues its long history of leadership in the area of human rights by delivering on the promise of equal pay for equal work.

Broward is the first county Florida to adopt an EBO. In 2005 Miami Beach became the first city in the state to pass an EBO, and the Miami Beach policy has been praised by the city commission and the staff, while reporting no negative fiscal impact.

The ordinance places Broward County's domestic partnership policies among the strongest in the country. In recent years EBOs have been adopted as a state law in California, and in the cities of San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Olympia, Minneapolis, and Portland. The ordinance was introduced by Mayor Sue Gunzburger and was co-sponsored by all members of the commission.

The EBO applies to companies who are in contracts of $100,000 or more with the county and who have 5 or more employees. If a company does not currently provide benefits to the spouses of their employees, then they are not required to provide benefits to the domestic partners of their employees.

If companies are not able to provide benefits to domestic partners, they may provide the cash equivalent to the employee and still meet the requirements of the EBO.

Special thanks to our Broward Coalition partners who made up our winning team: the Pride Center, Sunserve, the Dolphin Democrats, the GLBT Democratic Caucus, and the many community leaders who stood with us.

Comments

David (not verified) says:

November 8, 2011 - 6:03pm

What if I work in Broward County but the company is based out of Jacksonville
For example I work for Winn-Dixie in Broward County but my partner of 23 years is not covered because they are based in Jacksonville.
He is on medicare because he is permantly disabled so he has coverage but if he didn't have medicare he would be out of luck.



Andrew Bell (not verified) says:

November 8, 2011 - 6:19pm

Congratulations to Broward County, but let's make sure that we get these implemented all over Florida. I live in Orlando and I know that our current mayor, Buddy Dyer, is NOT in favor of this ordinance. That is why I am supporting Mike Cantone for Mayor of Orlando. He is rolling out his Equal Benefits Ordinance proposal for Orlando on Thursday. I am sure Equality Florida will want to get EBO passed all over the state.



Dutch (not verified) says:

November 8, 2011 - 6:30pm

This is such great news! Congrats Broward County, EFL, and all the volunteer leaders who made this happen!!

I too live in Orlando and our current Mayor Buddy Dyer has FINALLY decided to support a domestic registry that really isn't enough to secure the benefits we need.

I also support Mike Cantone who, this coming Thursday, will announce his support for an EBO for the City of Orlando. I am so glad a progressive is in this race and I really do hope Equality Florida supports him in the Mayoral race on April 3rd in addition to Grayson, Nelson, and Obama on that first tuesday in November a year from now.

Dyer is no friend of working people- be that black, white, gay or straight. That's why I am so proud to support Mike Cantone and I am counting on Equality Florida doing so as well.

Here's his facebook page announcing the EBO in Orlando!
http://www.facebook.com/Mike4Mayor

Good work Broward and wish us the best here in Orlando!



Ric (not verified) says:

November 8, 2011 - 6:40pm

AWESOME! I'm so glad for Broward County, finally a progressive step forward for LGBT rights!
I'm in Orlando and I wish Orange County had something like this. I'm glad that Mike Cantone is running for Mayor, so maybe when he gets elected Orlando will adopt a similar measure!!!
I LIKE MIKE!



Plato (not verified) says:

November 8, 2011 - 6:53pm

If all goes well, we'll have a similar ordinance here in Orlando. One of the candidates in the mayors race - Mike Cantone - is proposing a similar ordinance. Equality requires bold action, and so I'm I've got a bold candidate to support.



Tim (not verified) says:

November 8, 2011 - 6:54pm

That really is great news. And a real step forward for the LGBT community! Living in Orlando, I know that our LGBT community sure could use a progressive leader to pass an EBO here. That is why we should ALL give our support on April 3rd 2012 to Mike Cantone for Mayor. A REAL buddy to the LGBT folks right here in Orlando!



Mike (not verified) says:

November 8, 2011 - 8:49pm

David,

Not an attorney, but the way I read this is, that Winn-Dixie would have to doing north of $100,000 business with the county government of Broward... I would think almost anything where the county issues a check to Winn-Dixie would go toward this total.

I think that just selling groceries to the populus in general, would not qualify for this total. Nontheless, it is a great step for Broward, and Gay Floridians.



pandora bracelets sale (not verified) says:

March 21, 2012 - 1:27am

November 8, 2011 - 6:54pm
That really is great news. And a real step forward for the LGBT community! Living in Orlando, I know that our LGBT community sure could use a progressive leader to pass an EBO here. That is why we should ALL give our support on April 3rd 2012 to Mike Cantone for Mayor. A REAL buddy to the LGBT folks right here in Orlando!



pandora bracelets uk (not verified) says:

March 21, 2012 - 1:28am

hat really is great news. And a real step forward for the LGBT community! Living in Orlando, I know that our LGBT community sure could use a progressive leader to pass an EBO here. That is why we should ALL give our support on April 3rd 2012 to Mike Cantone for Mayor. A REAL buddy to the LGBT folks right here in Orlando!



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