The Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber and South Tampa Chamber of Commerce Opposes the so-called ”Stop Woke Act” (HB7/SB148) that, if passed, will adversely impact Florida businesses and specifically those members of the LGBTQ+ business community.
As written, these harmful proposals would force businesses to navigate between competing mandates. We have a legal and ethical requirement to create safe and fair workplaces by conducting meaningful trainings on workplace issues like sexual harassment, diversity, and inclusion. If this bill passes, businesses could face potential legal liability if said training makes someone feel “uncomfortable.” This will provoke an onslaught of frivolous lawsuits, even as Florida has been recently praised for reforming its litigation climate.
Additionally, this legislation weakens our already-strained efforts to recruit diverse talent to fill vacancies left vacant during the pandemic. Our businesses will struggle, even more than they currently do, to resume employment levels needed to be successful.
Some of our members are headquartered or function solely in Florida while others represent larger national or international employers with a footprint in Florida. If passed, this legislation will create a burdensome patchwork of special rules, making it more onerous and expensive to operate and to provide equitable workplace opportunities in Florida.
Those additional regulatory burdens and the invitation to frivolous litigation could discourage companies from considering Florida for expansion or relocation. It could also discourage national organizations and associations from considering our state as a location for meetings and conventions.
For years, Florida lawmakers, companies, chambers of commerce, and economic development professionals have worked hard to make this state one that is vibrant and one whose economy makes Florida an irresistibly good place to live, work, play and do business. The business community’s commitment to a culture of mutual respect and safe workplaces for everyone is a crucial element of making Florida welcoming, inclusive, and economically competitive.
We are eager to work with our legislative leaders to address our concerns and to ensure that the business community will not be forced to overcome these substantial challenges.
Please click here to find your local House Representative or click here to find your State Senator to inform them of your opinion.
About the Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber
Since 1983, the Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber mission is to advance common business interests, economic growth, and equality in the workplace and society for its LGBT and allied businesses, corporations, and professional members by providing educational, networking, and community engagement.
The Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber has been premier voice of the Greater Tampa Bay Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender business community, representing over 600 businesses, community groups and individuals in seven counties, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota, Polk, or Hernando. www.Tampabaylgbtchamber.org @TampaBayLGBTChamber
About the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce
Established in 1926, the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce is an association of more than 600 businesses and organizations making the South Tampa community a better place in which to live, work, and play. Our active membership consists of local businesses, professionals, non-profits, and government representatives who enjoy connecting to the community though advocacy, educational and leadership opportunities. The South Tampa Chamber is recognized as the 2020 Chamber of the Year by the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals and a Three-Star Chamber of Valor by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. www.SouthTampaChamber.org