The #JaxHRO has just cleared the first procedural hurdle it will face on its way to a full City Council vote that’s expected to come on February 14th.
This morning, the Neighborhoods, Community Investments & Services (NCIS) Committee advanced the HRO 4-2. However, the NCIS Committee also attached an amendment that exempts employers with fewer than 50 employees from being bound by the HRO’s employment nondiscrimination provisions. This means that LGBT discrimination would be treated differently than other protected classes under Jacksonville law for whom the standard is 15 employees.
While it’s phenomenal that the #JaxHRO is seeing unprecedented legislative momentum, this new amendment clearly violates law’s intent: to ensure that all LGBT people are equally protected in Jacksonville. If the full Council approves the HRO next week with this amendment still attached, many LGBT people could still face discrimination if they work for companies or visit public businesses that employ fewer than 50 people.
Fortunately, both the Rules and Finance Committees will hear the ordinance in its original form—without the discriminatory amendment—when they convene on Tuesday, February 7th, and on Wednesday, February 8th. And when the full Council votes on February 14th, they can reject this discriminatory amendment.
We will be keeping the pressure on all City Council members to reject this discriminatory amendment as they consider—and, ultimately, vote on—these long-overdue nondiscrimination protections.
You can help us keep this positive momentum going by clicking here to send a message urging the City Council to pass comprehensive protections during the final vote.
Also, consider making your message even more powerful by sending it in person when the Council votes next Tuesday. Click here to let us know you will be joining us at City Hall at 4pm on February 14th for the final vote on the #JaxHRO.