Miami-Dade County Expands its Human Rights Law to Ban Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity and Gender Expression
On December 2, 2014, Miami-Dade County Commission amended the County’s Human Rights Ordinance (Chapter 11A of the Code of Ordinances of Miami Dade County, Florida) to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and expression.
The new law defines “gender identity” as “a person’s innate, deeply felt psychological identification as a man, woman or some other gender, which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth (e.g., the sex listed on their birth certificate).” It defines “gender expression” as “all of the external characteristics and behaviors that are socially defined as either masculine of feminine, such as dress, grooming, mannerisms, speech patterns and social interactions. Social or cultural norms can vary widely and some characteristics that may be accepted as masculine, feminine or neutral in one culture may not be assessed similarly in another.”
Unlike its federal and state counterparts that apply to companies employing 15 or more employees, Miami-Dade Ordinance covers any employer who in the regular course of business employs five (5) or more employees in Miami-Dade County.
The amendments will become effective on December 12, 2014, unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, the amendments will become effective only upon an override by the Board of County Commissioners.