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RIGHTS & PROTECTIONS FOR LGBT EMPLOYEES

posted Jul 16, 2015, 9:59 PM by Nick Camlin   [ updated Jul 16, 2015, 9:59 PM ]

With Mr Drue Mielke, I am happy to co-sponsor a very important County Board Resolution that reaffirms our County's commitment to LGBT employees and looks to the next horizon of rights and protections for all LGBT people. Our County has a rich history of extending respect and dignity to LGBT employees, including benefits for same-sex couples, implementing the 2011 civil unions law and the 2015 marriage equality law, and setting policies protecting sexual orientation in the employee manual.

But we can do more. Therefore, we will seek to: 
  • further our employees' rights and protections by including both sexual orientation and gender identity into County policies, 
  • expand diversity training to include LGBT people, and establish a Diversity Council
  • ensure that all married and civil union couples are included in Family & Medical Leave Act provisions, 
  • and begin to develop a procurement policy that asks businesses with County contracts in excess of $25,000.00, to have nondiscrimination policies that include LGBT people.
I am hopeful that these actions will send a very clear message: if you come and work for our County, you will be valued and you will have nothing to fear-- you can be yourself!

This Resolution was passed by the Human Resources Committee on Thursday, July 16, 2015, and will come before the full County Board for final approval on Tuesday, July 21, 2015:

ROCK ISLAND COUNTY BOARD

RESOLUTION


RE: Affirming Protections for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgendered Employees


WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of the United States on Friday, June 26, 2015, ruled that there is a constitutional right to marriage equality in all 50 states affording same-sex couples the right to engage in civil marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges; and


WHEREAS, other states and localities have pushed back against the ruling in order to deny rights and protections to Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) people; and


WHEREAS, our State has committed to granting rights and protections to LGBT residents, including the  2011 Civil Unions law, and the 2014 Marriage Equality law, implemented by our County Clerk; and


WHEREAS, our County wishes to reaffirm its commitment to LGBT employees; and


WHEREAS, the County has policies protecting sexual orientation, including Section 1 Hiring Practices, Section 2 Equal Employment Opportunity, and Section 4 Anti-Harassment/Bullying in the Employee Manual, and also extends benefits to same-sex couples, including health insurance; and


WHEREAS, the County Board wishes to express that LGBT employees are valued members of our County departments that deserve the full rights and protections that all are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.


BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED BY THE COUNTY BOARD OF ROCK ISLAND COUNTY, ILLINOIS, AS FOLLOWS:


That the County Board directs the Administrator and Human Resources Department to:

  1. Incorporate protections for both sexual orientation and gender identity into County policies with the upcoming revisions;

  2. Expand diversity training to include LGBT people, and establish a Diversity Council;

  3. Ensure that all married and civil union couples are included in FMLA provisions; and

  4. Draft a procurement policy that requires contractors with County contracts in excess of $25,000.00, to have nondiscrimination policies that include LGBT people.