Florida's Department of Financial Services can now use their
sick leave to care for domestic partners, according to a
press release from the Palm Beach County Human Rights
Council. The expansion of benefits was authorized by
Alex Sink, the state's chief financial officer. The
DFS employee handbook, to be released to new employees
Tuesday, will revise current policy to "to be responsive to
the changing needs of society, and to treat all
persons fairly and equitably."
change was initiated at the request of the human rights
council. On the day Sink was sworn into office in January of
2007, a letter from council president Rand Hoch was
sent to James Cassady, Sink's chief of staff. In the
letter Hoch asked Sink to consider granting DFS
employees with domestic partners the same family benefits as
married employees. The office began working on the
request in April.
pro-family policy recognizing domestic partners is a
significant first step for Florida," Hoch said in the
statement. "Hopefully, Governor Crist will direct
Department of Management Services secretary Linda
South to investigate the possibility of offering
domestic-partner benefits to all state employees."
The only state
employers to offer the full range of domestic-partner
benefits -- bereavement leave and health insurance -- are
the University of Florida, Florida International
University, Broward Community College, Florida Keys
Community College, Hillsborough Community College, and Miami
Dade College. (
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