Florida education officials on Wednesday unanimously approved harsher penalties against state college employees who violate a new law barring them and students from using restrooms or changing facilities for a gender other than the one assigned at birth.
The move by the state board of education comes as LGBTQ advocates have criticized the law as a larger effort to erase them from Florida schools and society.
Under the new rules approved Wednesday, staff and faculty at Florida colleges can be fired if they use a restroom for a gender that does not correspond with their gender assigned at birth.
Employees may also face a verbal and written warning and suspension without pay as penalty for a first offense.
Colleges will be forced to fire employees after a second offense, according to the new rule’s text.
The complaint must also include “the circumstances of the event sufficient to establish a violation,” according to the new rule.
Florida’s college system consists of 28 public community and state colleges—and it operates as a separate entity from the state’s university system. »