07.26.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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There are moments in our lives that stick with us—defining who we were, who we are or who we want to be.

Among my list of essentials are a summer with my grandmother, probably my favorite person that I’ve ever known. The two of us would take turns telling one another stories we’d make up on the spot, finishing each other’s dangling plot threads well into the wee hours of the night. She also helped cement my role as a night owl.

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Lawsuit: Sam’s Club discriminated against transgender worker

By : wire report
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A transgender woman said in a lawsuit Wednesday that she was called “it” and “thing” by co-workers and then wrongfully fired from a North Carolina Sam’s Club store after repeatedly complaining about harassment.

The federal lawsuit by Charlene Bost seeks unspecified monetary damages and asks the court to order the big box retailer to train employees to prevent future harassment of transgender workers. It says Bost was wrongfully fired in 2015 from the Kannapolis store in retaliation for her complaints.

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Wal-Mart accused of same-sex bias in class-action lawsuit

By : Wire Report
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BOSTON (AP) – A Massachusetts woman filed a class-action lawsuit July 14 accusing Wal-Mart of wrongly denying employee benefits for same-sex spouses.

Jacqueline Cote says Wal-Mart repeatedly denied medical insurance for her wife before 2014, when the retail giant started offering benefits for same-sex spouses.

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Arkansas bars expanding local protections for LGBTs

By : Wire Report
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas on Feb. 23 banned local governments from expanding anti-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity, a move criticized by retail giant Wal-Mart and gay rights groups who said the prohibition damaged the state’s image.

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson allowed legislation to go into law without his signature that bars cities and counties from expanding anti-discrimination ordinances beyond what the state already prohibits, making Arkansas the second state to approve such a prohibition. Arkansas’ anti-discrimination protections don’t include sexual orientation or gender identity. Feb. 23 marked the end of the five-day window for Hutchinson to take action on the bill or allow it to become law.

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