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Equal Benefits Ordinance: Broward County, Fla.

Passed on November 8, 2011
Effective on November 15, 2011

Applies to:

• Contracts that exceed $100,000; and

• Businesses that have five (5) or more employees; and

• The contract is awarded pursuant to a competitive solicitation, which is any bid, request for proposal, request for letters of interest, or any other method of procurement utilized by Broward County.

Exceptions & Waivers:

The provisions do not apply where:

• The contractor does not provide benefits to employees’ spouses.

• The Contractor provides an employee the cash equivalent of benefits because the contractor is unable to provide benefits to employees' Domestic Partners despite making reasonable efforts to provide them

o To meet this exception, the contractor shall provide a notarized affidavit that it has made reasonable efforts to provide such benefits. The affidavit shall state the efforts taken to provide such benefits and the amount of the cash equivalent. Cash equivalent means the amount of money paid to an employee with a Domestic Partner rather than providing benefits to the employee's Domestic Partner. The cash equivalent is equal to the employer's direct expense of providing benefits to an employee's spouse.

• The Contractor is a religious organization, association, society, or any non-profit charitable or educational institution or organization operated supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society.

• The Contractor is a governmental agency.

• More than one response to a competitive solicitation is received, but the responses indicate that none of the prospective vendors can comply with the requirements of this section.

• The provisions of this section would violate the laws, rules, or regulations of federal or state law.

• The provisions of this section would violate or be inconsistent with the terms or conditions of a grant or contract with the United States or the State of Florida.

• The Board waives the requirements of this section in the best interests of the County.

Enforcement

As part of the competitive solicitation and procurement process, a contractor seeking a contract pursuant to a competitive solicitation shall, upon receiving the contract, provide written certification that it will provide benefits to Domestic Partners of employees on the same basis as it provides to employees’ spouses.  Failure to comply will be deemed a material breach of contract, entitling the County to terminate the contract, retain all payment due until the contractor complies, or any other remedy provided by law.  The contract may be subject to debarment or suspension proceedings.

Citation

Broward County Code of Ordinances, § 2.16½.152, § 2.16½.157

Contact

Broward County Administration Office
115 S. Andrews Avenue, Room 409
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Phone: 954-357-7362
Fax: 954-357-7360

Prior Regulations

In 1999, the County Commission passed an ordinance that permited the county to extend a bidding preference of 1 percent of the bid or proposal price to a contractor providing equal benefits to domestic partners. Broward County Code of Ordinances Sec. 16 1/2-157