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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – The Miami Heat have started the season strong. The players have been selfless and demonstrated excellent teamwork. The parent company of the franchise and AmericanAirlines Arena wants to extend that synergy to the workforce.

The Heat Group is joining a coalition that provides stronger nondiscrimination protections for the gay and transgender community.

They are now among 19 major Florida employers who back the Florida Competitive Workforce Act.

Heat business operations president Eric Woolworth said “embracing diversity isn’t just the right thing to do, we consider it to be a sound business strategy.”

Florida law makes workplace discrimination illegal based race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or marital status. The coalition wants the gay and transgender community included in those policies.

Other Florida employers who are part of the coalition include C1 Bank, Darden Restaurants Inc., FloridaBlue, Marriott, Raymond James Financial Inc., Walt Disney World Resort and Wells Fargo.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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