The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act prohibits hiring practices that discriminate against an applicant, employee, or independent contractor on the basis of race, color, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, non-job-related handicap or disability, or the use of a guide or support animal because of the blindness, deafness, or physical disability of any individual or independent contractor (PA Stat. Tit. 43 Sec. 951 et seq.). The Act covers all public employers and private employers with four or more employees.
Bankruptcy. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it is not a violation of federal bankruptcy law for a private employer to refuse to hire an individual on the basis of a prior bankruptcy filing (Rea v. Federated Investors, 627 F.3d 937 (3d Cir. 2010)). The lawsuit was brought after a private employer refused to hire a prospective employee because he had filed for bankruptcy 7 years earlier. The court in this case examined the antidiscrimination provisions of the bankruptcy law and noted that the law prohibits public employers from denying employment on the basis of a bankruptcy filing, but only prohibits private employers from terminating employment or discriminating against employees. Thus, the court concluded that private employers are not precluded from refusing to hire an individual because he or she has claimed bankruptcy.