The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act prohibits employment practices against applicants, employees, and independent contractors that discriminate based on disability or the use of guide or support animals by individuals with disabilities (PA Stat. Tit. 43 Sec. 955). The Act covers all public employers and private employers with four or more employees, including employment agencies and labor unions.
The regulations established by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission define “disability” as:
• A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity,
• A record of an impairment, or
• Being regarded as having an impairment.
Impairments resulting from disease or illness are included within the definition. Current addiction to or current illegal use of a controlled substance is excluded from the definition (PA Admin. Code Tit. 16 Sec. 44.4).
Like the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), state law prohibits employers from basing a decision regarding hiring, promotion, compensation, discharge, or any other term or condition of employment on the knowledge or perception that a person has a disability. Employers are also prohibited from using application or testing procedures that tend to screen out applicants with disabilities and are required to offer reasonable accommodations to allow applicants with disabilities to participate in the application process. Employers must provide reasonable accommodation for an individual's disability unless to do so would impose an undue hardship on the employer’s business.
Retaliation against any person for filing a discrimination complaint or participating in the investigation or hearing of a discrimination claim is prohibited. ...