Pennsylvania Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Pennsylvania Discrimination: What you need to know

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act prohibits employers from discriminating against or refusing to hire or contract with any individual or independent contractor based on race, color, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, sex, age (40 years and older), or non-job-related handicap or disability or because the individual or independent contractor uses a guide or support animal because of his or her blindness, deafness, or physical handicap. The Act covers all public employers and private employers with four or more employees, including employment agencies and labor unions (PA Stat. Tit. 43 Sec. 955).
Religious organizations. The Act does not apply to religious organizations, as long as they do not receive any governmental appropriations (PA Stat. Tit. 43 Sec. 954(b)).
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The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) has issued guidance indicating that it will accept as a sex discrimination complaint any complaint alleging discrimination based on sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation, transgender identity, gender transition, gender identity, and gender expression.
Under the Act, it is unlawful for an employer to:
• Refuse to hire or contract with an individual, or to discharge an individual from employment, based on a protected characteristic.
• Discriminate against an individual with respect to compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment based on a protected characteristic.
• Elicit any information about or make or keep a record of a protected characteristic, unless the information is elicited as part of a bona fide affirmative action plan.
• Use any form of application or application blank containing questions or entries concerning a protected characteristic, ...

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