Pennsylvania Sexual Harassment laws & HR compliance analysis

Pennsylvania Sexual Harassment: What you need to know

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate against applicants, employees, or independent contractors based on sex, including sexual harassment (PA Stat. Tit. 43 Sec. 951 et seq.). The Act covers all public employers and private employers with four or more employees.
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The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) has issued guidance indicating that it will accept complaints alleging discrimination based on sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation, transgender identity, gender transition, gender identity, and gender expression as sex discrimination complaints.
Public agencies. Under an Executive Order (EO), state agencies in Pennsylvania are prohibited from employment discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression (EO 2016-04 (4/7/16)). Harassment based on any of the listed factors is prohibited.
State contractors and grantees. Employers that are awarded state contracts or grants are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or employees based on gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression (EO 2016-05 (4/7/16)). Covered contractors and grantees must have a written sexual harassment policy and make their employees aware of the policy.
Guidelines issued by the PHRC define "sexual harassment" as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
• Submission to the conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment;
• Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the individual; or
• The conduct has the purpose or ...

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