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Oct 05, 2018

The Future of Bathroom Accommodations for Transgender Employees in Pennsylvania

The protections afforded to transgender employees in Pennsylvania are increasing but remain uncertain.  In August 2018, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (“PHRC”) issued guidance to elaborate on the meaning of “sex” under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (“PHRA”).  The PHRC concluded that sex discrimination does encompass claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation, transgender transition, gender identity, and gender expression.   » Read More

Aug 23, 2018

PHRC Issues Guidance on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination

As many Pennsylvania employers know, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (“PHRC”) is the agency charged with enforcing state anti-discrimination laws such as the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (“PHRA”). The PHRA largely mirrors federal workplace anti-discrimination laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), but has a lower employee threshold for coverage: four or more employees. » Read More

Dec 05, 2017

Pennsylvania Federal Court Awards Damages in Sexual Orientation Harassment Case

In a first-of-its-kind decision in Pennsylvania, a federal district court awarded damages in a Title VII sexual harassment case based upon sexual orientation.  In EEOC v. Scott Medical Health Center, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania awarded $55,000 in damages and other relief to a private employee who claimed he was discriminated against because he is gay.  » Read More

Nov 10, 2016

Pennsylvania Federal Court Holds that Sexual Orientation is Protected Under Title VII

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not expressly list sexual orientation as a protected classification.  Last year, however, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held that sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination pursuant to Title VII.  » Read More

Aug 29, 2016

Tomorrow: Pennsylvania Senate to Hold Hearing on LGBT Workplace Discrimination Bill

It is well known that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), which bans workplace discrimination based on factors such as race, color, or religion, does not protect job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  » Read More

Apr 18, 2016

LGBT Discrimination by State Contractors Banned by Executive Order

For nearly two years, companies that contract with the federal government have been prohibited from discriminating against their employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The same is now true for companies that contract with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, following an executive order signed by Governor Wolf earlier this month.   » Read More

Nov 18, 2015

Transgender Questions: What bathroom to use?

Approximately two weeks ago, voters in Houston repealed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (“HERO”), otherwise known as the “bathroom bill.”  At issue was a provision in the ordinance stating that no business could deny a transgender person access to the restroom consistent with his or her gender identity.  » Read More

Aug 04, 2015

Now the EEOC Can Conduct Investigations Based on Sexual Orientation Discrimination

In late June, the United States Supreme Court made news by ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that the U.S. Constitution guarantees same-sex couples’ right to marry.  The landmark decision requires all states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and recognize same-sex marriages validly performed in other states.  » Read More

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