PRINTER'S NO. 317

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA


SENATE BILL

No. 280 Session of 2007


        INTRODUCED BY ORIE, KITCHEN, FERLO, FONTANA, LOGAN, WASHINGTON,
           PIPPY, O'PAKE, MELLOW AND STOUT, MARCH 9, 2007

        REFERRED TO LABOR AND INDUSTRY, MARCH 9, 2007

                                     AN ACT

     1  Amending the act of October 27, 1955 (P.L.744, No.222),
     2     entitled, as amended, "An act prohibiting certain practices
     3     of discrimination because of race, color, religious creed,
     4     ancestry, age or national origin by employers, employment
     5     agencies, labor organizations and others as herein defined;
     6     creating the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in the
     7     Governor's Office; defining its functions, powers and duties;
     8     providing for procedure and enforcement; providing for
     9     formulation of an educational program to prevent prejudice;
    10     providing for judicial review and enforcement and imposing
    11     penalties," further providing for findings and declaration of
    12     policy, for right to freedom from discrimination, housing and
    13     public accommodation; defining "marital status"; and further
    14     providing for unlawful discriminatory practices.

    15     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
    16  hereby enacts as follows:
    17     Section 1.  Sections 2 and 3 of the act of October 27, 1955
    18  (P.L.744, No.222), known as the Pennsylvania Human Relations
    19  Act, amended December 20, 1991 (P.L.414, No.51), are amended to
    20  read:
    21     Section 2.  Findings and Declaration of Policy.--
    22     (a)  The practice or policy of discrimination against
    23  individuals or groups by reason of their race, color, familial


     1  status, marital status, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex,
     2  national origin, handicap or disability, use of guide or support
     3  animals because of the blindness, deafness or physical handicap
     4  of the user or because the user is a handler or trainer of
     5  support or guide animals is a matter of concern of the
     6  Commonwealth. Such discrimination foments domestic strife and
     7  unrest, threatens the rights and privileges of the inhabitants
     8  of the Commonwealth, and undermines the foundations of a free
     9  democratic state. The denial of equal employment, housing and
    10  public accommodation opportunities because of such
    11  discrimination, and the consequent failure to utilize the
    12  productive capacities of individuals to their fullest extent,
    13  deprives large segments of the population of the Commonwealth of
    14  earnings necessary to maintain decent standards of living,
    15  necessitates their resort to public relief and intensifies group
    16  conflicts, thereby resulting in grave injury to the public
    17  health and welfare, compels many individuals to live in
    18  dwellings which are substandard, unhealthful and overcrowded,
    19  resulting in racial segregation in public schools and other
    20  community facilities, juvenile delinquency and other evils,
    21  thereby threatening the peace, health, safety and general
    22  welfare of the Commonwealth and its inhabitants.
    23     (b)  It is hereby declared to be the public policy of this
    24  Commonwealth to foster the employment of all individuals in
    25  accordance with their fullest capacities regardless of their
    26  race, color, religious creed, familial status, marital status,
    27  ancestry, age, sex, national origin, handicap or disability, use
    28  of guide or support animals because of the blindness, deafness
    29  or physical handicap of the user or because the user is a
    30  handler or trainer of support or guide animals, and to safeguard
    20070S0280B0317                  - 2 -     

     1  their right to obtain and hold employment without such
     2  discrimination, to assure equal opportunities to all individuals
     3  and to safeguard their rights to public accommodation and to
     4  secure housing accommodation and commercial property regardless
     5  of race, color, familial status, marital status, religious
     6  creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, handicap or
     7  disability, use of guide or support animals because of blindness
     8  or deafness of the user or because the user is a handler or
     9  trainer of guide or support animals.
    10     (c)  This act shall be deemed an exercise of the police power
    11  of the Commonwealth for the protection of the public welfare,
    12  prosperity, health and peace of the people of the Commonwealth
    13  of Pennsylvania.
    14     Section 3.  Right to Freedom from Discrimination in
    15  Employment, Housing and Public Accommodation.--The opportunity
    16  for an individual to obtain employment for which he is
    17  qualified, and to obtain all the accommodations, advantages,
    18  facilities and privileges of any public accommodation and of any
    19  housing accommodation and commercial property without
    20  discrimination because of race, color, familial status, marital
    21  status, religious creed, ancestry, handicap or disability, age,
    22  sex, national origin, the use of a guide or support animal
    23  because of the blindness, deafness or physical handicap of the
    24  user or because the user is a handler or trainer of support or
    25  guide animals is hereby recognized as and declared to be a civil
    26  right which shall be enforceable as set forth in this act.
    27     Section 2.  Section 4 of the act is amended by adding a
    28  definition to read:
    29     Section 4.  Definitions.--As used in this act unless a
    30  different meaning clearly appears from the context:
    20070S0280B0317                  - 3 -     

     1     * * *
     2     (bb)  The term "marital status" means whether a person is
     3  single, married, divorced, separated or widowed.
     4     Section 3.  Section 5(a), (b), (c), (f) and (g) of the act,
     5  amended December 20, 1991 (P.L.414, No.51), are amended to read:
     6     Section 5.  Unlawful Discriminatory Practices.--It shall be
     7  an unlawful discriminatory practice, unless based upon a bona
     8  fide occupational qualification, or in the case of a fraternal
     9  corporation or association, unless based upon membership in such
    10  association or corporation, or except where based upon
    11  applicable security regulations established by the United States
    12  or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
    13     (a)  For any employer because of the race, color, religious
    14  creed, ancestry, familial status, marital status, age, sex,
    15  national origin or non-job related handicap or disability or the
    16  use of a guide or support animal because of the blindness,
    17  deafness or physical handicap of any individual or independent
    18  contractor, to refuse to hire or employ or contract with, or to
    19  bar or to discharge from employment such individual or
    20  independent contractor, or to otherwise discriminate against
    21  such individual or independent contractor with respect to
    22  compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
    23  employment or contract, if the individual or independent
    24  contractor is the best able and most competent to perform the
    25  services required. The provision of this paragraph shall not
    26  apply, to (1) operation of the terms or conditions of any bona
    27  fide retirement or pension plan which have the effect of a
    28  minimum service requirement, (2) operation of the terms or
    29  conditions of any bona fide group or employe insurance plan, (3)
    30  age limitations placed upon entry into bona fide apprenticeship
    20070S0280B0317                  - 4 -     

     1  programs of two years or more approved by the State
     2  Apprenticeship and Training Council of the Department of Labor
     3  and Industry, established by the act of July 14, 1961 (P.L.604,
     4  No.304), known as "The Apprenticeship and Training Act."
     5  Notwithstanding any provision of this clause, it shall not be an
     6  unlawful employment practice for a religious corporation or
     7  association to hire or employ on the basis of sex in those
     8  certain instances where sex is a bona fide occupational
     9  qualification because of the religious beliefs, practices, or
    10  observances of the corporation, or association.
    11     (b)  For any employer, employment agency or labor
    12  organization, prior to the employment, contracting with an
    13  independent contractor or admission to membership, to:
    14     (1)  Elicit any information or make or keep a record of or
    15  use any form of application or application blank containing
    16  questions or entries concerning the race, color, religious
    17  creed, ancestry, familial status, marital status, age, sex,
    18  national origin, past handicap or disability or the use of a
    19  guide or support animal because of the blindness, deafness or
    20  physical handicap of any applicant for employment or membership.
    21  Prior to an offer of employment, an employer may not inquire as
    22  to whether an individual has a handicap or disability or as to
    23  the severity of such handicap or disability. An employer may
    24  inquire as to the individual's ability to perform the essential
    25  functions of the employment.
    26     (2)  Print or publish or cause to be printed or published any
    27  notice or advertisement relating to employment or membership
    28  indicating any preference, limitation, specification or
    29  discrimination based upon race, color, religious creed,
    30  ancestry, age, familial status, marital status, sex, national
    20070S0280B0317                  - 5 -     

     1  origin, non-job related handicap or disability or the use of a
     2  guide or support animal because of the blindness, deafness or
     3  physical handicap of the user.
     4     (3)  Deny or limit, through a quota system, employment or
     5  membership because of race, color, religious creed, ancestry,
     6  age, familial status, marital status, sex, national origin, non-
     7  job related handicap or disability, the use of a guide or
     8  support animal because of the blindness, deafness or physical
     9  handicap of the user or place of birth.
    10     (4)  Substantially confine or limit recruitment or hiring of
    11  individuals, with intent to circumvent the spirit and purpose of
    12  this act, to any employment agency, employment service, labor
    13  organization, training school or training center or any other
    14  employe-referring source which services individuals who are
    15  predominantly of the same race, color, religious creed,
    16  ancestry, age, familial status, marital status, sex, national
    17  origin or non-job related handicap or disability.
    18     (5)  Deny employment because of a prior handicap or
    19  disability.
    20     Nothing in clause (b) of this section shall bar any
    21  institution or organization for handicapped or disabled persons
    22  from limiting or giving preference in employment or membership
    23  to handicapped or disabled persons.
    24     (c)  For any labor organization because of the race, color,
    25  religious creed, ancestry, age, familial status, marital status,
    26  sex, national origin, non-job related handicap or disability or
    27  the use of a guide or support animal because of the blindness,
    28  deafness or physical handicap of any individual to deny full and
    29  equal membership rights to any individual or otherwise to
    30  discriminate against such individuals with respect to hire,
    20070S0280B0317                  - 6 -     

     1  tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of employment or any
     2  other matter, directly or indirectly, related to employment.
     3     * * *
     4     (f)  For any employment agency to fail or refuse to classify
     5  properly, refer for employment or otherwise to discriminate
     6  against any individual because of his race, color, religious
     7  creed, ancestry, age, sex, familial status, marital status,
     8  national origin, non-job related handicap or disability or the
     9  use of a guide or support animal because of the blindness,
    10  deafness or physical handicap of the user.
    11     (g)  For any individual seeking employment to publish or
    12  cause to be published any advertisement which in any manner
    13  expresses a limitation or preference as to the race, color,
    14  religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, familial status, marital
    15  status, national origin, non-job related handicap or disability
    16  or the use of a guide or support animal because of the
    17  blindness, deafness or physical handicap of any prospective
    18  employer.
    19     * * *
    20     Section 4.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.







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