1Prohibiting discrimination against persons based on unemployment
2status; providing for powers and duties of the Department of
3Labor and Industry; and imposing penalties.

4The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
5hereby enacts as follows:

6Section 1.  Short title.

7This act shall be known and may be cited as the Pennsylvania
8Fair Employment Opportunity Act.

9Section 2.  Definitions.

10The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
11have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
12context clearly indicates otherwise:

13"Department."  The Department of Labor and Industry of the

15"Employer."  An employer as defined in the act of January 17,
161968 (P.L.11, No.5), known as The Minimum Wage Act of 1968, or
17any person acting, directly or indirectly, in the interest of

1any employer in relation to an employee.

2"Employment agency."  An employment agency licensed under the
3act of July 31, 1941 (P.L.616, No.261), known as the Employment
4Agency Law, or a person regularly undertaking with or without
5compensation to procure employees for an employer or to procure
6for individuals opportunities to work as employees for an
7employer and includes an agent of such a person, and a person
8who maintains an Internet website or print medium that publishes
9advertisements or announcements of job openings for employees.

10"Unemployment status."  An individual's present or past
11unemployment regardless of the length of time the individual was

13Section 3.  Prohibited acts.

14(a)  Employers.--It shall be unlawful for an employer to:

15(1)  refuse to consider for employment or refuse to hire
16an individual because of the individual's unemployment
17status; or

18(2)  publish or circulate, in any medium, an
19advertisement or announcement for a job vacancy that includes
20any provision stating that an individual's unemployment
21status disqualifies the individual for a job or any provision
22stating that an employer will not consider an individual for
23employment based on the individual's unemployment status.

24(b)  Employment agencies.--It shall be unlawful for an
25employment agency to:

26(1)  refuse to consider or refer an individual for
27employment based on the individual's unemployment status;

28(2)  limit, segregate or classify individuals in any
29manner that may limit their access to information about jobs
30or referral for consideration of jobs because of their

1unemployment status; or

2(3)  publish or circulate, in any medium, an
3advertisement or announcement for a job vacancy that includes
4any provision stating that an individual's unemployment
5status disqualifies the individual for a job or any provision
6stating that an employer will not consider an individual for
7employment based on that individual's unemployment status.

8(c)  Employment assessment.--Notwithstanding any other
9provision of this section, this act may not preclude:

10(1)  an employer from circulating an announcement for a
11job vacancy that limits hiring to the employer's existing
12work force; or

13(2)  an employer or employment agency from considering an
14individual's employment history or factual and objective
15reasons underlying an individual's unemployment status in
16assessing an individual's ability to perform the vacant job.
17An employer or employment agency may assess whether an
18individual's employment in a similar or related job for a
19period of time reasonably proximate to the consideration of
20the individual for employment is consistent with industry
21practice and necessary to successful performance of the
22vacant job.

23Section 4.  Enforcement.

24(a)  Duties of department.--The department shall enforce and
25administer the provisions of this act and may promulgate
26regulations necessary to implement this act.

27(b)  Investigations.--The department shall investigate
28credible complaints made to the department alleging violations
29of this act.

30(1)  For the purposes of investigating complaints and

1ascertaining whether an employer or employment agency is in
2compliance with this act and regulations issued under this
3act, the department shall have the authority to:

4(i)  enter and inspect a place of business to examine
5and copy any records of an employer or employment agency
6that the department deems necessary for the investigation
7of a violation of this act, or to require production of
8records that are regularly stored outside this
9Commonwealth within a reasonable time, as determined by
10the department, following written notice from the

12(ii)  require production of records by an employer,
13employment agency or media source that has circulated or
14published the job announcement or advertisement;

15(iii)  require statements in writing; and

16(iv)  interrogate individuals.

17(2)  The department shall provide a written response to
18the complainant at the conclusion of the investigation
19stating the department's determination related to whether a
20violation of this act has occurred.

21(c)  Subpoenas.--The department shall have investigatory
22subpoena power. Application may be made to the Commonwealth
23Court to enforce a subpoena. However, nothing in this section
24may be construed to excuse a person from producing documents and
25records as requested by the department under any other provision
26of law.

27Section 5.  Penalties.

28(a)  Fines.--The department shall levy administrative
29penalties on an employer or employment agency that violates this
30act or any regulation issued under this act.

1(1)  For a first offense, the fine shall be not less than
2$1,500 nor more than $3,000 for each violation of this act.

3(2)  For a second or subsequent offense, the fine shall
4be not less than $3,000 nor more than $6,000 for each
5violation of this act.

6(3)  In the case of advertisements or announcements that
7are in violation of this act, each medium, publication or
8circulation source of an advertisement or announcement shall
9constitute a separate violation of this act.

10(b)  Corrective action.--The department may order an employer
11or employment agency to take any action that the department
12deems necessary to correct a violation of this act.

13(c)  Procedure.--This section is subject to 2 Pa.C.S. Chs. 5
14Subch. A (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth
15agencies) and 7 Subch. A (relating to judicial review of
16Commonwealth agency action).

17Section 6.  Retaliation prohibited.

18(a)  Unlawful acts.--It shall be unlawful for an employer or
19employment agency to:

20(1)  interfere with, restrain or deny the exercise of any
21rights provided under this act; or

22(2)  discharge, discriminate or take adverse action
23against a person in retaliation for exercising rights
24protected under this act. Rights protected under this act

26(i)  making a complaint to or informing the
27department or any person about an employer's violation of
28this act;

29(ii)  participating in investigations or proceedings;

1(iii)  informing any person of his or her potential
2rights and assisting the person in asserting those

4(b)  Civil actions.--An individual who in good faith alleges
5a violation of this section may bring a civil action in a court
6of competent jurisdiction against an employer or employment
7agency within two years from the date upon which the violation
8occurs. Taking adverse action against an individual within 90
9days of the person's exercise of rights protected under this act
10shall raise a rebuttable presumption of having done so in
11retaliation for the exercise of those rights.

12Section 7.  Effective date.

13This act shall take effect immediately.