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https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20150&cosponId=16689
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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 14, 2015 03:52 PM
From: Representative Michael H. Schlossberg
To: All House members
Subject: Re-Introducing HB 2300: Expanding Sexual Harassment Protections in the Workplace
 
In the near future, I will be re-introducing House Bill 2300, Printer’s Number 2634, from the 2013-14 legislative session. The bill amends the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) to extend the prohibition on sexual harassment to all employers in the state. Currently, in terms of sexual harassment, the PHRA only applies to employers with four or more employees. It is my sincere hope you will join me in this effort.

Unfortunately, sexual harassment continues to be a problem in workplaces across this country, affecting both men and women alike. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, roughly 12,000 reports of harassment are filed annually with the Commission, however, the number of individuals who are actual victims of sexual harassment is probably much higher. Often, individuals who experienced sexual harassment in the workplace never report it. This is likely because victims fear employer retaliation, the reaction of co-workers, and other stigmas many sexual harassment victims face.

Federal, state, and local laws prohibit sexual harassment in workplaces depending on the location and the size of the employer. Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act applies to employers with 15 or more employees, and the PHRA covers employers with at least four employees. However, sexual harassment is not a problem solely confined to larger companies. Philadelphia's Fair Practices ordinance, for instance, applies to employers with one or more employees. My legislation will ensure that all employees-even those who work for employers with less than four employees- are protected from workplace discrimination. Please note, this change in definition of employer will only apply to discrimination based on sex under PHRA.

This effort is intended to increase worker productivity and help provide a safe and comfortable working environment for thousands of Pennsylvanian workers. I invite all members to co-sponsor this important piece of legislation.

Any questions about this proposal can be directed to my Legislative Assistant Geoff Brace (gbrace@pahouse.net).

The following members we co-sponsors of HB2300 in 2013-2014: SCHLOSSBERG, FREEMAN, D.MILLER, MUNDY, McGEEHAN, BISHOP, O'BRIEN, McNEILL, FRANKEL, SWANGER, GOODMAN, MURT, READSHAW,COHEN, ROEBUCK, STURLA, BROWNLEE, McCARTER, SIMS, M.DALEY, BRIGGS, DAVIS, DEAN, KIM and SAMUELSON



Introduced as HB846