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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 4, 2018 03:54 PM
From: Senator Christine M. Tartaglione
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation to expand protection from discrimination to all independent contractors and unpaid interns.
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation the will amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) to expand protection from discrimination based on “race, color, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin or non-job related handicap or disability or the use of a guide or support animal because of the blindness, deafness or physical handicap” to all independent contractors and unpaid interns.

This legislation is part of a multi-bill package intended to address the all-to-common workplace harassment that has become a national issue. The #MeToo movement has fortunately provided many victims the opportunity to bring their stories forward and created momentum for action, but more needs to be done. We should use this opportunity to create safe, equitable, and accountable workplaces where jobs and opportunities for upward mobility are not leveraged for sex or where people are humiliated based on the background or identity.

Under the current law, independent contractors are limited to individuals that have a license from the Bureau of Occupational and Professional Affairs and unpaid interns are not considered employees. The bill will offer the protections afforded to most employees under the act to the entirety of these two groups.

Introduced as SB1148