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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 26, 2019 09:54 AM
From: Senator John P. Blake
To: All Senate members
Subject: Required Workplace Harassment Policies and Reporting Procedures for Employers
I will soon be introducing legislation to amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. The bill will require employers in Pennsylvania to adopt written policies and procedures for preventing harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

This legislation is part of a multi-bill package intended to address the all-too-common workplace harassment employees face in the Commonwealth and nationally. My bill aims to prioritize the health and safety of Pennsylvania employees in the workplace. I believe requiring employers to create minimum standards will reemphasize the fact that discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliatory behavior are unacceptable and against the law.

An employee subject to workplace harassment should have resources and answers easily available. Procedures describing the timeline and actions taken in an investigation should be accessible to every employee. Employers will be required to keep record of their policies and procedures for up-to three years.

In addition, my bill will provide repercussions for an employer failing to create and renew their policies. Noncompliant employers could face a citation and fine from the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission ranging between $500 and $1000 for the first offense and $1,000 and $5,000 for the second violation. Fines will be used by the Commission to provide for ongoing training, education and outreach.

My hope is that this package of bills will restore confidence in the ability of the Commonwealth to protect the victims of workplace harassment.

Introduced as SB559