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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: October 7, 2020 09:01 AM
From: Senator Judith L. Schwank
To: All Senate members
Subject: Bias Training
In the near future I will be introducing legislation, which would require public employees (including public school teachers), all teachers in private schools (including institutions of higher learning and trade schools) and licensed medical professionals to receive bias training.

The bill requires the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission to develop training which at a minimum must include the understanding of social bias, including, but not limited to, practical techniques to mitigate social bias and improve cultural competence.

 An employee is defined as a person who is required to take the bias training course and is a holder of public office or is employed by one of the following:
  • Commonwealth
  • Political Subdivision
  • School District
  • Private School
  • Charter School
  • Institution of Higher Education
  • Trade Schools
A licensee is any individual licensed by the state in a medically related profession or is licensed as an accountant or realtor. The bill lists all the boards individually.

An employee or licensee shall be required to complete training every two years.  The Commission shall provide documentation to the employee or licensee of their successful completion of the training established in this act.  The Commission shall provide documentation of the successful completion of the training upon request by an employer. The training shall be conducted over a secure online course through the Commission’s internet site. 

The program will meet the continuing education requirements for licensees and the number of credit hours to be earn upon completion.

The Commission shall send notification by United States mail and electronic mail of the need to renew the required training to all employees and licensees within 60 days of the training expiration. 

The bill will help ensure public employees, licensed medical professionals, accountants, real estate agents and teachers recognize implicit bias and discrimination to avoid those behaviors while helping grow cultural awareness.

This is a companion legislation from Representative Rozzi in the House. Please join me in co-sponsoring this very important piece of legislation.

Introduced as SB1367