PRINTER'S NO. 781
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
638
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY HAYWOOD, FONTANA, MUTH, TARTAGLIONE, HUGHES,
SCHWANK, BREWSTER AND COSTA, MAY 13, 2019
REFERRED TO LABOR AND INDUSTRY, MAY 13, 2019
AN ACT
Amending the act of December 12, 1986 (P.L.1559, No.169),
entitled "An act providing protection for employees who
report a violation or suspected violation of State, local or
Federal law; providing protection for employees who
participate in hearings, investigations, legislative
inquiries or court actions; and prescribing remedies and
penalties," further providing for remedies and for
enforcement.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Sections 4(a) and 5 of the act of December 12,
1986 (P.L.1559, No.169), known as the Whistleblower Law, are
amended to read:
Section 4. Remedies.
(a) Civil action.--A person who alleges a violation of this
act may bring a civil action in a court of competent
jurisdiction, with a right of trial by jury, for appropriate
injunctive relief or damages, or both, within [180 days] two
years after the occurrence of the alleged violation.
* * *
Section 5. Enforcement.
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(a) Relief that may be ordered.--
(1) A court or jury, in rendering a judgment in an
action brought under this act, shall order, as the court or
jury considers appropriate, reinstatement of the employee,
the payment of back wages, full reinstatement of fringe
benefits and seniority rights, actual damages or any
combination of these remedies.
(2) A court or jury shall also award the complainant all
or a portion of the costs of litigation, including reasonable
attorney fees and witness fees, if the complainant prevails
in the civil action.
(b) Punitive damages.--The complainant may also recover
punitive damages if the complainant demonstrates that the
defendant engaged in an unlawful retaliatory or discriminatory
practice in violation of section 3 with malice or reckless
indifference to the rights of the complainant protected pursuant
to this act.
Section 2. This act shall not be construed to affect an
action or proceeding commenced or right accrued before the
effective date of this section.
Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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