Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Expands Definition of Sex Discrimination

A new guidance released by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission on August 2, 2018, expands the definition of “sex” for the state discrimination laws. While more than 50 municipalities in Pennsylvania had already taken steps to provide anti-discrimination protections to the LGBT community, the state has finally done so itself.

Now, Pennsylvanians can file a complaint when they believe they’ve experienced LGBT discrimination based on their sexual orientation or identification in employment, education, housing, or public accommodation.

Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Expands Definition of Sex Discrimination

For the commission, it’s about equality and allowing all Pennsylvanians to experience this civil right in employment, education, housing, and public accommodation. According to the new guidance, the definition of “sex” now includes sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, gender transition, and transgender identity as well as sex assigned at birth. The Pennsylvania LGBT community officially has protections from sex discrimination.

Previously, the Pennsylvania LGBT community could file a complaint about discrimination under Title VII. Though this gave some protection from employment discrimination, it did not cover all the same areas as the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act such as public accommodations.

File a Sex Discrimination Complaint with the PHRC

Complaints can be filed by Pennsylvanians and submitted to the commission for investigation of illegal discrimination. The commission covers five specific areas: education, employment, housing, public accommodations, and commercial property. The benefit to Pennsylvanians is that if they’re claim is found to be true, they are likely to be given money to make up for lost wages or other damages.

All complaints are handled case-by-case. The commission will continue to investigate claims of discrimination as they always have but will be offering the LGBT community equal protections.

Pennsylvanians can now file sex discrimination complaints with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission that deal with illegal discrimination due to sex assigned at birth, gender identity, gender transition, transgender identity, and sexual orientation. Once a complaint is accepted, the commission will investigate the claim based on the facts of the case.

For individuals who fear that this new guidance will force them to violate their religious beliefs in order to be compliant with the law, the commission points to the Religious Freedom Protect Act (RFPA). At any time, individuals may seek the protections of this act.

A New Era of Protection and Equality for LGBT Pennsylvanians

Kraemer, Manes & Associates has always been an advocate for the LGBT community throughout Pennsylvania. The new guidance laid out by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission ushers in a new era of protection and equality for LGBT Pennsylvanians. Our attorneys stand on the front line ready to represent you and your right to equality in education, employment, housing, public accommodation, and commercial property.

Our lawyers are sensitive to your needs, your story, and your rights. If you believe that you have suffered discrimination based on your LGBT status, you now have more protections than ever in Pennsylvania.

Speak with a lawyer immediately at 412-626-5626 or at 215-628-9185 to find out the legal solutions to any issues of discrimination that you have faced.