House Democrats fight to protect your right to work without fear

HARRISBURG, Feb. 11 – To better protect workers, independent contractors and even volunteers at businesses of all sizes, House Democratic lawmakers announced new proposals today to help end workplace discrimination and harassment.

The “Work Without Fear – It’s Your Right” plan is designed to give people the tools they need to protect themselves and their coworkers while also helping companies make sure everyone knows the rules. The plan includes:

The PA Fairness Act – sponsored by Rep. Dan Frankel, Allegheny County – finally brings Pennsylvania into line with surrounding states by making sure nobody can be fired from a job or denied housing because of who they are or who they love. Until now, we’ve been counting on individual counties and cities to do the right thing and people and our economy has suffered.

Give Victims Time for Justice – sponsored by Rep. Margo Davidson, Delaware County, and Rep Mary Isaacson, Philadelphia – gives victims the power to choose when to seek justice and guarantees them a right to trial by jury to seek damages by extending the timeline to file a complaint beyond the current 180 days.

Ignorance is No Excuse – sponsored by Rep. Melissa Shusterman, Chester & Montgomery counties, makes sure workers and employers have the facts by requiring Employment Fair Practices notices posted in the workplace to include clear descriptions and examples of abuse so everyone is on the same page.

Know the Rules to Play by the Rules – sponsored by Rep. John Galloway, Bucks County – makes sure workers and companies are protected by requiring clear written policies and procedures for victims and witnesses to identify discrimination and harassment and how to respond when it happens        .

Your Rights Don’t Get Smaller if Your Employer Does – sponsored by Rep. Maureen Madden, Monroe County, makes sure independent contractors or workers at smaller local businesses with just a few employees have the same rights. Whether you work for a local gas station or an international oil company – you get the same protection.

Training for Everybody– sponsored by Rep. Chris Rabb, Philadelphia – requires employers to conduct annual interactive discrimination and harassment training for all employees, interns, and volunteers.

Lobbyists Need Training Too – sponsored by Rep. Pam Snyder, Greene, Fayette & Washington counties – requires lobbyists and contractors working with state government to have the same extensive training taken by lawmakers and legislative staff to identify and prevent discrimination.

These proposals are wide-ranging but share a single goal – to recognize that “we, the people” means all people when it comes to the right to be protected from abuse and discrimination in Pennsylvania.