Philadelphia, PA − April 5, 2018 − Today, members of the Senate Democratic caucus stood with Governor Tom Wolf to unveil a package of legislation designed to curb workplace sexual harassment.
“As a caucus, we’ve worked with stakeholders and advocates and our own employees to craft a package of legislation that we believe can curb sexual harassment and do more to protect its victims,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr.. “Each of our bills in this package is aimed at expanding protections to individuals regardless of the size or type of their employment, because time is up on workplace harassment.”
The proposals include:
- Expanding the Pa. Human Relations Act to include coverage from four to one employee, adding the right to jury trial, punitive damages, attorney fees and extending the statute of limitations – to be introduced by Senator Larry Farnese
- Prohibition on non-disclosure agreements — introduced by Senator Judy Schwank as SB 999.
- Providing right to jury trial, punitive damages and an extended statute of limitations under the Whistleblower Bill – to be introduced by Senator Art Haywood
- Amend PHRA to require employers to provide training to employees and require standardized fair practice postings to specifically mention sexual harassment – to be introduced by Senator Wayne Fontana
- Sexual Harassment Training for Lobbyists – to be introduced by Senator Jim Brewster
- Extending Pa. Human Relations Act coverage to domestic workers – to be introduced by Senator Anthony Williams
- Task force to study sexual and workplace harassment laws – to be introduced by Senator John Blake
- Covering contractors and unpaid interns under the Human Relations Act — to be introduced by Senator Tina Tartaglione
“The focus of my legislation – my part of the package – is to make sure that victims of sexual harassment in the workplace feel empowered to report these incidents and that the law is fully inclusive of the many different people who suffer sexual harassment,” said Senator Tina Tartaglione. “I want workers to understand the protections available to them. I want the reporting process to be easier. I want to protect victims from retaliation by their employer when they DO report it.”
“Hearing the stories of #MeToo across the country has been heart breaking, and we have to make sure something good comes from all of this pain,” said Senator Farnese. “That’s what today and this package of bills is about – capturing this movement to ensure that the workplace becomes equitable and hospitable for everyone.”