Monday, August 10, 2015

Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) Mediation Program Designed to Resolve and Settle Employee Discrimination Complaints

If You Have Filed a Charge of Employee Discrimination With the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, You May Receive Notice of a Voluntary Mediation 

In June of 2013, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission ("PHRC") launched a pilot Mediation Program designed to expeditiously resolve employment discrimination charges filed by employees.
PHRC Executive Director JoAnn Edwards
PHRC Chairman,
Gerald S. Robinson

The PHRC investigates discrimination claims made by employees who work in Pennsylvania.  While PHRC's federal counterpart, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), investigates only claims filed against companies with 15 or more employees, the PHRC will investigate claims against employers that have 5 employees or more.

I Work in Pennsylvania, and I Believe I have Been the Victim of Hostile Work Environment and/or Discrimination and/or Illegal Retaliation - Should I File My Charge of Discrimination With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission?

If you work for a company with less than 15 employees, your choice is easy -- PHRC is your only choice where such small companies are involved.

Have You Been Subjected to Adverse Employment Action Because of Your
Age, Sex, Race, Religion, Disability or National Origin?
If the company has more than 14 employees, you have 3 choices: 1) file only with the EEOC; 2) file only with PHRC; or, 3) file with both EEOC and PHRC (this is referred to as "a dual filing").

What Does it Mean to Dual-File a Charge of Employment Discrimination With Both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission?

The EEOC and the PHRC have distinct filing requirements and utilize different forms that an employee is required to file in order to complete a Charge of Discrimination.  Both Commissions' forms include a box for the employee to check if he/she wants the Charge to be filed with the other Commission.

So, if one uses the EEOC paperwork, one indicates whether he/she wants the Charge to by dual-filed with PHRC by merely checking a box.

If this occurs, no separate paperwork need by filed with PHRC.

The reverse is true if on elects to use PHRC's forms to initiate the Charge.

If You File a Charge of Discrimination With the EEOC, it Will Assert Jurisdiction Over the Charge, and the PHRC Will Defer All Investigatory Responsibilities to EEOC

If you initiate the Charge with EEOC, then PHRC will completely defer all authority and responsibility to the EEOC, and you will not be entitled to the benefits of the PHRC's Mediation Program.

If, on the other hand, you file first with PHRC, then it will assume all responsibility for the Charge, and you will be eligible to participate in the Mediation Program.

What are the Differences Between the Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws Such as Title VII and Pennsylvania's Human Relations Act?

Although the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA") prohibits the same types of discriminatory actions as covered by federal laws such as Title VII, the Americans With Disability Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, etc., there are a number of crucial differences between PHRA and it's federal counterparts.

Indeed, PHRA provides superior advantages to employees in a number of key areas when compared to its federal brethren.

For example, PHRA protects employees of smaller companies, protects a broader class of individuals, permits prosecution of individuals who aid and abet discriminatory acts and does not place any limit on the amount of compensatory damages a plaintiff may recover.

These are all important advantages.

Helping Pennsylvania Workers With
Charges of Discrimination Since 1991
Philadelphia Area Employment Attorney Representing Employees

John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents employees in Pennsylvania. 

John typically represents workers who need an employment lawyer in Philadelphia County, Chester County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Berks County, Lancaster County and Montgomery County.

Pennsylvania Employment Attorney Provides Free Telephone Consultations

If you are looking for an employment lawyer, and live in Malvern, Wayne, King of Prussia, Downingtown, Phoenixville, Pottstown, Doylestown, Radnor, Newtown Square, Exton, Philadelphia, West Chester, Villanova, Sprinfield, Blue Bell, Plymouth Meeting, Norristown, Skippack, Langhorne, Haverford, Nether Providence, Broomall, Drexel Hill, Reading or any of their surrounding towns, feel free to send me an e-mail or give me a call.  I am always glad to spend some time with people via a free telephone consultation.

Need an Employment Labor Lawyer Near Philadelphia?

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of employment law, from wrongful termination, to wage and overtime claims, to discrimination and retaliation laws, to Family and Medical Leave

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of Pennsylvania Unemployment Law, from willful misconduct, to voluntary quit, to Referee Hearings, to severance issues

Click Here to e-mail John directly.

Thanks for checking in with us.

PHRC Mediation is Free, Confidential  and Expedient - Trained Attorneys Serves as Mediators

The Human Relations Commission employs attorneys as Mediators; these attorneys have been trained on best practices for mediators, and on Pennsylvania's anti-discrimination statute, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

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