Thursday, May 5, 2016

In Philadelphia, Workplace Discrimination Based Upon Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification is Illegal

Philadelphia's Fair Practice Ordinance Makes it Illegal to Discriminate Against an Employee Because of His/Her Sexual Preference or Gender Identity

In 1974, the City of Philadelphia enacted the  Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance ("PFPO").  Its evolution since then has made it a piece of truly landmark legislation throughout the United States.

LGBT Community Provided Protection
from Discrimination in Philadelphia 
That is so because the PFPO, which applies to private employers operating in Philadelphia, makes it illegal to engage in workplace discrimination based upon sexual orientation (i.e. being gay) or gender identity (i.e. being transgender). In this way, and thanks to the principle of Federalism, the PFPO provides far greater protection than does its federal and state counterparts, Title VII and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, neither of which protect gays or transgenders from discrimination at work, instead prohibiting only discrimination based upon race, color, sex, national origin, religious beliefs, disability and age.  

Click Here to jump to Post identifying 30 municipalities in Pennsylvania that have anti-discrimination laws or ordinances.  

The Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance Protects Gay and Transgender Employees From Workplace Discrimination

Philadelphia Expands Protection to
Gays and Transgenders
In 1975, the PFPO was amended to protect those employed by the city from discrimination based upon sexual preference, making it the first such law in United States history.  In 1982, the PFPO became the first law in Pennsylvania to make discrimination based upon sexual orientation illegal in the private workplace.

Twenty years later, the PFPO was amended to include protection from discrimination due to gender identification.  

Philadelphia's Commission on Human Relations Investigates Charges of Workplace Discrimination

Investigates Discrimination in City
Click Here to jump to Post outlining how to prove a discrimination claim.

If you are employed within Philadelphia's city limits, and believe that you have been the victim of employment discrimination because of your race, color, sex, sexual preference, gender identification, national origin, religious beliefs, age or disability, you may file a Charge of Discrimination with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.  

NOTE: PFPO also prohibits workplace discrimination because of an employee's ethnicity, ancestry, marital status, familial status or status as a victim of domestic abuse.  Marital status and familial status are, of course, common areas associated with one's sexual orientation.

Click Here for comprehensive overview of LGBT laws, and update on LGBT cases and issues.

NOTE: In 2015, Philadelphia amended its Charter to make the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs an official part of its government.

Representing Pennsylvania Workers Since 1991

Do You Believe You Were Fired Because of Your Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity?

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

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…

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