Several recent settlements between the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and employers in Pennsylvania underscore the importance of proper policies and procedures in the context of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). While neither the court nor a jury of fact-finders reached the merits of the following cases, the alleged facts and claims—and disclosed settlement amounts—remind employers to review policies and procedures to ensure that employers are compliant with the law and following best practices in their industry as to employment-related decisions.
Pennsylvania government employees and contractors are now protected from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity.
On April 7, 2016, Governor Tom Wolf signed a pair of executive orders prohibiting discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity. The pair of orders come on the heels of a recent slate of controversial so-called “religious freedom” laws in states such as North Carolina and Mississippi.