Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Pennsylvania
By Amira Hasenbush and Christy Mallory
Pennsylvania’s 174,000 LGBT workers are vulnerable to employment discrimination absent state or federal legal protections. While 33 Pennsylvania localities provide some protections, 69 percent of the state’s workforce could suffer discrimination without recourse based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Pennsylvania teachers, factory workers and law enforcement officers have all faced workplace discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Uniform legal protections could provide more consistent and stronger recourse for the state’s workers at minimal administrative cost to the government. Many Pennsylvania employers have already decided that inclusive LGBT workplace policies are good for business. At least 139 companies headquartered in Pennsylvania prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, including 37 Fortune 1000 companies, and at least 40 companies prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.