The Hell We’ve Been Through
LGBTQ+ people often face discrimination in the workplace. Pennsylvania is no exception.
In 1975 Gov. Milton J. Shapp issued an executive order to protect state government employees of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. It was the first state in the nation to have such protection. In 1978, these protections were extended to transgender individuals, students and employees at state universities and later to employers with contracts with the Commonwealth.
But an amendment to the PA Human Relations Act that would provide comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people has failed to even come to a vote in the Pennsylvania Legislature. It would protect all other employees, as well as provide protections in housing, education and public accommodations.
In 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act provides employment discrimination protection for LGBTQ+ people throughout the nation in workplaces with 15 or more employees.