The PA Chamber submitted comments last week to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission in response to proposed regulations promulgated by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
The PHRC is the state agency responsible for enforcing various state anti-discrimination laws including the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, the Commonwealth’s primary state law prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, commercial property, education, and public accommodations. The provisions of the law related to employer-employee relations apply to employers with four or more employees. The regulations the PHRC is proposing would add new definitions to the terms “sex,” “race” and “creed” in the context of the PHRA.
In its comments, the PA Chamber expressed disappointment that the PHRC did not solicit input from or engage with employers during development of this proposal. The PA Chamber urged a more collaborative approach going forward – both with the employer community and other stakeholders – and also encouraged the PHRC to help employers attempting to comply with complicated inconsistencies between federal and state law.
The IRRC is scheduled to respond to the proposed regulations by June 8 and either approve the proposal, reject it or direct the PHRC to adjust the proposal or address concerns that have been raised.