Chamber Supports PA Fairness Act, Ending Discrimination in the Workplace for LGBT Community
HARRISBURG, PA (October 16, 2015) – The Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC (Chamber & CREDC) has taken an official position in support of the Pennsylvania Fairness Act. The bipartisan legislation would ban discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) people in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The measure was approved on October 1, 2015 by the organization’s Government Relations Committee followed by a final vote from the Chamber Board of Directors on October 14, 2015.
Pennsylvania Law currently allows individuals to be fired and/or denied housing or business services because they simply identify as gay or transgender. On September 8, 2015, bi-partisan legislation, SB 974 and HB 1510, was introduced in the State House and Senate. If passed, the legislation would amend the current PA Human Relations Act, protecting individuals against unfair treatment based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
The Chamber & CREDC is supportive of this legislation for two key reasons: basic human rights and economic growth. First and foremost, we believe that no one deserves to be discriminated against based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity/expression. Discrimination on any basis must not be condoned and is considered unacceptable behavior in society and specifically in the workplace. Secondly, the legislation provides for a highly skilled workforce by allowing Pennsylvania companies and organizations to attract and retain the world’s most diverse, qualified people; it will send a critical message that the Commonwealth is truly open for business to all.
Despite the lack of reform on the state level, 34 Pennsylvania municipalities – including the City of Harrisburg – have already approved similar legislation on a local level. Twenty-four states have already passed similar legislation and Pennsylvania is the only state in the northeast that has not passed legislation to address the issue. The Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC hopes the General Assembly will follow suit and pass the legislation this session.
The Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC serves as a catalyst for promoting growth and quality of life in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry Counties by providing a unique blend of business, community and economic development and advocacy services under one roof to boost our economic vitality and livability as a region. The Chamber & CREDC has been accredited with five stars from the United States Chamber of Commerce.