Harrisburg-area town mulls sexual orientation protection

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Dauphin County’s Susquehanna Town­­ship is considering an ordinance barring employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. If enacted, the suburban Harrisburg township would form a volunteer board to investigate any claims that arise.

The Pennsylvania Human Rela­­tions Act does not outlaw sexual orien­tation and gender identity discrimination, prompting a number of municipalities to enact ordinances protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens.

Susquehanna has convened a taskforce of 13 elected officials and residents to consider the implications of the proposed ordinance.

Township commission chair Diane Bowman stated that the plan would attempt to keep enforcement costs at a “very bare minimum.”

Note: Even though no state or federal law protects LGBT em­­­ployees from discrimination, employers can enact their own in-house anti-­discrimination policies. Companies that proactively fight discrimination often fare better before juries.

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