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.