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Harassment: Pennsylvania

Harassment requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Christin Choi, Fisher Phillips


  • The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act prohibits employers from harassing any employee, independent contractor, or job applicant on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, or non-job related handicap or disability. See Prohibition Against Harassment.
  • Sexual harassment constitutes a form of prohibited sex discrimination. See Sexual Harassment.
  • Harassment because of other protected categories may also constitute unlawful discriminatory conduct. See Other Protected Categories.
  • An employer is responsible for its acts and the acts of its agents and supervisory employees with respect to harassment and may be responsible for the acts of co-workers and third parties if the employer (or its agents or supervisory employees) knew or should have known of the conduct and failed to take immediate corrective action. See Employer Liability.
  • State law does not require private employers to conduct harassment training, but does require that Commonwealth employees receive harassment training. See Training.
  • Remedies for harassment include injunctive relief, reinstatement, back pay, and/or any other legal or equitable relief. Punitive damages, however, are not available under the PHRA. See Remedies.
  • Localities including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have requirements pertaining to harassment. See Local Requirements.