February 7, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 38


February 07, 2023

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February 06, 2023

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Pittsburgh Issues Important Guidance for Employers Related to Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence

Following the passage of a bill that expanded the City’s anti-discrimination law to include employee “status as a victim of domestic violence,” Pittsburgh recently published additional guidance for employers.

The guidance explains that employers must reasonably accommodate employees who are domestic violence victims, unless they can prove that doing so would cause undue hardship on the financial or administrative operation of the employer.  Examples of reasonable accommodations listed in the guidance include: (a) modifying the layout of a workspace; (b) adjusting work schedules; (c) allowing for leave for survivors of domestic violence; (d) enhancing policies to ensure security; (e) transfer or reassignment; (f) change of a telephone number or email; (g) installation of a lock/security devices or equipment; and (h) developing code words to allow employees to safely signal a need for help such as security or police.

The guidance also makes clear that employers have a duty to engage in the interactive process with employees who are domestic violence victims.  Employers must document all efforts to initiate, engage in, and conclude the interactive process.  The guidance also reminds employers that survivors of domestic violence may not have access to “readily apparent proof of violence” and therefore specifically notes that it can be harmful for the employer to demand “proof.”  Retaliation is prohibited against employees who request reasonable accommodations related to domestic violence.

The Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations is the city agency tasked with investigating complaints under the Bill.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2023National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 70

About this Author

Daniel Blanchard Employment Attorney Jackson Lewis Philadelphia

Daniel L. Blanchard is an associate in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including pre-litigation claims and litigation, as well as preventive advice, counseling, and investigations. Daniel is passionate about not just being a lawyer and counselor, but a trusted advisor and strategic partner for his wide array of clients.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Daniel worked for a boutique firm in New Jersey where he handled the bulk...

Sheri Giger, Jackson Lewis, human resource policy attorney, employment labor development lawyer,

Sheri L. Giger is a Principal in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice focuses on preventive human resource policy development, training and counseling and advice.

Ms. Giger also works on policy/handbook development, particularly for multi-state issues and compliance. She also works with compliance issues under the American with Disabilities Act, as amended, and the Family and Medical Leave Act, as amended. Ms. Giger counsels and conducts extensive training on topics such as anti-harassment...