My name is Kiki Peppard and I live in a town appropriately called Effort in Pennsylvania. I have been trying for 12 years to end discrimination against women in job interviews. In this state, it is NOT illegal to ask job candidates questions such as are you married? Do you have children? Employers here not only can and do refuse to hire a woman if she admits to being a mother, they can even pay her lower wages based on this familial status if hired. My source is: http://www.ncsl.org/programs/employ/empdisc.htm. As this site makes clear, it is only illegal in 23 states to ask questions about marital status during job interviews.
I am working on a time sensitive issue. I have two bills pending in the PA House and the Senate, HB352 and SB440. This is the sixth consecutive year that legislators have refused to take action on them. If passed, it would become illegal to ask job applicants questions about marital/familial status during job interviews. The current PA Human Relations Act has not been amended since it was enacted 50 years ago. I am asking people to please call the chairs of the committees that are refusing to take action on the bill. I’ve recently contacted professors at colleges and universities all over Pennsylvania asking for their help as well to make calls too and enlighten their students about this legal form of discrimination that will affect them once they hit the job force.
While states such as New York, New Jersey, and California, and also Washington DC have laws to refuse this practice, the remainder of states that do not include this protection are fair game to legal discrimination. There is NO protection under federal law Title VII which supercedes all state laws in preventing against discrimination based on marital/familial status. I have been trying to get the law changed for 12 years. The first 6 years were spent just trying to get someone to submit a bill – the last 6 trying to get the committee chairmen in the House and Senate to stop holding these bills and move them out of committee to the floor for a vote. If the current chairmen don’t move these bills out now, they will die in November when the present legislative session ends.
I am writing here today to make you aware of this situation in Pennsylvania and other states in this country. If you know of anyone who would be interested in helping us with this cause, would you please forward thisinformation on to them? I would like to tackle amending Title VII once this PA law passes so all the women of the entire country are protected from this discrimination.
Thank you for your time,