O’Brien announces legislation to increase protections for whistleblowers

PHILADELPHIA, April 5 – In an effort to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, state Rep. Mike O’Brien, D-Phila., today announced his plans to introduce legislation that would amend Pennsylvania’s Whistleblower Law.

O’Brien made the announcement following a news conference hosted by Gov. Tom Wolf at Temple University. His bill is a part of a larger package of legislation introduced by House and Senate Democrats aimed at curtailing workplace discrimination.

“Far too often, employees are afraid to speak up about crimes and violations in the workplace for fear of employer retaliation,” O’Brien said. “This allows sexual harassment, workplace harassment and discrimination to run amuck. My legislation would provide whistleblowers with the assurance they need to come forward in a timely manner and report inappropriate behavior.”

O’Brien’s legislation would extend the amount of time employees have to file a complaint against an employer from 180 days to two years. It would also provide individuals with the right to a trial by jury, as well as the recovery of punitive damages.