Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has signed a COVID-19 whistle-blower bill, effectively making Philadelphia the first U.S. city to enact such legislation.
The Essential Workers Protection Act, also known as the "Employee Protections in Connection with COVID-19 Emergency Health Order
," makes it unlawful for employers to fire or otherwise retaliate against employees who speak out against unsafe health conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
SHRM MEMBER-EXCLUSIVE RESOURCE SPOTLIGHTCoronavirus and COVID-19
Enforcement and Remedies
Employees may bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction only after they file a complaint with the city's Department of Labor and obtain a "determination of reasonable cause to go forward."
Prevailing employees may recover civil penalties on behalf of the city for each violation, as well as back pay, reinstatement, other compensatory damages, and attorney fees.Angela Quiles Nevarez is an attorney with © Jackson Lewis in Philadelphia. © 2020 Jackson Lewis. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission.