Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC)

Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC)

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, or PHRC, enforces state laws that prohibit discrimination:  the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, which covers discrimination in employment, housing, commercial property, education and public accommodations; and the Pennsylvania Fair Educational Opportunities Act, which is specific to postsecondary education and secondary vocational and trade schools.  The PHRC is the Commonwealth’s version of the EEOC, where the PHRC strives to resolve matters that involve discrimination.  

In general, PA law prohibits discrimination based on race; color; religious creed; ancestry; age (40 and over); sex; national origin; familial status (only in housing); handicap or disability and the use, handling or training of support or guide animals for disability. Retaliation for filing a complaint, opposing unlawful behavior or assisting investigations is also illegal.

PHRC investigates employment discrimination complaints on behalf of the U.S. the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, and housing discrimination complaints on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. These partnerships protect the rights of complainants under both state and federal law.

The law also empowers the commission to educate the public in order to prevent discrimination and foster equal opportunity; and to address incidents of bias that may lead to tension between racial, ethnic and other groups.

PHRC has administrative, legal and investigative staff, overseen by an executive director in Harrisburg and regional directors in Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

File A Complaint

You can File A Complaint with the PHRC either on line or in person.  It is highly advisable that you consult Robert Maizel prior to filing your Complaint because there are statutes of limitations and specific issues that must be addressed prior to filing the Complaint.  


PHRC offers mediation services as a method to resolve employment and public accommodation disputes quickly so that lengthy investigation hearings and/or court can be avoided.  It is a voluntary, informal process in which a trained, neutral mediator helps people explore and resolve their differences together.  The goal is to produce a settlement agreement that is acceptable to both parties.  Robert Maizel will represent you at the Mediation to ensure that you achieve the result that you deserve.

Which cases are eligible or mediation?

  • The Mediation Program is currently only open to parties with employment or public accommodation complaints.  The Mediation Program is currently only open to parties with employment or public accommodation complaints. 

How Does a complainant sign up for the Mediation Program?

  • When a complainant files a questionnaire or attorney-drafted complaint with the PHRC regional office, the regional office reviews the filing for mediation eligibility.  If the complaint is eligible for mediation, intake staff sends the complainant an Invitation to Mediate.  The complainant then determines whether he/she thinks mediation is appropriate in his/her situation.  If the complainant would like to attempt mediation, he/she send the Invitation back to the intake staff. 

How can a respondent sign up for the Mediation Program?

  • If a complainant returns the signed “Invitation to Mediate” form, PHRC intake staff will notify the Mediation Program of the complainant’s interest.  The Mediation Program staff contacts the respondent by phone to notify them that a complaint has been filed but is eligible for resolution through the Mediation Program.  Respondent is given information about the complaint itself so they can make an informed decision about whether mediation services would be appropriate.  Once a respondent notifies the Mediation Program staff that they are interested in mediation, the case is referred to a mediator. 

How Can Robert Maizel Help You?

I am an experience employment lawyer who handles these matters regularly.  Our team investigates your claim to secure all of the information to help obtain a positive resolution to your case.  We know the law and we understand your needs.  No matter what your question, please feel free to call us at 215-695-3000 to discuss your case.  All consultations are free of charge.

Robert Maizel, Esquire

Robert Maizel is an Experienced Trial Attorney in Philadelphia with over fifteen years of trial experience.

You will speak to an attorney about your case!

Saffern & Weinberg has offices located in both Center City Philadelphia and Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.  Attorney Robert Maizel is a Partner with the Law Offices of Saffren & Weinberg.

Robert Maizel is associated with, and is Special Counsel with the Law Firm of Saffren & Weinberg. Robert Maizel is not a Law Firm, and rather Robert Maizel is affiliated with the Law Firm of Saffren & Weinberg.  All clients shall formulate an agreement with the Law Firm of Saffren & Weinberg, with the option of hiring Robert Maizel as lead counsel on your case to be heard in the State Courts of Pennsylvania, and Marc Weinberg as the lead counsel in cases to be heard in the Federal Courts of Pennsylvania.  Mr. Maizel handles all actions in the Administrative Courts of Pennsylvania including the EEOC and PaHRC.

Call Robert Maizel at 215-695-3000 to schedule your free consultation.

How Can I Help You?