Labor & Industry 2019-2020

The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met on Monday, November 18, 2019 to consider the following:

SB 79, PN 54 (Tartaglione) – This legislation would amend Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage Act to prohibit employers from deducting business costs from gratuities paid to employees.  Senator Tartaglione sponsored amendment  A03902, which increases the minimum wage to $9.50/hour by 2022.  Senator Baker sponsored amendment A03913, which amends overtime exemption language related to executive, administrative and professional workers.  Both amendments were approved, and the bill was reported out of committee as amended (unanimous).

SB 594, PN 654 (Langerholc) – This legislation would require employers who have a certified safety committee as part of their workers’ compensation program to include information about the risks associated with the use of opioids.  Senator Langerholc sponsored amendment A03845, which would require the department to develop and make available resources to employers so that they may comply.  The amendment was approved, and the bill was reported out of committee as amended (unanimous).

HB 422, PN 1088 (Delozier) – This legislation amends the PA Construction Code to allow the Department of Labor and Industry to establish a separate trainee classification for all certification categories. This classification will be optional for all individuals seeking certification.  The bill was reported from committee unanimously without amendment.


The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 to consider the following:

SB 922, PN 1309 (Bartolotta) – This legislation amends the Workers’ Compensation Act to remove the word “installments” from Section 319 of the act. This would relieve the employer from making payments for the employee’s medical expenses. They will be subrogated out of the agreement when the settlement or award from the third-party suit exceeds the agreed upon compensation.  The bill was reported as committed on a party line vote of 6-4.


The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 to consider the following:

HB 68 (Ryan) – This bill would extend the period of time Pennsylvania employers have to apply for relief from charges in the Unemployment Compensation (UC) system. The bill was approved unanimously.

HB 280 (James) This bill would increase the period of time allotted for parties to appeal the determination of an Unemployment Compensation (UC) Service Center and the decision of a UC referee.  The bill was approved unanimously.

HB 1522 (Ecker) – Amends the Child Labor Act to eliminate the requirement that Junior Firefighters complete DCNR training before they can engage in firefighting activities.  This bill was approved unanimously.

HB 1537 (Harkins) – This bill would provide the Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) with more flexibility on how they draw down the funding for the modernization of Unemployment Compensation’s benefit delivery system.  Senator Bartolotta offered amendment A03450, which would require employers to keep employment records related to payment of contributions for six years (currently four years).  The amendment was approved, and the bill was reported from committee as amended (unanimous).


The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met on Monday, June 23, 2019 to consider the following:

HB 716 (Galloway) – This bill would create a joint task force on employee misclassification that will investigate the practice of employers illegally misclassifying employees as independent contractors.  The bill was approved by a vote of 8-3.

HB 1170 (Mackenzie) – This bill would require employers in the construction industry to use the federal E-Verify system to ensure their employees do not include individuals not authorized to work in the United States.  The bill was approved by a vote of 9-2.


The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 to consider the following:

SB 94, PN 69 (Martin) – This bill would ensure workers compensation coverage for volunteer firefighters, volunteer fire police, and members of a volunteer ambulance corps if injured in the performance of their duties.  Senator Tartaglione offered amendment A01842 on behalf of Senator Yudichak.  This amendment would make volunteer firefighters and rescue personnel eligible for worker’s comp if they are injured while providing assistance on state game lands.  The amendment was agreed to unanimously and the bill was reported from committee as amended (also unanimous).

SB 601, PN 670 (Sabatina) – This legislation would amend the Workforce Development Act to give recently discharged PA National Guard members – and their spouses- preferential placement into job training programs.  The bill was unanimously reported as committed.

The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 to consider the following:

SB 91, PN 67 (Hughes) – This Bill amends the Workforce Development Act to require the Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) to collect and publish data on emerging and projected future employment sectors in the Commonwealth.  The intention is that this information be used by educational institutions, amongst others, to prepare people for the jobs of the future.  Senator Tartaglione offered amendment A01170, which was technical in nature.  The amendment was approved unanimously.  The bill was reported from committee as amended (also unanimous).

SB 118, PN 107 (Langerholc) – This bill will establish the Recovery to Work Pilot Program within the Department of Labor and Industry.  The goal of the program is to connect individuals in recovery from a drug addiction with high-priority occupations through local workforce development boards.  Senator Bartolotta offered amendment A01226, which makes technical changes and clarifies how the Department may fund the program.  The amendment was approved unanimously.  The bill was reported from committee as amended (also unanimous).

SB 140, PN 287 (Killion) – This legislation creates the Pennsylvania Family and Medical Leave Act and provides an employee up to six weeks of unpaid leave to care for the eligible employee’s sibling, grandparent or grandchild, if the sibling, grandparent or grandchild: does not have a living spouse, child over 17 years of age or parent under 65 years of age and has a certified terminal illness.  Senator Bartolotta offered amendment A01204, which provides funding for enforcement.  The amendment was approved unanimously.  On the bill, Senator Mensch expressed concerns this legislation may have on businesses.  In response Senator Bartolotta noted that the leave provided for in this bill is unpaid.  The committee approved SB 140 unanimously, as amended.


The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met on Tuesday, April 9 to consider the following:

SB 304, PN 282 (Baker) – This bill amends the Unemployment Compensation Law to clarify that a spouse’s move to follow his or her active duty husband or wife will not be considered “voluntarily leaving work” for unemployment compensation purposes.  The bill was reported from committee as committed by a vote of 9-0.

SB 453, PN 448 (J. Ward) – This bill amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act to exempt agricultural buildings (i.e. barns) used for social events from the requirements of the Uniform Construction Code.  The bill was reported as committed by a vote of 6-3.

Senator Christine Tartaglione

Senator Christine Tartaglione

Committee Chair