PA House of Representatives and PA Senate pass bi-partisan legislation to address job misclassification
HB 716 establishes Task Force to better enforce labor laws
In a rare case of bipartisanship, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Pennsylvania State Senate each passed House Bill 716 and sent it to Governor Wolf for his signature on Wednesday, October 21st.
This legislation, which Wolf is expected to sign, calls for the creation of a task force to address job misclassification. The Task Force will be responsible for coming up with ways to make the Department of Labor and Industry more effective in curbing the practice of misclassifying workers and allowing businesses to cheat the taxpayers of Pennsylvania by avoiding taxes for unemployment and workers compensation.
HB 716, whose prime sponsor is Democratic House member John Galloway from the 140th District in Bucks County, is important for Local 542 members because it brings more attention to the misclassification issue that is a very large problem in the construction industry. It also reflects the initiative that Local 542 has already started to identify contractors who are serial violators of the state's laws and bring the information to the Attorney General and L&I.
With the passage of HB 716, both political parties in Pennsylvania recognize that the pandemic is creating huge budget problems, and they need to be able to recoup revenue wherever they can, especially since a federal stimulus bill remains stalled in Washington, DC.
This makes the work that Local 542, in conjunction with Temple University, has already started on misclassification both timely and relevant. Local 542 Business Manager Bob Heenan said he will be working to have Local 542 represented on the Task Force, through an appointment by one of the Leaders in the House or Senate.
To read the HB 716, as it was sent to the Governor, click here.
To read the original co-sponsorship memo sent out by Representative Galloway, click here.