Pa. House passes bills strengthening worker protections

HARRISBURG, May 3 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed five pieces of legislation this week that will strengthen worker protections and make the state a safer place to work.

“It is time we put working families first. These bills we passed — with bipartisan support, I might add — are a step in that direction,” said House Labor and Industry Committee Majority Chairman Jason Dawkins, D-Phila. “For far too long, the Labor and Industry Committee was concerned with corporate interests and putting employers over employees. And for as long as I am chair of this committee, legislation that benefits workers and invests in good jobs and working families will be a priority.”

The Pennsylvania House Labor and Industry Committee reported all five bills out of committee before they were approved by the full House. The legislation is as follows below:

  • H.B. 299; which would create the Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health Act to establish workplace safety standards for public sector employees that are consistent with federal OSHA requirements.
  • H.B. 413; which would increase specifications for classifying employees as independent contractors in the construction industry.
  • H.B. 760; which would allow workers' compensation claimants to receive benefits via direct deposit.
  • H.B. 930; which would ensure that workers who suffer from serious and permanent disfigurement are eligible for workers' compensation benefits, increase number of eligible weeks for compensation and allow claimants to collect disability and disfigurement benefits simultaneously.
  • H.B. 950; which would guarantee workers the right to organize and collectively bargain and prohibit any other laws that may interfere with or diminish collective bargaining rights.

These bills now go to the Pennsylvania Senate for consideration.