State legislation clears another hurdle
On Monday, October 1 the House Labor & Industry Committee approved legislation (HB 861) by Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) to establish statewide uniformity in workplace policies.
According to Rep. Grove, “For decades, labor policy has been set forth at the state level. This led to a predictable economic environment and uniform workplace policies across the Commonwealth. Of late, however, local governments have adopted local ordinances, creating a patchwork system of policy throughout the state.” The “patchwork system” creates numerous problems for employers across Pennsylvania.
NFIB PA testified before the House Labor & Industry Committee in June supporting the legislation. Legislative Director Rebecca Oyler explained that businesses depend on a certain amount of uniformity across boundaries to ensure predictability and to stay competitive. Businesses with locations throughout the state find it difficult to manage their workforce policies when dealing with labor rules that differ across multiple jurisdictions.
The legislation also aims to protect small businesses from the high cost of complying with federal, state, and local laws. Small business owners typically have no administrative staff, little human resources experience, and no regular access to legal counsel. They already contend with anti-discrimination laws, family, medical, and other protected leave laws, wage-hour laws, privacy laws, workplace safety laws, and labor laws. They also struggle to decipher overlapping, often even conflicting, federal, state, and local laws.
Most small business owners treat their employees like their extended family. Their informal and unstructured nature and more limited financial resources require greater flexibility in creating policies and solutions. Allowing local governments to enact burdensome and duplicative labor mandates shuts off another avenue through which business owners can find flexibility that benefits their businesses, customers, and employees.
NFIB PA urges the House to pass this legislation and re-establish an even playing field for all businesses across the state.