CLS Attorney Sharon Dietrich was invited to provide testimony to a joint House-Senate Labor and Industry Committees hearing on House Bill 1754, which proposes changes to Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation law. Her conclusion:
“Since the UC Law was enacted 75 years ago, the statutory definitions of ‘willful misconduct’ and ‘voluntary quits’ have served the Commonwealth well. Nothing about our workforce has changed such that we should cut back the scope of these definitions. To the contrary, societal forces such as the depth of our current recession and ongoing high unemployment rate, the expanded role of women in the workplace, and the growth of our elderly population requiring care make provision of UC benefits under these definitions more vital than ever.
The only significant change that can be argued to militate in favor of a statutory change is our huge UC trust fund debt. To be sure, changes must be made to address that problem. However, a solvency plan that pays down the debt still should be fair and consistent with the goals of the UC Law. We should not destroy one of our most needed safety net programs in order to save it.”
Read the full text of Sharon Dietrich’s testimony: Testimony on PA HB 1754 by CLS Sharon Dietrich