State senators to examine unemployment-compensation eligibility

State Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Dist. 20)
State Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Dist. 20) | Contributed photo
To examine recent unemployment-compensation eligibility changes and determine any possible negative impacts to seasonal workers, the State Senate Labor and Industry Committee will hold a public hearing, 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday at Philadelphia City Hall, Courtroom 676.

Majority Committee Chairwoman Lisa Baker (R-Dist. 20) is assembling the hearing as part of the committee’s continued efforts to determine the extent of any problems from the changes and to consider the practicality and cost of potential remedies.

In 2012, the General Assembly took measures to reduce a $4 billion debt to the federal government and ensure the long-term solvency of the unemployment-compensation system. One significant adjustment modified how eligibility is calculated for seasonal employees, such as those in construction. Workers who earn 50.5 percent or more of their annual income in one quarter are no longer eligible to receive benefits.

Baker, along with Sens. Christine Tartaglione (D-Dist. 2) and Scott Wagner (R-Dist. 28) will provide opening remarks. Personnel scheduled to testify include Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino and Douglas Holmes, president of the National Foundation for Unemployment Compensation and Workers’ Compensation.

Also scheduled to speak are Rick Grimaldi, a partner at Fisher & Phillips, LLP, and Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President  Rick Bloomingdale, as well as other statewide business and labor-organization representatives, nationally recognized experts in the field of unemployment compensation, and employers and employees from the Philadelphia area.

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