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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: April 30, 2014 01:08 PM
From: Representative William F. Keller
To: All House members
Subject: Employee Benefit Funds under the Mechanics’ Lien Law
I will soon be introducing legislation to enable employee benefit trust funds that provide necessary health and retirement benefits to construction industry workers to recover unpaid contributions under the Mechanics’ Lien Law.

Recently, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that, in its current form, the Mechanics’ Lien Law cannot be interpreted to include employee benefit trust funds even where a contract exists between a contractor and employees to pay wages and benefits in exchange for labor. Effectively, the court believes they are unable to extend coverage to benefit trust funds without further action from the legislature.

Accordingly, my legislation will amend the Mechanics’ Lien Law to ensure that benefit funds covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and related federal laws are considered subcontractors and afforded rights and remedies under the law.

Health and retirement benefits are unquestionably necessary to workers and especially to those in the demanding construction industry. My legislation seeks to further safeguard benefits that are guaranteed to workers, ensuring benefit fund solvency and the availability of benefits when they are needed.

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation. Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as HB2319