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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 30, 2016 12:56 PM
From: Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr. and Sen. Lisa M. Boscola
To: All Senate members
Subject: Pre-emption of Local Employer Leave Mandates
We plan on re-introducing legislation that would provide for clear state preemption of local mandated leave ordinances.

As a Commonwealth, Pennsylvania has over 2,500 general purpose units of local government. Although the powers of these local governments come from the state which created them, they do have some sphere of power to control nuisances and promote general welfare in their communities. Over the years, well intentioned local governments across the nation have tried to pass legislation on all sorts of issues. Unfortunately, this can cause problems with regard to issues where uniformity is important and policy should be set at the state level-- where the primary power to preserve the general welfare resides. Last session, we had the example of nuisance ordinances interfering with overall public policy on domestic violence.

Not all businesses are the same and a blanket policy that does not recognize these differences only hurts small businesses struggling in this current economy. Local mandates such as this create an uneven playing field for the businesses located inside the municipality. Further, as more governments jump on board, businesses with more than one location are forced to comply with a variety of different and changing mandates. Clearly, the state and federal governments are the appropriate policy makers when labor laws are involved. For that reason, twelve states have already passed such preemption bills.

Please join us in sponsoring this legislation which would clarify local municipalities may not mandate a local leave policy. Co-sponsors of Senate Bill 333 last session were: Scarnati, Argall, Gordner, Wagner, Folmer, Mensch, Vulakovich, Greenleaf, Stefano, Vance, Alloway, White, Aument, Yudichak, Rafferty and Browne.

Introduced as SB128