|Posted:||December 13, 2018 05:06 PM|
|From:||Senator Lisa Baker|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Follow the Active Duty Spouse Act|
|Please join me in co-sponsoring the reintroduction of the Follow the Active Duty Spouse Act. This bill was previously introduced as SB 271 in the 2017-2018 legislative session and seeks to protect the Unemployment Compensation (UC) rights of spouses of active duty members of the United States Armed Forces.
Currently, if an active duty member of the Armed Forces is transferred to a new duty station, and if, as a result, his or her spouse is forced to resign their employment, it is possible under Pennsylvania law that the resignation would be considered voluntary. Generally, workers who voluntarily leave employment without a “necessitous and compelling” reason run the risk that they will not qualify for UC benefits.
This legislation would clarify that a spouse’s move to follow his or her active duty spouse will not be considered voluntary if the Department of Labor & Industry determines that continued employment would be impractical or unreasonably difficult.
Pennsylvania is one of only four states (the others being Idaho, North Dakota and Ohio) that does not have a specific military spouse clause. According to the latest 2018 data from the Defense Manpower Data Center, there are 1,935 military spouses in Pennsylvania. Two states, Florida and Washington, actually track the unemployment claims of military spouses. If Pennsylvania spouses claim UC at the same rate as those in Florida and Washington, the estimated annual impact on Pennsylvania’s UC system would be approximately $80,000.
Co-sponsors of SB 271 from last session were Senators Bartolotta, Fontana, Greenleaf, Tartaglione, Kim Ward, Scavello, Sabatina, Brewster, Vogel, Killion, Haywood, Schwank, Vulakovich, Rafferty, White, Farnese, Costa, Hughes, Scarnati, Aument, Boscola, Martin and Browne.
Thank you for your consideration.
Introduced as SB304