PRINTER'S NO. 2968
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1866
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY D. MILLER, A. DAVIS, HOHENSTEIN, ZABEL, MURT,
SCHLOSSBERG, KORTZ, JOHNSON-HARRELL, CALTAGIRONE, FREEMAN,
DeLUCA, HOWARD, OTTEN, ROZZI, HILL-EVANS, SCHWEYER,
McCLINTON, FRANKEL, DALEY, INNAMORATO AND DONATUCCI,
DECEMBER 2, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND INDUSTRY, DECEMBER 2, 2019
AN ACT
Providing for the right to organize and for collective
bargaining rights for farm laborers.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Farm Laborers
Collective Bargaining Act.
Section 2. Findings and declarations.
The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:
(1) Under prevailing economic conditions, farm laborers
do not possess full freedom of association or actual liberty
of contract.
(2) Farm employers in many instances, organized in
corporate or other forms of ownership associations with the
aid of government authority, have superior economic power in
bargaining with farm laborers.
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(3) The growing inequality of bargaining power between
farm employers and farm laborers substantially and adversely
affects the general welfare of this Commonwealth by creating
variations and instability in competitive wage rates and
working conditions and by depressing the purchasing power of
wage earners, thereby:
(i) Creating sweatshops with their attendant dangers
to the health, peace and morals of the people.
(ii) Increasing the disparity between production and
consumption.
(iii) Tending to produce and aggravate recurrent
business depressions.
(4) The denial by some farm employers of the right of
farm laborers to organize and the refusal by farm employers
to accept the procedure of collective bargaining tend to lead
to strikes, lockouts and other forms of strife and unrest,
which are inimical to the public safety and welfare and
frequently endanger the public health.
(5) Experience has proven that protection by law of the
right of employees to organize and bargain collectively:
(i) removes certain recognized sources of industrial
strife and unrest;
(ii) encourages practices fundamental to the
friendly adjustment of industrial disputes arising out of
differences as to wages, hours or other working
conditions; and
(iii) tends to restore equality of bargaining power
between employers and employees.
(6) The success of this Commonwealth's robust
agriculture industry is due to the collaborative work between
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farm employers and farm laborers.
(7) Farm laborers are one of the few classes of
employees that are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards
Act of 1938 (52 Stat. 1060, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.) or the
National Labor Relations Act (49 Stat. 449, 29 U.S.C. § 151
et seq.), thereby denying these valuable employees the same
basic labor protections and the right to collective
bargaining that almost all other private sector workers
enjoy.
(8) Despite regularly working 50, 60, 70 or even more
hours a week doing arduous and difficult work, often with
heavy equipment, pesticides, fertilizers and other dangerous
materials and in sometimes hazardous situations, farm
laborers remain excluded from collective bargaining statutes
and the right to a day of rest, overtime and other labor
protections that are in place at the Federal or State level
for other workers.
(9) The agricultural industry is subject to unique and
unpredictable factors, including climate and weather, pricing
and market requirements, seasonal harvests, immigration and
various Federal and State laws, rules and regulations that
directly impact farm employers and require a unique balance
and application of traditional labor protections to ensure
that farm laborers have a voice in their own terms and
conditions of employment and access to basic labor
protections while also creating adaptability and
responsiveness to the unique circumstances of farm
operations.
(10) In the interpretation and application of this act
and otherwise, it is hereby declared to be the public policy
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of the Commonwealth to encourage the practice and procedure
of collective bargaining and to protect the exercise by farm
laborers of full freedom of association, self-organization
and designation of representatives of their own choosing, for
the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of their
employment or other mutual aid or protection, free from the
interference, restraint or coercion of farm employers.
Accordingly, all the provisions of this act shall be
liberally construed for the accomplishment of this purpose.
Section 3. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Board." The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.
"Farm employer." As follows:
(1) Every individual, firm, partnership, association,
trust, corporation, receiver or other officer of a court of
this Commonwealth, or any person or group of persons acting
directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in
relation to any employee, employing or permitting to work any
farm laborer in this Commonwealth.
(2) The term includes every farmer, grower, nurseryman
or landowner who employs, or on whose premises or in whose
interest is employed, any farm laborer.
"Farm labor." As follows:
(1) A service performed in agricultural employment in
connection with cultivating the soil or raising or harvesting
agricultural commodities, including raising, shearing, caring
for or managing livestock, poultry or dairy.
(2) The term includes seasonal farm labor.
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"Farm laborer." As follows:
(1) An individual who is engaged, or permitted by a farm
employer, to work in farm labor.
(2) The term includes a seasonal farm worker.
(3) The term does not include an individual who is a
parent, spouse, child or other immediate family member of a
farm employer.
"Labor dispute." Includes a controversy concerning:
(1) the terms, tenure or conditions of employment; or
(2) the association or representation of persons in
negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or seeking to
arrange terms or conditions of employment, regardless of
whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of
employer and employee.
"Labor organization." As follows:
(1) An organization of any kind, or an agency or
employee representation committee or plan in which farm
laborers participate, which exists for the purpose, in whole
or in part, of dealing with farm employers concerning
grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of
employment or conditions of work.
(2) The term does not include a labor organization that,
by ritualistic practice, constitutional or bylaw proscription
or tacit agreement among its members or otherwise, denies a
person membership in the organization on account of race,
creed, color or political affiliation.
"Representative." Includes an individual or labor
organization.
"Seasonal farm labor." As defined in section 103 of the
Seasonal Farm Labor Act.
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"Seasonal Farm Labor Act." The act of June 23, 1978
(P.L.537, No.93), known as the Seasonal Farm Labor Act.
"Seasonal farm worker." As defined in section 103 of the
Seasonal Farm Labor Act.
Section 4. Rights of farm laborers.
(a) Rights generally.--A farm laborer shall have the right
to:
(1) Self-organization.
(2) Form, join or assist a labor organization.
(3) Bargain collectively through representatives of the
farm laborer's own choosing.
(4) Engage in concerted activities for the purpose of
collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.
(b) Day of rest.--Except as provided in subsection (d), a
farm laborer shall be allowed at least 24 consecutive hours of
rest in each calendar week. The following shall apply:
(1) The 24-hour requirement may be satisfied as a result
of certain circumstances, such as weather or crop conditions.
(2) This subsection shall not prohibit a farm laborer
from voluntarily agreeing to work on a designated day of rest
under this subsection if the farm laborer is compensated at
an overtime rate that is at least one and one-half times the
farm laborer's regular rate of pay for all hours worked on
the day of rest.
(3) The day of rest required under this subsection must,
whenever possible, coincide with the traditional day reserved
by the farm laborer for religious worship.
(c) Maximum hours.--Except as provided in subsection (d), a
farm employer may not require a farm laborer to work more than
60 hours in a calendar week, unless the farm laborer is
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compensated at an overtime rate that is at least one and one-
half times the farm laborer's regular rate of pay.
(d) Seasonal farm labor.--For a seasonal farm worker,
Chapters 2, 3 and 4 of the Seasonal Farm Labor Act shall govern
regarding the minimum rates and standards for all collective
bargaining under this act.
Section 5. Right to collective bargaining, adjustment and
settlement.
A farm laborer shall:
(1) Through labor organizations or other representatives
designated by a simple majority vote of farm laborers for a
single farm or farm employer, have the right to bargain
collectively with a farm employer concerning the terms and
conditions of employment, including compensation, hours,
working conditions, retirement, pensions and other benefits.
(2) Have the right to an adjustment or settlement of
grievances or disputes in accordance with this act.
Section 6. Representatives and elections.
(a) Exclusive representatives.--Except as provided in
subsection (b), representatives selected or designated for the
purposes of collective bargaining by the majority of farm
laborers at a single farm or farm employer shall be the
exclusive representatives of all farm laborers at the single
farm or farm employer for the purposes of collective bargaining
with respect to rates of pay, wage, hours of employment and
other conditions of employment.
(b) Grievances.--An individual farm laborer or group of farm
laborers shall have the right at any time to present grievances
to the farm employer.
Section 7. Mutual responsibilities.
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A farm employer and farm laborers shall pursue every
reasonable effort to settle a labor dispute by engaging in
collective bargaining in good faith, entering into settlements
through written agreements and maintaining written agreements
designed to avoid a labor dispute.
Section 8. Protocol.
(a) Collective bargaining.--Collective bargaining between a
farm employer and farm laborers shall begin at least six months
prior to the expiration of the previous collective bargaining
agreement or within 60 days of certification of the labor
organization.
(b) Arbitration.--A request for arbitration under this act
shall be made at least 110 days prior to the expiration of a
collective bargaining agreement.
Section 9. Unfair labor practices.
(a) Farm employers.--It shall be an unfair labor practice
for a farm employer to do any of the following:
(1) Interfere with, restrain or coerce farm laborers in
the exercise of the rights guaranteed in this act.
(2) Dominate or interfere with the formation of
administration of a labor organization or contribute
financial or other material support to it, but, subject to
rules and regulations made and published by the board under
this act, a farm employer shall not be prohibited from
permitting farm laborers to confer with the farm employer
during working hours without loss of time or pay.
(3) Discriminate regarding the hiring or tenure of
employment of farm laborers or any term or condition of
employment, to encourage or discourage membership in a labor
organization, but nothing in this act, or in an agreement
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approved or prescribed under this act or in any other statute
of this Commonwealth, shall preclude a farm employer from
making an agreement with a labor organization, which is not
established, maintained or assisted by an action defined in
this act as an unfair labor practice, to require as a
condition of employment, membership in the labor
organization, if the labor organization is the representative
of the farm laborers, as provided in section 7(a) of the act
of June 1, 1937 (P.L.1168, No.294), known as the Pennsylvania
Labor Relations Act, in the appropriate collective bargaining
unit covered by the agreement when made and if the labor
organization does not deny membership in its organization to
a farm laborer of the farm employer at the time of the making
of the agreement, provided that the farm laborer was not
employed in violation of a previously existing agreement with
the labor organization.
(4) Discharge or otherwise discriminate against a farm
laborer because the farm laborer has filed charges or given
testimony under this act or any other statute or act of this
Commonwealth.
(5) Refuse to bargain collectively with the
representatives of the farm laborers, subject to section 7(a)
of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act.
(6) Deduct, collect or assist in collecting from the
wages of farm laborers any dues, fees, assessments or other
contributions payable to a labor organization, unless the
farm employer:
(i) is authorized to do so by a majority vote of all
the farm laborers in the appropriate collective
bargaining unit taken by secret ballot; and
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(ii) thereafter receives the written authorization
from each farm laborer whose wages are affected.
(b) Labor organizations.--It shall be an unfair labor
practice for a labor organization, an officer or agent of a
labor organization, a person acting in the interest of a labor
organization or a farm laborer acting in concert to do any of
the following:
(1) Intimidate, restrain or coerce a farm laborer for
the purpose or with the intent of:
(i) compelling the farm laborer to join or refrain
from joining a labor organization; or
(ii) influencing or affecting the farm laborer's
selection of representatives for the purposes of
collective bargaining.
(2) During a labor dispute, join or become a part of a
sitdown strike, or, without the farm employer's
authorization, seize, hold, damage or destroy any building,
structure, equipment, machinery or other property of the farm
employer, with the intent of compelling the farm employer to
accede to demands, conditions or terms of employment,
including the demand for collective bargaining.
(3) Intimidate, restrain or coerce a farm employer by
threats of force, violence or harm to the person of the farm
employer or the members of the farm employer's family, with
the intent of compelling the farm employer to accede to
demands, conditions or terms of employment, including the
demand for collective bargaining.
(4) Picket or cause to be picketed a place of employment
by a person who is not a farm laborer at the place of
employment.
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(5) Engage in a secondary boycott or hinder or prevent
by threat, intimidation, force, coercion or sabotage, the
obtaining, use or disposition of materials, equipment or
services, or combine or conspire to hinder or prevent by any
means whatsoever, the obtaining, use or disposition of
materials, equipment or services.
(6) Call, institute, maintain or conduct a strike or
boycott against a farm employer or picket a place of business
of the farm employer on account of a jurisdictional
controversy.
Section 10. Impasse resolution procedures for farm employers
and farm laborers.
(a) Impasse.--
(1) For purposes of this section, an impasse is deemed
to exist if a farm employer and labor organization fail to
achieve agreement by the end of a 45-day period from the date
of certification or recognition of the labor organization as
a representative of farm laborers or from the expiration date
of a collective bargaining agreement, or if the appropriate
lawmaking body does not approve the agreement reached by
collective bargaining, with the result that the farm employer
and farm laborers are unable to effect a settlement.
(2) If an impasse as described in paragraph (1) exists,
either party to the dispute, after written notice to the
other party containing specifications of each issue in
dispute, may request the appointment of a board of
arbitration.
(b) Request for board assistance.--Upon impasse, a farm
employer or recognized labor organization may request the board
to render assistance as provided in this section. If the board
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determines that an impasse exists in the course of collective
bargaining negotiations between the farm employer and recognized
labor organization, the board shall aid the parties in effecting
a voluntary resolution of the dispute.
(c) Board of arbitration.--
(1) A board of arbitration shall be composed of the
following three members:
(i) An individual appointed by the farm employer.
(ii) An individual appointed by the body of farm
laborers involved.
(iii) An individual to be agreed upon by the farm
employer and the body of farm laborers involved.
(2) Each member of the board of arbitration representing
the farm employer or farm laborers shall be named within five
days from the date of the request for the appointment of the
board of arbitration.
(3) If, after a period of 10 days from the date of the
appointment of the two arbitrators appointed by the farm
employer and farm laborers, the third arbitrator has not been
appointed by them, either arbitrator may request the American
Arbitration Association, or its successor in function, to
furnish a list of three members of the American Arbitration
Association who are residents of this Commonwealth from which
the third arbitrator shall be appointed. The following shall
apply:
(i) Within five days after publication of the list,
the arbitrator appointed by the farm employer shall
eliminate one name from the list.
(ii) Within five days after the elimination of one
of the names under subparagraph (i), the arbitrator
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appointed by the farm laborers shall eliminate one name
from the list.
(iii) The individual whose name remains on the list
after the elimination of the two names under
subparagraphs (i) and (ii) shall be the third arbitrator,
who shall serve as the chairperson of the board of
arbitration.
(4) A board of arbitration shall commence arbitration
proceedings within 10 days after the third arbitrator is
appointed.
(5) A board of arbitration shall make a determination
within 30 days after the appointment of the third arbitrator.
(6) The determination of the majority of the members of
the board of arbitration shall be final on each issue in
dispute and shall be binding upon the farm employer and farm
laborers involved. The following shall apply:
(i) The determination shall be in writing.
(ii) A copy of the determination shall be forwarded
to both parties to the dispute.
(iii) No appeal from the determination shall be
allowed to any court.
(iv) The determination shall constitute a mandate to
the farm employer to take the action necessary to carry
out the determination of the board of arbitration.
(7) Compensation for the members of a board of
arbitration shall be as follows:
(i) The compensation, if any, of the arbitrator
appointed by the farm laborers shall be paid by the farm
laborers.
(ii) The compensation of the other two arbitrators
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shall be paid by the farm employer.
(8) Stenographic and other expenses incurred by the
board of arbitration in connection with the arbitration
proceedings shall be paid by the farm employer.
Section 11. Repeals.
All acts and parts of acts are repealed insofar as they are
inconsistent with this act.
Section 12. Effective date.
This act shall take effect immediately.
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