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PRINTER'S NO. 975
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
954
Session of
2023
INTRODUCED BY MERSKI, KINSEY, SANCHEZ, KHAN, PARKER, CEPEDA-
FREYTIZ, SHUSTERMAN, GREEN, HARKINS, FREEMAN, ROZZI AND
HOWARD, APRIL 24, 2023
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND INDUSTRY, APRIL 24, 2023
AN ACT
Providing for employee's right to request a flexible working
arrangement; imposing duties on the Department of Labor and
Industry; and imposing penalties.
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 Flexible
Working Arrangements Act.
Section 2. 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:
"Department." The Department of Labor and Industry of the
Commonwealth.
"Employee." A person who is employed by an employer or may
be permitted, required or directed by an employer to perform
services in consideration of direct or indirect gain or profit.
"Employer." An individual, organization or governmental
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body, including a partnership, association, trustee, estate,
corporation, joint stock company, insurance company, or legal
representative, whether domestic or foreign, or the receiver,
trustee in bankruptcy, trustee or successor thereof, and any
common carrier by mail, motor, water, air or express company
doing business in or operating within this Commonwealth, and any
agent of the employer, that has 50 or more individuals
performing services for the employer within this Commonwealth.
"Flexible working arrangement." Intermediate or long-term
changes in the employee's regular working arrangements,
including changes in the number of days or hours worked, changes
in the time the employee arrives at or departs from work, work
from home or job sharing. The term does not include vacation,
routine scheduling of shifts or another form of employee leave.
"Inconsistent with business operations." A determination by
an employer based on the following considerations:
(1) The burden on an employer of undue additional costs.
(2) A legitimate or practical detrimental effect on
aggregate employee morale unrelated to discrimination or
other unlawful employment practices.
(3) A legitimate or practical detrimental effect on the
ability of an employer to meet consumer demand.
(4) A significant inability to reorganize work among
existing staff.
(5) A legitimate or practical inability to recruit
additional staff.
(6) A detrimental impact on business quality or business
performance.
(7) An insufficiency of work during the periods that the
employee proposes to work.
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(8) Planned structural changes to the business.
(9) Other reasonable concerns that would negatively
impact business operations.
Section 3. Employee's right to request a flexible working
arrangement.
An employee may request from the employee's employer a
flexible working arrangement that meets the needs of both the
employer and employee. An employee may make a request under this
section to the same employer once per year.
Section 4. Duties of employer.
(a) Consideration of request.--An employer shall consider an
employee's request under section 3 in good faith and the
employer shall determine whether the employee's request or a
similar arrangement could be granted in a manner that is not
inconsistent with business operations or legal or contractual
obligations.
(b) Decision of request.--An employer shall notify an
employee who made a request under section 3 of the employer's
decision in a reasonably timely manner. If an employee's request
under section 3 was in writing, the employer shall issue a
decision of a complete or partial denial in writing.
(c) Standards.--An employer may establish reasonable
standards to determine the time, place and manner in which the
employer may discuss the request of an employee under section 3.
(d) Retaliation prohibited.--An employer may not retaliate
against an employee who makes a request under section 3.
Section 5. Duties of department.
The department shall promulgate regulations for the
implementation of this act.
Section 6. Enforcement.
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(a) Duties of department.--The department shall enforce and
investigate alleged violations of this act. In enforcing and
investigating alleged violations of this act, the department may
subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, examine witnesses and take
testimony or compel the production of documents for the purpose
of ascertaining an employer's compliance with this act.
(b) No private cause of action.--A violation of this act
shall not create a private cause of action.
Section 7. Penalties.
An employer who violates this act shall be subject to the
following:
(1) For a first violation, the department shall issue a
warning letter to the employer detailing the violation and
provide the employer with 30 days to correct the violation.
(2) For a second or subsequent violation, the department
may assess an administrative fee up to $500 per violation.
Section 8. Miscellaneous provisions.
Nothing in this act shall:
(1) Affect legal rights an employer or employee may have
under applicable law to create, terminate or modify a
flexible working arrangement.
(2) Diminish employment rights or agreements pursuant to
a collective bargaining agreement.
(3) Require an employer to accept a flexible working
arrangement of an employee under section 3.
(4) Prohibit an employer from instituting a flexible
working arrangement policy that is more generous than an
employee's request.
Section 9. Effective date.
This act shall take effect in 180 days.
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