PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf announcing a series of executive orders impacting employers and the workplace.
“We appreciate the governor’s intent and urge his administration to solicit input from employers to help avoid unintended consequences.
For example, requiring strict wage and benefit standards for employers to qualify for state aid may not impact larger corporations but could pull critical lifelines from small businesses already struggling through pandemic and workforce crises.
The governor has also called for public shaming of employers who violate labor laws. We certainly support holding accountable those who skirt the law, harming employees and creating an unfair advantage over law-abiding competitors. At the same time, policymakers should recognize that violations are often unintentional and eventually remedied. Employment laws and regulations are notoriously complicated; such as similar federal and state laws that include subtle differences creating what’s known as the ‘compliance trap.’
The governor mentioned employers owing unemployment compensation back taxes, but some may not even be aware they owe, especially after the chaos of the last year and a half. We would hope a public list of ‘bad actors’ only incudes companies who violate the law and willfully fail to comply after exhausting appeals or any administrative resolution process.
We look forward to working with the administration as it further develops these policies.”