Pennsylvania House Bill 1807 was voted out of the House Labor Committee last week. This legislation would prohibit Pennsylvania municipalities from enacting any laws that require employers to provide any type of leave, paid or unpaid, from employment that is not required by state or federal law. HB 1807 was introduced in response to a growing national trend of local governments that have been imposing their own employer-provided leave mandates on businesses. A recent example was in the city of Philadelphia, when elected officials attempted to pass legislation that would require businesses with more than five employees to provide up to 56 hours of paid time off a year, regardless of the type of business, financial stability and any existing policies that addressed employee leave. The Philadelphia legislation would have severely impacted franchised businesses within the city. While Philadelphia City Council passed the measure, it was vetoed by Mayor Michael Nutter. Twelve states have already passed preemption bills, including Florida, which implemented the legislation earlier this year. While the future of paid sick leave in Pennsylvania is unlikely, it looks more promising in neighboring New Jersey, where the Democrats who control the state Legislature seek to install laws requiring paid sick leave for employers of all sizes. A full vote on HB 1807 in the Pennsylvania House is expected in the next few weeks.
Monthly Archives: November 2013
For the past two years, pundits have suggested that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act would result in small employers cutting back their full time work force in order to avoid the fines and penalties that may be imposed upon employers with more than fifty full time employees or full time equivalents. A recent article in the Christian Science Monitor confirms these predictions as roughly one third of franchise owners have shifted workers from full time schedules to part time. Here is a link to the article; http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2013/1113/Businesses-cut-full-time-workers-to-meet-Obamacare-mandate-study-says-video
Earlier this week, I attended the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association (PRLA) Annual Membership Meeting in Hershey, PA. During the conference, a PRLA government affairs representative indicated that passing legislation to preempt mandatory paid leave efforts in Pennsylvania was a top priority for the PRLA. Earlier this year, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter vetoed legislation that would require Philadelphia employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees. In recent years, legislation requiring employers to provide paid sick leave has been adopted by the cities of Seattle and Portland. Portland’s law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014. The PRLA expects the issue to arise again this year in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. PRLA believes that private sector employee benefit decisions should not be determined by local governments as these policies deter job creation and place businesses at a competitive disadvantage. The preemption would also establish a level playing field for businesses located in the Commonwealth.
Sarah Ivy, Chair of our Executive Compensation and Employee Benefit Practice, provided the following update. “The DOL and Treasury announced today that participants in Flexible Spending Accounts will be permitted to carry over up to $500 of their unused FSA balances at year-end. The rule goes into effect in 2014. Employers wishing to offer this carryover feature to their FSAs should consult their advisors regarding appropriate steps.” Franchisors with questions can contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.