Since 2013, Pennsylvania’s lawmakers have introduced and moved numerous pieces of legislation that would allow them to interfere with paid leave laws. The Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces and their members stopped each bill so far. However, the latest attempt, HB 861, would take away not just Philadelphia’s law but many other local measures protecting workers from wage theft, gender discrimination, and unequal pay.
This practice of state interference, also known as preemption, pops up again and again across the country. The National League of Cities 2018 preemption report lists 162 preemption laws that have passed nationwide - including 19 laws created in 2017. These laws invalidate local democracy in favor of corporate interests who feel they can oppose laws more easily in 50 state capitols than they can in local governments nationwide.
Our network in Pennsylvania could use your help ensuring that local laws remain in place to protect the people who support them. Paid sick and safe days, wage equity, and gender nondiscrimination create a more equitable workplace for everyone, especially women, people of color, and the LGBT community. Here's what you can do:
- Contact your local member of the PA House Committee on Labor and Industry to share your thoughts on HB 861.
- Here's a sample phone script: "Hi my name is __________, and I live in __________, PA. I'm calling today to ask you to oppose HB 861. City and county residents and lawmakers should be able to decide the laws that are right for their community. Please do not pass a law that interferes with our local democracy."
- [UPDATED 10/2/18] - On October 1, HB 2071, which allows employers to opt out of certain local labor laws at their discretion, came out of committee and was immediately voted on and sent to the Senate. While this law was written in response to a Philadelphia ordinance regarding bulletproof glass, it is written in vague enough terms that it might be used to apply to other workplace laws. Please call your Senators and ask them to oppose this bill.
- Here's a sample phone script: "Hi my name is __________, and I live in __________, PA. I'm calling today to ask you to oppose HB 2071. City and county residents and lawmakers should be able to decide the laws that are right for their community. Please do not pass a law that interferes with our local democracy."
- Check back on this page for updates!