Harrisburg – Oct. 7, 2015 – At a recent hearing of the Senate Labor and Industry Committee, members learned first-hand about the impact of recent changes in the unemployment compensation system as it applied to seasonal workers, according to state Sen. Christine Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia).

Tartaglione said the hearing, which was held on Oct. 6 at Philadelphia City Hall, included testimony from Kathy Manderino, the state secretary of the Department of Labor and Industry, AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale, representatives of various labor unions, legal services, law firms and employment consultants.

“The labor committee has held hearings on the effect of changes to the unemployment compensation system that involve how seasonal workers are treated,” Tartaglione said.   “These hearings provide members with insight into how seasonal workers are now handled in the unemployment system as a result of changes that were recently signed into law.”

Tartaglione said that Act 6 and Act 60 alterations imposed changes in wage calculations for seasonal workers.  As a result of Act 6 and Act 60 changes, she said that an estimated 48,000 workers are ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits.

The changes have created difficulties for workers who fail to earn more than 49.5 percent of their earnings outside of the high quarter by making them ineligible for unemployment compensation, the senator said.

“Act 6 and Act 60 changes are a hardship for seasonal workers, especially those who are employed in jobs where the work is highly concentrated in a quarter,” Tartaglione said.  “I am hopeful that we can adjust the law to make it more equitable.”

The committee hearing in Philadelphia was the second one that was held concerning the impact of Act 6 and Act 60 changes.  The first hearing was convened in Erie earlier this year.

Tartaglione said she expected to discuss this issue more over the next several weeks.