Harrisburg – November 4, 2016 – Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation into law that will help 44,000 seasonal and cyclical workers gain eligibility for unemployment compensation insurance, state Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) said.

Tartaglione, who is the Democratic chair of the Senate Labor and Industry Committee, helped develop and shepherd the measure through the legislative process.  The bill (House Bill 319) was signed into law on Nov. 3. 

The legislation reduces the percentage of income earned outside an employee’s high quarter in order to be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits.

The formula was changed four years ago by Act 60.  Under that law, a worker earning less than 49.5 percent of income in the three quarters outside the high quarter was ineligible for UC benefits.  The legislation reduces the percentage to 37 percent and restores it to the previous rate.

The change is estimated to benefit 44,000 workers.  

Tartaglione said she was very pleased that Gov. Tom Wolf signed the measure into law.  She released the following statement in support of the governor’s action:

“I am pleased that the governor signed the unemployment compensation measure into law.  Seasonal and cyclical workers should not be ineligible for benefits because they earn a large portion of their wages in a single quarter.  This measure is about fairness for our construction workers, and other seasonal workers, who experience periods of intense work following by lulls in employment.”

The lowering of the earning percentage removes an eligibility hurdle that proved far too high for too many workers and their families, Tartaglione said.

The legislation also includes other measures to ensure that the U.C. Trust Fund remains fiscally sound.