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Pennsylvania Legislation Removing Exemption for Stalking, Harassment, and Threats to Use Weapons of Mass Destruction From Criminal Code Passes Pennsylvania House

3/19/2014 | Construction Blog

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently passed legislation which removes the exemption for harassment, stalking, or threats to use weapons of mass destruction when involved in a labor dispute from the criminal code. The bill, which can be read in its entirety here, passed the house with a vote of 115-74 and has moved over to the Senate for consideration.

Organizations such as the Associated Builders & Contractors and the Chamber of Commerce support the legislation. Representatives of both organizations testified in favor of the bill in committee and heavily supported the efforts of State Representative Ron Miller (R – York) to get it passed in the House. These groups argue that the current law provides too much leeway for labor unions to use inappropriate tactics to support their causes. They cite to instances where Courts have dismissed cases brought for such conduct based in part on the exemption and maintain the loophole should be closed.

The trade unions maintain that the law is a necessary component of protecting federal labor laws. Labor union leaders contend that this will swing the pendulum the other way by making it easier for business owners and companies to improperly accuse unions of harassment for lawful activity such as picketing. This argument, however, lacks sufficient merit to protect the current state of the law.

The reception the legislation will receive in the Republican dominated Senate is unclear. Governor Corbett has made no formal announcement regarding his position on the bill either. The fight over this legislation, as a result, is unclear and far from over.