Feb. 23, 2022
HARRISBURG - Legislation to address a problem plaguing employers across Pennsylvania has been signed into law, according to bill sponsor, Rep. Brett Miller (R-Lancaster).
“As employers across Pennsylvania are already struggling to find enough people to hire, those offering full-time or seasonal employment to those working with minors are being hit doubly hard,” Miller said. “This legislation would significantly help affected businesses and public and private agencies to bring on the full-time and seasonal employees they need and help college-age and teen workers to actually be able to start work and earn a paycheck.”
Act 12 of 2022
(formerly House Bill 764) removes a double standard in hiring practices for licensed childcare centers and other businesses providing services for minors.
Previously, only licensed childcare centers could hire someone to work on a provisional basis while they were waiting to receive the results of all of the required background checks. Other businesses or organizations hiring people to work with children, such as for summer day camps for instance, could not hire an applicant until all three required background checks were received. The problem was that one of these background checks – the FBI fingerprint check – can take weeks or even months to receive.
During those weeks, prospective employees at non-licensed facilities cannot start any of their duties. This means many employers have a difficult time retaining these prospective employees who, because they cannot afford to wait multiple weeks to begin work, seek employment elsewhere with an employer that does not require this lengthy delay.
“This is a substantial challenge for all employers because many workers are understandably reluctant to forfeit a significant portion of their summer employment period waiting on the results of their FBI background check,” Miller noted. “This issue was brought to my attention by an employer in my district who hires many seasonal employees. Between this current onerous regulation and difficulties in hiring due to the pandemic, many small businesses are facing continuing challenges in finding employees to fill necessary positions.”
Miller’s legislation would allow equal employment standards and thereby create an equal playing field in attracting employees. This bill also ensures that safeguards to protect children are in place and on par with those required for regulated childcare providers.
Miller anticipates that change enacted via this legislation will benefit businesses, school districts, colleges, religious centers, museums, environmental centers, campgrounds, public and private parks and recreation agencies, throughout the Commonwealth by enabling them to be properly staffed, thus providing safe and valuable programs and services to people all across Pennsylvania.
Representative Brett Miller
41st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives