On Nov. 5, Gov. Tom Wolf (D-Pa.) signed Act 59 of 2015 into law, officially eliminating exemptions for offenses of stalking, harassment and threats of weapons of mass destruction from the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. Under previous law, individuals could not be charged with these offenses if it was found they were associated with a labor dispute.
ABC Keystone Chapter President & CEO Kate McCaslin applauded the change
stating, “These loopholes have allowed for horrific activities disguised as legitimate labor disputes for years…At the end of the day, this law is about sound, pragmatic policy that protects both employees and employers during workplace issues.”
The labor dispute exceptions came under intense criticism in 2012, following the burning and vandalism of a Quaker church by local union members. Ten members of the Ironworkers Local 401 were ultimately indicted on federal charges following the incident, which many believe could have been prevented if not for the loopholes in the Crimes Code. The bill was originally introduced by Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) earlier this year. Following the signing, Governor Wolf issued a statement
stating, “I believe it is important to allow men and women to come together and have their voices heard.” He continued, “I also believe that any form of harassment by employees or employers in unacceptable.”