On Jan. 1, the Unemployment Compensation Solvency legislation (Act 60) went into effect in Pennsylvania, limiting unemployment compensation benefits for seasonal workers. This means that workers who made 50.5 percent of their annual income or more in one quarter are no longer eligible for benefits. Previously, the limit was 63 percent.
An article on the RepublicanHerald.com notes that the maximum weekly benefit of $573 will be frozen until 2019. According to the governor, the change should affect less than 10 percent of the unemployed, but will save the state $276 million annually. The legislation is intended to help reduce the state's $4 billion debt borrowed from federal unemployment benefits.
Unfortunately for Schuylkill County, we have a lot of seasonal workers who are employed by local golf courses, amusement parks, and ski resorts. There are also a lot of construction workers in the county. In the article, Rep. Neal Goodman is quoted as saying, "This is not the fault of employer or the employees. Gov. Corbett is trying to eliminate as many people from unemployment as possible. The truth of the matter is that these are some of the hardest workers you will find. They are seasonal workers but they work a lot of hours."
Seasonal workers do tend to be some of the hardest workers simply because of the fact that they must work within a limited timeframe, rather than year round. If you are a seasonal worker who has been affected by this new legislation and you have been injured on the job, workers compensation may be a way that you can get help financially. Contact the workers' comp attorneys at Michael J. O'Connor & Associates for a free review of your case.