A workers’ comp lawyer in Scranton explains
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf recently proposed a plan to improve working conditions for people statewide, including expanding federal workplace safety rules to apply to more workplaces statewide in an effort to prevent workplace accidents.
“I’m taking executive action and calling for legislative action to create safer workplaces, promote higher wages, and guarantee paid leave for workers,” Gov. Wolf said at a press conference. “These three necessary changes will help workers and transform the nature of work in Pennsylvania.”
What changes are being proposed?
The governor’s proposed plan calls for applying all federal workplace safety regulations to workplaces currently not protected by federal workplace safety laws. The proposal would impact state and local public workers not currently protected by certain federal safety rules.
The governor’s proposal is currently pending in the state Senate and state House of Representatives. State Senator Christine Tartaglione’s proposed legislation (Senate Bill 310) and State Representative Pat Harkins’ proposed bill (House Bill 1976) would expand federal workplace safety protections to all public employees so they reflect similar current protections for private employers.
If such legislation is approved, any state agency or business that receives state grants or state contracts would be required to comply with federal labor and safety laws or face consequences for not complying with the regulations.
In addition, the proposed legislation would increase Pennsylvania’s minimum hourly wage, provide paid sick leave to thousands of workers statewide, and streamline the state’s unemployment compensation process, according to the governor.
What is OSHA?
The proposed legislation in Pennsylvania would expand federal workplace safety regulations to apply to all workplaces in the state. Such regulations were created and are enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Created in 1971, OSHA is part of the U.S. Department of Labor and has the authority to inspect and examine workplaces to make sure they’re in compliance with all workplace safety standards. Companies that fail to comply with OSHA health and safety regulations can be fined by OSHA and face other potential penalties.
Injured workers should know their legal options
Claims involving on-the-job injuries or illnesses in Pennsylvania can quickly turn into complicated legal matters. Even if your workplace injury or illness is being investigated by OSHA or another federal or state agency, there’s no guarantee that you will receive workers’ compensation or other forms of financial compensation you may be legally entitled to recover.
This is why it’s critical that you have an experienced attorney on your side who knows the law and who can investigate the circumstances of your workplace injury or illness. The experienced Scranton workers’ compensation lawyers at O'Malley & Langan can help you every step of the way.
"We know the OSHA regulations and other state and federal labor laws that apply to workplace injuries and illnesses," says attorney Todd. J. O’Malley, founder of O'Malley & Langan. "That’s why we have such a strong track record for obtaining financial compensation for sick or injured workers throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania."
Contact our law firm and schedule a free case evaluation with a Scranton workers’ compensation attorney you can count on when it matters most. We have three offices conveniently located in Scranton, Pittston, and Towanda, and we handle cases throughout Pennsylvania.