An employee fired in Pennsylvania for ‘willful misconduct’ is ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits. Legislation scrutinized by the House Labor & Industry on August 9 in Harrisburg would eliminate ‘willful’ and replace it with a list of specific actions that would lead to ineligibility.

In a separate language change the measure, HB 1754, would require those who voluntarily quit their jobs to demonstrate that they left for reasons attributable to their employment.

Chairman of the committee and sponsor of the legislation, Ron Miller, R-York, called the unemployment compensation system “insolvent.”

“We need to do all we can to ensure that the system benefits people who are out of work for no cause of their own or for reasons such as an employer simply not having the work,” Miller said.

An official with the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, Secretary/Treasurer Frank Snyder said Miller’s legislation would take decision-making out of the hands of the courts and into the hands of the employee’s former employer in both determining willful misconduct and voluntary quit.

“…our unemployment insurance system does not, in any fashion, create or eliminate any rights on the part of any employer to hire, discipline, discharge, replace or terminate any worker,” Snyder said .