In Pennsylvania, the law currently provides an exception in the criminal code that prohibits the prosecution of the crimes of harassment, stalking, and threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction if those otherwise criminal acts are done as part of a labor dispute. Beginning last year, an effort was undertaken in the state legislature to close that loophole.
Former House Bill 1154 was the subject of much maneuvering between the State Senate and the State House as Governor Corbett prepared to leave office last year. Due to differences between leaders in the two chambers, two separate versions were passed and never reconciled in conference committee. As a result, the session expired without a final version being passed and sent to the Governor for signature.
The bill has been resuscitated in the newest session and passed the State House for a second time this week. Now labeled as HB 874, the legislation is largely the same as what passed the house last year. It removes the exemption in Title 18 of Pennsylvania’s criminal code that exempts management and organized labor from prosecution for harassment, stalking and threatening to use weapons of mass destruction.
Scuttlebutt in Harrisburg suggests the bill will not be tinkered with as much by the Senate this time and that it will be sent to the Governor for signature. We will keep you posted.