HARRISBURG – With bipartisan support, Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland) announced today that he introduced commonsense legislation to save Pennsylvania farmers thousands of dollars in taxes by aligning the Commonwealth’s seasonal agriculture workers laws with those in use at the federal level.
Under House Bill 2032
, foreign workers who are legally employed in Pennsylvania under the federal H-2A program, which allows employers to hire immigrants for temporary agricultural jobs, and their employers would no longer have to pay state unemployment compensation.
“These employers and legal workers went through the proper channels and followed the rules in order to work in Pennsylvania. However, despite not being eligible for unemployment compensation, they and their employers are forced to pay into the fund through taxes with each paycheck,” Ecker said. “This has caused employers, including farmers, to pay several thousands of dollars in unnecessary taxes.”
Ecker’s bill would end the practice of Pennsylvania charging unemployment compensation to the workers and not charge employers for unemployment compensation for temporary workers in the H-2A program. Under state and federal law, these workers are not eligible to tap into unemployment compensation.
The federal government stopped collecting unemployment compensation from these workers and their employers nearly 25 years ago.
“The practice of charging unemployment compensation is unfair to legal workers in the H-2A program and farm employers,” Ecker said. “My legislation will save money for our farm families and their seasonal workers, who already pay other taxes.”
Representative Torren Ecker
193rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross