Historically speaking, Pennsylvania employers were allowed to represent themselves in any unemployment compensation proceedings that involved a dispute between the company and a former employee. In 2005, however, the Commonwealth Court issued a decision in the case of Harkness v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review that required any corporation, LLC or government agency to be represented by an attorney both at hearings before unemployment compensation referees and at proceedings before the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review. This ruling was a departure from the usual practice in Pennsylvania and imposed a hefty burden upon these types of employers.
In response to the Harkness case, the Pennsylvania legislature passed legislation which effectively overturned that decision. Section 214 of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law currently states that:
Any party in any proceeding under this act before the department, a referee or the board may be represented by an attorney or other representative.
By passing this law, the previous practice of allowing corporations and governmental agencies to represent themselves in unemployment compensation matters was restored.
If you have questions about how this law may affect you, contact the law firm of Winegar, Wilhelm, Glynn & Roemersma to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.
THE FOREGOING IS INTENDED TO BE A GENERAL DISCUSSION OF THE LAW AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. IF YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC QUESTION, PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE AND SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY.