L&I to Restart Unemployment Benefit Work Search Requirements in July
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier announced that work search requirements for individuals receiving unemployment benefits will restart the week of July 11, with individuals to begin certifying on July 18 that they have looked for work during the previous week.
“As more Pennsylvanians become vaccinated and our case count continues to decline, workers can more safely return to the workforce,” said Acting Secretary Berrier. “We have been working with our stakeholder groups and have determined July is the ideal time to reinstate the work search requirement. PA CareerLink® locations across the state are ready to provide high quality, individualized assistance to out-of-work Pennsylvanians as more displaced workers begin the work search process.”
Beginning July 18, individuals receiving benefits through any unemployment program in Pennsylvania (including Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) will need to certify each week that during the previous week they fulfilled the work search requirement by applying for two jobs and participating in one work search activity each week.
Eligible work search activities are:
- Attending a job fair
- Searching positions posted on the PA CareerLink® system or Internet job banks
- Creating or posting a résumé in the PA CareerLink® system or posting a résumé in other résumé-posting services
- Contacting colleagues, former co-workers or other individuals in similar professions or occupations to make known your availability for employment or obtain information about available positions, prospective employers or other employment opportunities
- Utilizing an employment agency, employment registry or school placement service
- Taking a civil service test or other pre-employment test
- Participating in a program or activity offered through the PA CareerLink® system. If you live outside of Pennsylvania, you may participate in these types of activities offered by your state employment service.
Unemployment program benefit recipients are also required to accept an offer of suitable work. Individuals are also required to keep a log of their work search activities, which is subject to audit. A form to log work search activities can be found on L&I’s website here.
More information about work search, including answers to frequently asked questions, can be found on L&I’s website.
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Majority Leader Kim Ward Issues Statement on Next Steps Regarding Passage of the Constitutional Amendments on Emergency Declarations
GREENSBURG – Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) issued the following statement today regarding next steps in bringing a balance of power back to the way the state responds to emergencies:
“Immediately following notification that the voters of Pennsylvania voted ‘yes’ to approve two ballot questions to limit gubernatorial disaster emergency declaration powers, the leaders of the general assembly engaged with the governor to discuss next steps.
“With the understanding that we work better together, the focus of the conversation between the governor and leaders of the general assembly started with how we would be granted an immediate seat at the table during times of crisis and review the extension of the emergency declaration which expires today.
“Moving forward, the general assembly will operate under the framework established with the recent constitutional changes approved by the voters on Tuesday, and will apply these changes to the governor’s renewal of the emergency declaration as we transition the state out of emergency status without jeopardizing federal dollars and to expedite the vaccine rollout.
“As part of this transition, the governor will be handing over specific information to the general assembly that has not been shared previously. These details are needed by the general assembly to take the necessary next steps to expedite the reopening of our state.
“We are committed to working with the governor to ensure the voice of the people is heard and restore liberty while preserving the fundamental principles of our democracy even during times of crisis.”
PA UCC RAC Report Update
The Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code will be changing in early 2022 based on the conclusion of the 2018 I-Code review process. Interested in finding out more about what is coming?
The timeline of the I-Code review process:
- May 14, 2019 — The Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (UCC) Review and Advisory Council (RAC) initiated review of the 2018 I-Codes in accordance with the requirements of Act 45 of 1999 as amended.
- April 29, 2021 — The RAC submitted their report to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry which details the results of this voting process, thus ending this review period.
- Q1 2022 — The code provisions that were adopted during this process will take effect (official effective date to be confirmed).
What does this mean for the Pennsylvania residential construction industry?
- June 3, 2021 — Register for a special webinar on Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code Update: 2018 ICC Code Adoption at 1:00pm EDT.
- The PHRC is developing webinars and other training materials to provide the necessary training for you. Training opportunities available by late summer 2021!
- Q1 2022 — The 2018 International Residential Code and the residential portion of the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code will be effective with a series of amendments. The final RAC report highlights the sections which were amended during this review process.
- You can stay up to date by checking our website (www.phrc.psu.edu) or by following us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter).
If you or your organization are interested in scheduling a PHRC session at your event or with your staff, contact Tracy, firstname.lastname@example.org, to get your event on our calendar.
PA Professional Licensing Waivers
We have received many questions from licensed professionals about what happens to the licensing waivers if the COVID-19 emergency disaster declaration is ended.
As you may know, the Pennsylvania Department of State has issued nearly 100 temporary waivers under authority granted by the Governor’s declaration of a disaster emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Our goal with these waivers was to respond to the extraordinary circumstances of the last year by allowing licensees to continue practicing or training in their professions. We accomplished this by temporarily eliminating a number of administrative barriers, such as allowing for online distance learning to qualify for continuing education credits, extending licensing renewal deadlines and permitting additional medical professionals to participate in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the disaster declaration ends, the authority to grant these waivers will expire and they will no longer be in effect. For example, if you are a medical practitioner using telemedicine for patient appointments, you may not be able to continue that practice when the temporary waiver no longer exists. Or, if you are a dentist, podiatrist or respiratory therapist who has been given authority to administer COVID-19 vaccines under the Department of State waivers, that authority will expire, and you will no longer be able to assist in the vaccination effort.
At this time, the disaster declaration remains in place, and all waivers are currently effective. The Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs will provide additional updates regarding the expiration of waivers should the disaster declaration be terminated prematurely.
I know that the past year has been a difficult time for so many of us. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the health and safety of your fellow Pennsylvanians. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Bureau at 833-DOS-BPOA (833-367-2762).
CISA and FBI Publishes Advisory on DarkSide Ransomware
Please heed these warnings and take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of your water system.
The FBI and CISA issued an advisory, ““DarkSide Ransomware: Best Practices for Preventing Business Disruption
from Ransomware Attacks.” A copy is attached for your information. In the advisory, they are urging “critical infrastructure asset owners and operators to adopt a heightened state of awareness and implement the recommendations listed in this advisory.” Additional details are provided below and in the attached document.
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) releases an cybersecurity advisory, “DarkSide Ransomware: Best Practices for Preventing Business Disruption from Ransomware Attacks.” CISA and FBI are urging critical infrastructure asset owners and operators to adopt a heightened state of awareness and implement the recommendations listed in this advisory.
Recently, DarkSide actors deployed DarkSide ransomware against a U.S. pipeline company’s information technology (IT) network. In response to the cyberattack, the company proactively disconnected certain operational technology (OT) systems to ensure the safety of the system. At this time, there are no indications that the threat actor moved laterally to OT systems.
This joint advisory provides technical details on DarkSide actors and some of their known tactics and preferred targets. According to open-source reporting, DarkSide actors have been targeting multiple large, high-revenue organizations. Also, the actors have previously been observed gaining initial access through phishing, exploiting remotely accessible accounts and systems and virtual desktop infrastructure.
CISA and FBI strongly recommends that critical system owners and operators prioritize reading this advisory and follow recommended mitigation and guidance to help protect against this malicious activity. In addition to the cybersecurity advisory, CISA and FBI urge critical infrastructure asset owners and operators to review the following resources for best practices on strengthening cybersecurity posture:
· Joint Ransomware Guide (CISA and Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center)
· CISA Ransomware Webpage: Ransomware Guidance and Resources
· CISA Insights: Ransomware Outbreak
· CISA Pipeline Cybersecurity Initiative
· CISA Pipeline Cybersecurity Resources Library
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency