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Labor & Industry
Guide to Services




Department Overview

Established in 1913, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry originally inspected working conditions in factories around the state. Over time, the department’s responsibilities expanded, making it one of the largest and most diversified agencies in the commonwealth.

With more than 5,000 employees assigned to more than 150 offices around the state, including a network of PA CareerLink® centers, L&I administers and monitors regulations that touch the daily lives of Pennsylvanians in a variety of ways.

Labor & Industry oversees the administration of benefits to unemployed individuals, oversees the administration of workers’ compensation benefits to individuals with job-related injuries, and provides vocational rehabilitation to individuals with disabilities. The department prepares job seekers for the global workforce through employment and job training services for adult, youth, older and unemployed workers. In addition, L&I enforces various laws and safety standards in the workplace and administers the commonwealth’s programs for community service by young Pennsylvanians.

Labor & Industry also promotes economic development and an improved business climate through a variety of initiatives and programs to help Pennsylvania’s workforce remain world-class and globally competitive.

Through a concentrated effort on continuous improvement of customer service and quality, Labor & Industry is helping Pennsylvania.

Workplace Health & Safety

The Health and Safety Division of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation

Health & Safety Division website

The Health and Safety Division of the Bureau of Workers' Compensation provides a variety of training and education programs relating to accident and illness prevention programs as well as oversees the certification of employer workplace safety committees for eligibility of workers' compensation insurance premium discounts as allowed under Article X of the Act by:

  • Providing assistance to employers in the establishment of safety committees and yearly certification renewal for state-certified employers to continue receiving premium discounts

  • Reviewing annual reports of accident and illness prevention services and programs from Pennsylvania-licensed workers' compensation carriers, self-insured employers and group self-insurance funds

  • Conducting on-site audits of accident and illness prevention services and programs and certified safety committees

  • Configuring and monitoring deficiency correction programs as necessary to resolve program or service inadequacies

  • Developing and disseminating health and safety-related information to members of the regulated community and the general public concerning: workplace safety committee certification/re-certification procedures and requirements; mandatory accident and illness prevention program and service elements; safety-related training and annual reporting requirements

The division also manages the PATHS (PATraining for Health and Safety) resource, a no-fee, statewide service to provide employers and employees with easy access to cost-effective health and safety resources. Services, including free onsite training provided by PATHS, will enable participants in the workers' compensation system to achieve greater efficiencies in their workers' compensation cost-containment efforts by creating safer, accident-free workplaces.

Community Service Program

PennSERVE: The Governor’s Office of Citizen Service

PennSERVE website

Administers national service programs, including AmeriCorps and Learn & Serve America, primarily pursuant to grants from the Corporation for National & Community Service. The commonwealth’s leading agency on citizen service and volunteering, PennSERVE works to promote and maintain partnerships with a variety of public and private organizations in order to strengthen the commonwealth’s communities and foster leadership among Pennsylvanians. In addition, PennSERVE focuses on efforts that encourage involvement in volunteer and community service by people of all ages, especially youth.

Workforce Development Services

Workforce Development website

Bureau of Workforce Development Partnership


The Bureau of Workforce Development Partnership administers federal and state workforce programs funded by the Workforce Investment Act, Wagner-Peyser Act, Trade Act, Jobs for Veterans Act, and other federal and state legislation.

The bureau provides universal access for customers to employment and related services, including job placement and related programs provided through the statewide network of one-stop PA CareerLink® centers and the PA CareerLink® Web site at These services help job seekers obtain employment and enhance their skills, find appropriate training and education, and help employers find qualified workers.

The bureau oversees the administration of federally-funded job training programs in local areas around the state that provide services to youth, adults and dislocated workers. The bureau also provides Rapid Response Services to assist employees affected by mass layoffs and plant closings, and coordinates federal, state and local aid. In addition, bureau staff provides Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers who are certified as adversely affected by foreign trade, tax credit programs which provide savings to employers as an incentive to hire eligible job seekers with barriers to employment, and incumbent worker training programs which help workers to upgrade their skills so Pennsylvania businesses remain competitive in the global labor market.

The bureau also supports the delivery of employment, training and education services in the commonwealth through comprehensive PA CareerLink® centers, mini centers, and community-based access points throughout the state.

Pennsylvania CareerLink®

PA CareerLink® is the delivery system for employment, training, and education services in the commonwealth. Programs are coordinated and delivered locally at PA CareerLink® centers throughout the state. The primary delivery mechanism for services is an Internet-based system to promote a self-service environment. In addition, staff-assisted services are available at comprehensive PA CareerLink® centers across the state. PA CareerLink® partner agencies are co-located, to work toward providing a seamless delivery system through an integration of systems and coordination of services for job seekers and employers.

Compliance and Inspections

Bureau of Occupational and Industrial Safety

BOIS website

The Bureau of Occupational and Industrial Safety (BOIS) administers and enforces a variety of laws related to the safety of the general public and public sector employees, including the Uniform Construction Code (UCC), dealing with building construction, accessibility, energy conservation and elevator construction; the Boiler and Unfired Pressure Vessel Law; the Propane and Liquefied Petroleum Gas Act; the Combustible and Flammable Liquids Act; the Bedding and Upholstery Law; the Stuffed Toy Law; the General Safety Law; the Asbestos Occupations Accreditation and Certification Act; the Lead Certification Act; the Hazardous Material Emergency Planning and Response Act; and the Worker and Community Right-to-Know Act.

Labor-Management Cooperation

Bureau of Mediation

Mediation Services website

Provides mediation services to labor organizations and management when an impasse occurs in collective bargaining. The bureau provides grievance mediation, and an arbitration panel to the parties upon request. In addition, labor mediators are available for proactive services including facilitating labor-management committees.

Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board

PA Labor Relations Board website

Conducts hearings and issues rulings on unfair labor practice charges filed mainly by public sector employees, employee organizations or employers. Also conducts union representation elections, appoints fact-finders, and issues panels of arbitrators in certain public sector collective bargaining disputes.

Office of Labor-Management Cooperation

Labor-Management Cooperation website

Promotes cooperative relations between labor and management to improve the state’s labor/business climate through increased quality, productivity and competitiveness. Working with Pennsylvania’s Area Labor Management Committees and the Bureau of Mediation, the office provides information and technical assistance on establishing labor management cooperative partnerships and programs.

Social Security for Public Employees

Social Security for Public Employees website

Administers the state law Act 491 and federal law Section 218 of the Social Security Act, enabling employees of political subdivisions to be voluntarily covered for Social Security, as well as procedures governing Social Security and Medicare Coverage by state and local public employers in Pennsylvania.

Unemployment Compensation (UC)

Unemployment Compensation Service Centers


Plans, organizes and directs all activities for taking, processing, and payment of all unemployment claims filed through Unemployment Compensation Service Centers by Internet or telephone. Develops policies, standards and monitoring systems to ensure the UC program is operated in accordance with federal and state laws and ensure the most efficient application of modern technology in the provision of UC services. Integrates UC services with the Pennsylvania CareerLink® system.

Unemployment Compensation Tax Services


Works with employers to help them comply with their obligations under the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law. The duties of this office include registering liable employers for UC taxes, determining services covered under the Unemployment Compensation Law, calculating employers’ experience-based tax rates, securing required tax reports, collecting taxes due, and educating employers about their UC responsibilities and how to lower their rates.

Assistance for People with Disabilities

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)

866-830-7327 TTY
OVR Website

Assists eligible individuals with disabilities to obtain and keep a job, and promotes economic and social independence in their daily life activities. Services may include counseling and guidance, job training, and physical and mental restoration. Additional programs include specialized services for children and adults who are blind or visually impaired. The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation is connected to the Pennsylvania CareerLink® network and also operates a comprehensive rehabilitation and educational facility, the Hiram G. Andrews Center in Johnstown.

Office for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing

800-233-3008 Voice/TTY
ODHH website

Provides information, referrals and advocacy services to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as individuals who come into contact with a deaf or hard of hearing person. The office refers individuals to the proper agencies for services, serves as an advocate for individuals not receiving proper services from public and private agencies, provides information on hearing loss and deaf issues, and serves as a liaison to the government for the deaf community.

Bureau of Blindness & Visual Services

717-787-6176 Voice/TTY
Blindness & Visual Services website

Provides services to Pennsylvanians who are blind and visually impaired to promote economic and social independence in their daily life activities. Services include vocational rehabilitation to help working-age Pennsylvanians gain employment, older blind independent living services (age 55 and up), children’s services (birth to age 17), services to adults with multiple disabilities, and the Business Enterprise Program, which operates food service businesses in state and federal buildings and on Pennsylvania interstate highways.

Bureau of Disability Determination

717-425-7900 or 1-855-805-7380
Disability Determination website

Determines the non-financial eligibility of claimants for federal Social Security disability benefits for the Title II and Title XVI. The bureau follows the guidelines established by the federal government.

Workers’ Compensation (WC)

Bureau of Workers’ Compensation

800-482-2383 Claims Helpline
717-772-3702 Employer Helpline
717-772-4991 TTY
800-362-4228 TTY
Workers' Compensation website

Administers laws assuring that workers are insured against job-related injury, illness or death. The bureau also monitors the filing and resolution of claims.

Workers’ Compensation Office of Adjudication

WC Office of Adjudication website

The Office of Adjudication provides dispute resolution services in workers’ compensation matters. Judges hold hearings, conduct alternative dispute resolution sessions, and issue decisions on petitions filed by either party to a disputed claim.

State Workers’ Insurance Fund (SWIF)

SWIF website

Provides employers with workers’ compensation insurance for their employees’ work-related injuries or death, including employers unable to purchase such coverage from private insurers. Located in Scranton, with eight field offices across the state, SWIF also provides insurance coverage for public sector employees.

Labor Market Information

Center for Workforce Information & Analysis

Workforce Information and Analysis website

Produces and delivers innovative workforce information products and services to help customers make informed decisions. The center provides customers with timely, accurate and customized workforce information and analysis through its Workforce Information Center, network of subject-matter experts, and on the Labor & Industry Web site.

Labor Law and Prevailing Wage

Bureau of Labor Law Compliance

Labor Law Compliance website

Responsible for the administration, education and enforcement of labor laws including Prevailing Wage, Minimum Wage, Child and Seasonal Farm Labor, Equal Pay and Wage Collection, Apprenticeship and Training, and the enforcement of the Underground Utility Act. The bureau provides employers and employees with educational outreach seminars, conducts investigations and resolves disputes when complaints are received, establishes and enforces prevailing wage rates and classifications for qualifying public construction projects, and provides for the registration of Standards of Apprenticeship and Training to safeguard the welfare of apprentices, while meeting the expanding needs of Pennsylvania’s businesses.

Affiliated Boards and Councils/Committees

Accessibility Advisory Board

Accessibility Advisory Board website

Develops guidelines under which exemptions and variances from the provisions of this Act may be granted for buildings constructed with commonwealth funds.

Boiler Advisory Board


Established by the Industrial Board to draft, maintain and interpret the Boiler Law and Regulations. Conducts examinations for boiler inspectors and recommends commissioning of successful applicants.

Community Service Advisory Board (PennSERVE)


Consults with and advises on the development of a statewide plan for expansion of community service opportunities. Encourages youth to participate in community service, disseminates information concerning community service, and monitors the effectiveness and geographical distribution of community service programs.

Elevator Advisory Board


Established by the Industrial Board to draft, maintain and interpret the Elevator Law and Regulations. Conducts examinations for elevator inspectors and recommends commissioning of successful applicants.

Industrial Board

Industrial Board website

Conducts hearings and makes decisions regarding variances to departmental regulations, makes suggestions for formulation and revision of regulations, and interprets their intent.

Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board

Labor Relations Board website

Administers and enforces the provisions of the commonwealth laws giving collective bargaining rights to public and some private sector employees.

Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board

Workforce Development Board website

Advises and counsels the governor in the formation of a world-class workforce development system, and is directed under the Executive Order to carry out specified functions attendant to that mission.

Prevailing Wage Advisory Board


Provides advice regarding the determination of prevailing wages to the L&I secretary.

Prevailing Wage Appeals Board


Conducts hearings and determines any grievances or appeals arising out of the administration of the Prevailing Wage Act. Promulgates rules and regulations necessary to carry out duties.

State Board of Vocational Rehabilitation


Policy-approving body for Office of Vocational Rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities.

State Workers’ Insurance Board


Oversees the State Workers’ Insurance Fund, which provides workers’ compensation insurance to employers, especially those employers who cannot obtain this coverage through private insurance carriers.

Unemployment Compensation Board of Review

UC Board of Review website

Hears appeals, and issues decisions and orders arising from claims for unemployment compensation.

Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board

WC Appeal Board website

Reviews decisions from Workers’ Compensation Judges and hears petitions filed directly with the board.

Advisory Committee for the Blind

Advisory Committee for the Blind website

Advises the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation executive director in all program areas, including but not limited to: Vocational Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Teaching, Independent Living Services, Orientation and Mobility Services, Specialized Services and the Business Enterprise Program. Makes informed recommendations concerning program and service development, expansion and enhancement.

Advisory Council for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Advisory Council for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing website

Advances the independence of people with hearing loss, and supports equal opportunity for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Advisory Council to the State Workers’ Insurance Board


Commissions and reviews actuarial studies for the board, reviews audits, and makes recommendations on distribution of any surplus.

Asbestos Control Advisory Committee


Advises the L&I secretary on rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to the Asbestos Control Act. Studies need for the creation of an Asbestos Abatement Project Permitting Program and an Asbestos Abatement Project Contractor Licensure Program. Makes recommendations to the secretary on matters pertaining to these programs.

Committee of Blind Vendors


Actively participates with the Bureau of Blindness & Visual Services in matters relating to policy and program development, receives and transmits grievances from blind vendors, develops a promotion system, develops training and retraining, and sponsors meetings and conferences.

Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council

Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council website

Policy advisory body for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities.

State Advisory Council on Unemployment Compensation


Considers and advises the department on all matters related to the administration of the UC Law and Regulations, including formulation of policies.

State Apprenticeship and Training Council

Apprenticeship and Training website

Encourages the development of an apprenticeship and training system, and establishes standards of apprenticeship and training that will provide opportunities for workers to improve and modernize their skills.

State Independent Living Council to the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council website

Promotes independent living services which empower Pennsylvanians with disabilities to achieve their optimal level of independence, and improve their quality of life.

Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council


Considers and advises the department on matters related to the administration of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act and the Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act.

LIAS-36 REV 3-10
Web Version Updated 8-11