About Labor & Industry
The Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) employs more than 5,000 workers in 200 offices statewide. Established in 1913, the department originally inspected the working conditions in factories around the state. Over time, the department's responsibilities expanded.
L&I administers 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 workers, and dislocated 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.
L&I 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.
Secretary of the PA Department of Labor & Industry
Nancy A. Walker was confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate on June 21, 2023 to serve as Secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry under Governor Josh Shapiro. Since accepting the nomination in January 2023, Walker has remained committed to leading the department's efforts to build a resilient Unemployment Compensation (UC) system, prioritizing the enforcement of Pennsylvania's 13 labor laws, and strengthening Pennsylvania's economy by empowering workers to pursue opportunities like apprenticeships that lead to family-sustaining jobs.
Before serving as Labor & Industry Secretary, Walker served as the first Chief Deputy Attorney General of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General's newly created Fair Labor Section in 2017. Under Walker's leadership, the Fair Labor Section has worked on behalf of workers and law-abiding employers across Pennsylvania to ensure they are being treated fairly and lawfully and has served as lead counsel in matters of national importance, including lawsuits bringing Administrative Procedure Act challenges to amendments to the tip and joint employer rules, and has led a successful criminal wage and benefit theft investigation resulting in a $21 million dollar plea deal, the largest case of its kind in the country.
Prior to her appointment as Chief Deputy, Walker focused her private practice on labor and employment law throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, in federal and state courts, before administrative agencies, and in arbitration and mediation proceedings. She is licensed to practice before state and federal courts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and was a long-time volunteer with the Support Center for Child Advocates.
Walker comes from a family of teachers and steelworkers. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
Past Secretaries of L&I