Pennsylvania State Laws

In 1774 Pennsylvania served as the establishment for the Founding Father’s meeting of the First Continental Congress. The Second Continental Congress also met in Pennsylvania in 1775. The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia but the city was soon after taken by British command.

For several years following the Revolutionary War’s conclusion, Philadelphia served as the United States’ capital. Pennsylvania itself was named after one if its own founding fathers, William Penn. The state of Pennsylvania sets taxes, by law, on many of its municipalities, levies, real estates, stocks, holdings, and bonds.

These laws are not too different from Pennsylvania’s other state laws. Many of these include divorce laws, bankruptcy laws, labor laws, felony conviction laws, drunken driving laws, and expungement laws.

Bankruptcy

The United States’ federal government created new laws in regards to bankruptcy in 2005. These laws decrease the number of individuals who qualify for Chapter Seven bankruptcy and set new regulations on who can be approved for bankruptcy. After a petition has been approved, an individual’s income and debt will be measured against the mean of Pennsylvania’s citizens.

Depending on where an individual falls in relation to the state mean, he or she will be granted either Chapter Seven or Chapter Thirteen bankruptcy. Not all who apply for bankruptcy are granted bankruptcy. The new Bankruptcy Act of 2005 was designed to limit the abuse on the federal system.

Expungement

Expungement does not mean that an individual’s criminal records cannot later be accessed under the correct authorization. Expungement eliminates an individual’s record from public and personal viewing and also allows an individual the right to legally say he or she never committed the expunged crime. The files will be eliminated from all databases along with any form of identifying information.

These records can be accessed if the individual runs for public office or if he or she applies for the military. Expungement is not possible for many criminal cases. Felony offenses, sexual offenses, and misdemeanor offenses most often cannot be expunged. Unless a case under these offenses is later dismissed, reversed, or found to be incorrect, no expungement is possible. Traffic violations also cannot be expunged.

Holiday Pay

Pennsylvania law and federal law do not require that companies and businesses provide extra payment for holidays or holidays off. Federal law states that a business has the right to be open three hundred sixty-five days of the year, which requires employees to work. Some businesses do allow certain holidays off as well as extra payment for working holidays. If such an agreement if provided and stated in written contract, the business is lawfully required to provide this benefit.

Instead of providing sick leave some companies instead provide paid time off. This benefit can be used whenever an individual desires and include the necessity of sick days.

Punishment

Felony offenses carry harsher punishments than misdemeanor offenses. Each offense is separated into different degrees and different forms of punishment. Misdemeanor offenses can earn no more than one year in jail, while felony offenses can earn no less than one year in prison and as many as life in prison.


Pennsylvania Law Articles

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