PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Kenney today signed into law the Fair Workweek and 21st Century Minimum Wage legislation recently passed by City Council.
The 21st Century Minimum Wage bill will gradually raise the minimum wage governing employees of contractors and subcontractors, as well as City workers, to $15 an hour. The Fair Workweek bill will require certain standards for employees, including reasonable notice of schedules, rest time between shifts, and opportunities for additional hours.
“Today is a huge win for Philadelphia workers,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The Fair Work Week and Minimum Wage bills will go a long way to ensuring that our hard-working residents have the dignity of stable employment and a steady schedule. City Council members have always had the needs of working Philadelphians front and center of their legislative agenda. Their support of these measures is another shining example of that commitment.”
The 21st Century Minimum Wage legislation, announced by Mayor Kenney in September, will raise the minimum wage governing employees of contractors and subcontractors, as well as City workers, from the current rate of $12.20 an hour, under the following schedule:
- $13.25 / hour as of July 1, 2019
- $13.75 / hour as of July 1, 2020
- $14.25 / hour as of July 1, 2021
- $15.00 / hour as of July 1, 2022
The minimum wage standard will continue to rise based on annual consumer price index adjustments once it hits $15 / hour.
The change applies to new and renewed City contracts. The bill also changes the requirements for employers to qualify for a job creation tax credit to be consistent with the higher wage standard.
“With household incomes dropping, I’ve seen firsthand the struggles of many Philadelphians — in my district and across the city,” said Councilman Mark Squilla, who introduced the legislation. “I’m proud to have sponsored a measure that will boost the opportunities and dreams of many of those caught in such a struggle. Now that this bill has been signed into law, everyone who works for the City or one of its contractors is guaranteed what they deserve — a living wage.”
“We are proud to see Philadelphia City government lead by example in creating a living wage that moves people out of poverty for its constituents,” said Rev. Greg Holston, Executive Director of POWER: Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild. “People of faith applaud this step forward in creating a more just economy for the poorest big city in the United States. Dignity is bestowed by our creator and we want to see it manifest here in Philadelphia. Now we call on companies and the state to follow the City’s lead and raise the wages of their workers and for all Pennsylvanians.”
The Fair Workweek bill, introduced by Councilwoman Helen Gym, will require employers with more than 30 locations and 250 employees to give workers two weeks’ advance notice of their schedules. If work schedules change after that timeframe, employers will need to offer predictability pay to employees.
“In a city with such high poverty, I’m proud that Philadelphia’s leading the way on addressing abusive practices like unstable scheduling that wreak havoc on people’s lives and leave them unable to predict their monthly incomes for rent or childcare,” said Councilwoman Gym. “Fair Workweek is a powerful tool that we can use to profoundly impact incomes. This work has been led by a diverse group of workers and advocates who have made Fair Workweek more than a law. It’s been a citywide campaign to change the way we look at poverty and jobs. We’re showing that a people-led campaign can transform the ways in which we invest in one another and progress in ways that are smart for workers, smart for business, and smart for our city.”
“Our Philadelphia labor movement believes all workers deserve dignity and fairness on the job. This legislation is crucial because it enables working people to have some stability,” said Patrick J. Eiding, President of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO. “This legislation will allow working people to plan for doctor visits, to take care of family members, to go back to school and further their education. I applaud Mayor Kenney for signing this and the minimum wage increase bill and thank City Council for passing both bills together, demonstrating once again their commitment to working families in Philadelphia.”
The Fair Workweek ordinance will go into effect on January 1, 2020.