What we do
The Department of Labor builds partnerships between management and the labor organizations representing City employees. The department also oversees matters related to the City’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and workplace anti-harassment policies, FMLA, ADA, and other EEO areas. As the City’s main point of contact for the labor community, we:
- Handle negotiations between City unions and City management.
- Respond to unfair labor practice charges filed against the City.
- Investigate complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination from any City employees, applicants, former employees, or members of the public.
- Represent the City in union disputes.
- Make sure employers with City contracts pay prevailing wages.
- Resolve minimum-wage waiver requests.
- Administer and enforce the City’s worker protection laws.
The Department of Labor includes the Office of Employee Relations, the Office of Labor Relations, the Office of Worker Protections, the Office of Labor Standards, and the Living Wage Working Group.
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Rich Lazer is deputy mayor of labor for the City of Philadelphia. In this role he is the primary point-of-contact for the City’s labor community and is responsible for labor policy within the Kenney administration. Since becoming deputy mayor in January 2016, Lazer successfully completed contract negotiations with the City’s largest labor union in record time, and he has helped facilitate labor harmony at Philadelphia International Airport.
As part of his portfolio, Lazer oversees the Department of Labor, which manages negotiations and grievance resolution with the City’s internal bargaining units. The Office of Labor also ensures that City vendors meet any prevailing or living wage requirements applicable to their contract; and conducts outreach and enforcement related to paid sick leave, wage theft, and related issues.
Prior to becoming deputy mayor, Lazer served for 10 years with then-councilman Kenney as a community liaison in his council office. In that role, he was responsible for communication and collaboration with City departments, state, and federal agencies, and he also represented the mayor-elect on numerous boards and organizations. Currently, Lazer serves on the boards of PIDC, Philadelphia Works, Philadelphia Mural Arts, Interstate Land Management Corporation, and Victim Witness Services of South Philadelphia.
A graduate of LaSalle University with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Lazer also worked on three re-election campaigns for Kenney, as well as on other state and municipal campaigns.