Wage Proposals Could Benefit Philly Workers

March 10, 2016

There are a few different wage proposals at various levels of the government which we thought we would call attention to at the conclusion of a work week of beautiful weather here in Philadelphia. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the Federal Governments are considering wage proposals to increase the minimum wage, stop wage theft and help unemployed workers get back to a job.

At the local level, Philadelphia was considering a wage theft coordinator at the end of last year. Funding for the position is included in Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposed budget. The previously proposed bill would allow the wage coordinator to revoke the company’s business license if they failed to pay workers what they were owed. Other cities have proposed similar measures to make it easier for workers to collect money owed from employers.

Last year, Philadelphia increased the minimum wage for contractors and subcontractors receiving funds as part of contracts with the City of Philadelphia. However, the law generally limits efforts to increase the minimum wage above the amount set by Pennsylvania law.

At the state level, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf increased the minimum wage for state workers to $10.15 an hour by executive order. The minimum wage for these 450 or so workers was previously $7.25 for the last seven years.

Governor Wolf appeared at an event in Pittsburgh highlighting a local business that pays its workers at least $10.10 an hour. The promotional program offers advertising on city owned bus shelters for Pittsburgh businesses with 15 to 250 employees that pay the required wage. At the event, Governor Wolf called on PA state legislators to pass a minimum wage increase for all Pennsylvania workers.

At the federal level, President Obama has proposed the adoption of a provision providing wage insurance to replace a portion of the lost wages of employees who are laid off and subsequently must take a lower paying job to become employed again.