Legal Alert

Mayor Kenney Signs Philadelphia Fair Workweek and Minimum Wage Bills Into Law

December 27, 2018

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed two bills last week that provide affected employees in the city with more scheduling certainty and higher wages.

The first bill, the Fair Workweek Employment Standards Ordinance, requires employers with at least 250 employees and 30 locations worldwide in the retail, food services, and hospitality industries to provide their employees with more certainty regarding their work schedules, among other reforms. For more information on the Fair Workweek Ordinance, please see Ballard Spahr's prior alert.

The Philadelphia Minimum Wage Bill, which amends the 21st Century Minimum Wage Standard Ordinance, is much broader and will increase the minimum wage for all City employees, contractors, and subcontractors beginning next summer.

Starting July 1, 2019, the wage bill will gradually raise the minimum wage from the current $12.20 an hour to $13.25. The wage will increase to $13.75 an hour on July 1, 2020, $14.25 an hour on July 1, 2021, and $15.00 on July 1, 2022. After that, the minimum wage standard will continue to rise based on annual consumer price index adjustments.

The increased minimum wage will apply to all City employees and to employees of covered employers, including those that are recipients of City, concessions, franchises, and leases, as well as recipients of City financial aid. Financial aid recipients include all persons or entities that receive direct City assistance of more than $100,000 in any 12-month period.  City financial aid recipients must comply with minimum wage increase requirements for five years after their receipt of financial aid. Benefits incidental to City policies, regulations, ordinances, or charter provisions are not considered City financial aid.

The ordinance also defines a City financial aid recipient as any person or entity that (a) leases property or equipment from a City financial aid recipient; (b) has more than 25 employees; and (c) in the case of a not-for-profit entity, leases the property or equipment for consideration in excess of $100,000 a year, or, in the case of a for-profit entity, has annual gross receipts in excess of $1 million. The property must have been acquired with the City's assistance, and the person or entity must receive an intended material benefit from the financial assistance. The person or entity will be subject to the minimum wage increases for the same compliance period as the City financial aid recipient from which they are leasing the property or equipment.

Student interns, workers engaged in a transitional training program, and employees on a construction project subject to prevailing wage requirements are not covered.

Attorneys in Ballard Spahr's Labor and Employment Group routinely advise and assist our clients in drafting policies and procedures addressing regulatory compliance issues. If you are subject to either of the new laws, or think you may be, we can assist. Please contact Brian D. Pedrow, at 215.864.8108 or, or any other member of the Labor and Employment Group with any questions.

Copyright © 2018 by Ballard Spahr LLP.
(No claim to original U.S. government material.)

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This alert is a periodic publication of Ballard Spahr LLP and is intended to notify recipients of new developments in the law. It should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own attorney concerning your situation and specific legal questions you have.

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