Gov. Tom Wolf continues to step up pressure on Republican legislative leaders to finally support the hard-working Pennsylvanians. At a press conference in Philadelphia, the governor announced proposed new regulations to ensure tipping workers are treated fairly and introduced his workers’ legislative agenda that will increase paychecks, guarantee paid time off and create safer workplaces.
“American workers demand better quality jobs,” Governor Wolf said. “People want higher wages for their hard work, fair paid time off and workplace safety. I took executive action on all three issues last month, but for too long Republican leaders in Harrisburg have ignored workers in favor of big business and forced people to fight. It is time for them to pass laws to support good middle class jobs, raise wages and help families make ends meet. This is what my plan and this law will do.
The governor was joined at a press conference at the Mayfair Recreation Center in Philadelphia by Secretary of the Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) Jennifer Berrier, State Senator Christine M. Tartaglione, President of the Palestinian Authority Senate Labor and Industry Committee, and other legislators. and workers.
Help workers tip
The governor announced that L&I is proposing new regulations to update decades-old rules for how employers pay workers, especially workers whose take-home pay ultimately depends on tips. The update increases the amount of tips a worker must receive monthly from $ 30 to $ 135 before their employer can reduce their hourly wages from $ 7.25 to $ 2.83 per hour. The Independent Regulatory Review Board will review the proposal.
“The world of work has changed dramatically since these regulations came into effect in 1977, but tip workers remain a large and critical segment of Pennsylvania’s workforce,” said Sec. Berrier. “They are the only workers whose take-home pay ultimately depends on the generosity of their clients and not on the obligation of their employer. This proposed regulatory update of the Minimum Wage Act aims to establish sturdy and modernized guardrails to protect workers rocking the 21st Century and ensure consistency for employers.
Increase workers’ wages
Governor Wolf believes Pennsylvanians deserve a fair wage for their hard work and has proposed an increase in the minimum wage each year of his tenure. Governor again urges the General Assembly to finally pass SB 12, sponsored by Senator Tartaglione, or HB 345, sponsored by Representative Patty Kim, to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $ 12 an hour with a path to 15 $ and remove local preemption.
Once hit $ 15, annual minimum wage increases would be based on the Consumer Price Index so workers aren’t left behind by Republican leaders again.
“The governor’s recent action to offer guaranteed paid time off, safer workplaces and increased wages for employees of companies that receive Commonwealth grants or contracts is a good start. Said Tartaglione. “But we can’t let it end there. We currently have legislation pending in the Senate that would codify these ordinances into law for all workers in this Commonwealth. “
The graph is available here.
Eight states are on track to hit $ 15, including the Red States, and President Joe Biden is raising the federal minimum wage for contractors to $ 15. Overall, 29 other states, including all of the states bordering Pennsylvania, have higher minimum wages, leaving our workers with a minimum wage of just $ 7.25.
The governor took executive action last month by directing the Ministry of Economic and Community Development to verify that companies receiving an offer of assistance offer workers paid sick leave and pay no less than the minimum wage for employees. state before making a financial incentive offer. The minimum wage of $ 13.50 for state employees and contractors will rise to $ 15 on July 1, 2024, under an executive order signed by the governor in 2018.
Sick leave with pay
Pennsylvanians should never have to choose between losing a day’s pay or going to work due to illness. The governor urges the legislature to extend paid sick leave to approximately 400,000 workers by passing SB 13 from Senator Vince Hughes and HB 1035 from Representative Mike Zabel.
Paid sick leave can be used to recover from an illness, such as COVID-19, for medical appointments, to care for a family member, or to seek help following abuse or violence.
Every worker deserves a safe and healthy workplace, but local and national public workers are not protected by the safety regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Governor supports passage of Senator Tartaglione’s SB 310 and Representative Pat Harkins’ HB 1976 to protect all public employees – guarantees that the country’s private sector and federal employees have received for 50 years
The recent governor’s decree directs L&I and the Office of Administration to investigate the feasibility of applying OSHA standards to offices under the governor’s jurisdiction. State agencies will also ensure that those who receive state grants and contracts comply with labor laws and understand the consequences of not complying with them.
Help for unemployed Pennsylvanians
The governor supports the HB 549 of the representative Gerald Mullery, to help the unemployed Pennsylvanians. The bill updates the Unemployment Compensation Act to streamline the process for eligible workers to obtain the benefit and ensures that payments are available to workers during future periods of high unemployment and economic downturn .