Philadelphia Approves $15 Hourly Wage Hike

City council approved a bill for Fair Workweek to provide more predictability for retail, fast food and hotel workers.

December 11, 2018

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia has joined cities nationwide in adopting new legislation aimed to support its service workers when it comes to consistent scheduling. The Fair Workweek bill passed on Dec. 6 in Philadelphia’s city council that forces employers with more than 30 locations and 250 employees to give workers advance notice of their schedules and offer “predictability pay” if schedules change after that.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that there are nearly 130,000 service workers, including those who are unionized, in the City of Brotherly Love. A recent survey by U.C. Berkeley found that 66% report irregular schedules and 77% want change. It’s especially difficult living in the poorest big city in America. Philadelphia has maintained a poverty rate of 26% for the last five years.

Alongside these scheduling shifts, the council voted to raise the minimum wage from $12 to $15 an hour for city workers and those employed by city contractors and subcontractors, including social service agencies and after-school custodians.

When a new employee is hired at these eligible employers, they must receive a good-faith estimate of their work schedule with average numbers, on-call expectations and unavailability. In 2020, employers will have to post detailed work schedules 10 days in advance. That will jump up to 14 days in 2021.

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