It is only fitting that, on this day, May the 4th, which has become known colloquially as Star Wars Day, we bring you this update on Philadelphia’s Wage Equity Ordinance saga which could send significant ripples throughout the galaxy.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a law (Act 161) in November that amends the Pennsylvania Banking Code to permit the use of payroll debit cards, with certain conditions. Employers who wish to consider the payroll debit card option for paying employees (or who already are doing so) should review the specifics of the law to ensure they are in compliance when this law takes effect on May 4, 2017
On Thursday, October 27th Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed into law legislation that expands the scope of the city’s prevailing wage ordinance to encompass service employees at universities, hospitals and other businesses that receive government funds. The legislations, which was unanimously approved by the Philadelphia City Council, goes into effect immediately. Philadelphia’s prevailing wage ordinance was first passed in the 1950s, but in recent years has been expanded to cover more workers in the city. In substance, the ordinance requires employers to pay employees in the city covered by the ordinance a prevailing wage which, as the city explains, “is a rate of pay determined by the U.S. Department of Labor based upon the particular geographic area for a given class of labor and type of project.” A prevailing wage, as defined by the law, is typically higher than the wages that an employer would otherwise pay and, in some instances, is tied to wage rates negotiated by unions. Both before and after the expansion of the ordinance was signed into law, Mayor Kenney and members of City Council issued statements making it clear that the change to the ordinance was intended to raise the wages for thousands of people working in Philadelphia.