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December 06, 2018

Philadelphia City Council passes fair workweek bill, $15 minimum wage bump

It's a big day for workers' rights in Philly

City Council Laws
12042018_philly_city_hall_TC Thom Carroll, File/PhillyVoice

Philadelphia City Hall.

Philadelphia City Council passed the “Fair Workweek” bill, designed to give the city’s 130,000 service industry workers regular and consistent hours, with a 14-3 vote Thursday.

The bill, which hones in on the scheduling of workweeks for employees, applies to large employers, or those with more than 250 employees, with at least 30 locations across the country or state. 

Introduced by Councilwoman Helen Gym this past summer, the fair workweek rules will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Employers will be required to set schedules at least two weeks in advance; to offer hours to existing employees rather than hiring new employees at lower rates; and to pay employees when shifts are canceled. It will also guarantee employees at least 11 hours of rest between shifts.

Thursday’s vote follows in the foot steps of other major cities across the country: New York enacted its fair workweek law in November of last year, and Seattle passed fair workweek legislation this September.

Philadelphia City Council also approved raising the minimum wage for city workers, and workers employed by contractors and subcontractors, to $15 by 2023.

The move was a big hit with plenty of Philadelphia residents:

Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney, who endorsed the bill this week, issued a statement following Thursday’s vote:

“I applaud members of City Council for their overwhelming approval today of two pieces of legislation that will help give working Philadelphians a chance to improve the quality of their family’s lives,” Kenney said. “The Fair Work Week and Minimum Wage bills will go a long way to ensuring that our hard-working residents have the dignity of stable employment and a steady schedule.”