During a visit to Delaware County, Gov. Tom Wolf outlined his workforce plan to benefit Pennsylvania workers with fair wages, paid sick leave, safe workplaces and quality jobs. The presentation of the plan included an executive order and a call on the legislature to finally pass several bills that help working families.
“With our economy on the comeback, there are so many job openings that people can select the option that is best for their family. This has created a tremendous moment for workers,” said Gov. Wolf. “With Pennsylvanians’ renowned work ethic, this is an opportunity to improve jobs and workplaces. My workforce plan will create safer workplaces, guarantee paid leave, and promote higher wages for workers.”
According to the Government of Pennsylvania press release,the key lines set by Wolf´s plan are:
Paid Sick Leave
The governor is directing DCED to verify a business receiving an offer of assistance provides its workers paid sick leave and pays no less than the minimum wage for state employees before making a financial incentive offer. The $13.50 minimum wage for state employees and contractors will reach $15 on July 1, 2024, under an executive order the governor signed in 2018.
The governor is also urging the legislature to provide paid sick leave to workers in Pennsylvania. Providing paid sick leave would improve public health and prevent more people from getting sick, a protection that is beneficial to both workers and their employers.
Increase Worker Pay
In addition to the executive order on minimum pay for businesses receiving DCED offers, the governor called on the General Assembly to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $12 an hour with a path to $15 and remove local preemption.
The governor has proposed a commonsense minimum wage increase for seven years. However, the legislature has failed to act, leaving Pennsylvania behind all of our neighboring states with a wage floor of only $7.25. The minimum wage has lost nearly 17 percent of its purchasing power since the last increase and the value has declined nearly 31 percent compared to 50 years ago.
Another important part of the plan made through executive action, the governor is directing the Labor and Industries Department (L&I) and the Office of Administration to study the feasibility of implementing Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. State agencies will also ensure those receiving state grants and contracts follow labor laws and understand the consequences of not complying.
The governor´s plan includes also the announcement that L&I will make publicly available a list of bad actors that violate labor laws, misclassify their workers, owe unemployment compensation back taxes, or fail to carry requisite workers’ compensation insurance.