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November 28, 2022

Wolf calls on Legislature to boost wages, support paid sick leave

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has announced new proposed regulations to update how employers pay tipped workers and his agenda to increase paychecks, guarantee paid leave and create safer workplaces for salaried workers.

“American workers are demanding better quality jobs,” Wolf said recently at a news conference in Philadelphia. “People want higher pay for their hard work, fair paid time off and safety on the job. 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 corporations and forced people to struggle. It’s time they passed laws to support good middle class jobs, increase wages and help families make ends meet. That’s what my plan and this legislation will do.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry proposed new regulations to increase the monthly tips a worker must receive from $30 to $135 before their employer can reduce their hourly wage from $7.25 to $2.83. The proposal is being reviewed by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission.

Wolf urged the General Assembly to pass Senate Bill 12, sponsored by Sen. Christine Tartaglione, D-Philadelphia, or House Bill 345, sponsored by Rep. Patty Kim, D-Harrisburg, to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $12 an hour with a path to $15 an hour and remove local preemption. After reaching $15 an hour, annual minimum wage increases would be based on the Consumer Price Index.

To extend paid sick leave to an estimated 400,000 workers in the commonwealth, the governor implored the Legislature to pass Sen. Vince Hughes’ Senate Bill 13 and Rep. Mike Zabel’s House Bill 1035.

State and local public workers are not protected under Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety rules. Wolf announced his support for the passage of Tartaglione’s Senate Bill 310 and Rep. Pat Harkins’ House Bill 1976 to extend the safeguards to protect all public employees.

Wolf announced his support for Rep. Gerald Mullery’s House Bill 549 to help out-of-work Pennsylvanians by updating the Unemployment Compensation Law to ensure benefits and payments are available to eligible workers during future times of high unemployment.

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