Some City of Philadelphia contractors and subcontractors now have a new requirement to contend with, along with all of the other assorted rules and regulations that govern their contracts with the City.
Effective July 1, 2012, under the newly amended “Philadelphia 21st Century Minimum Wage and Benefits Standard,” for profit service contractors or subcontractors on City contracts of $10,000 or more in a 12-month period, who have annual gross receipts of more than $1,000,000, must provide their employees with some level of paid sick leave. A service contractor is one with a City contract “for the furnishing of services to or for the City, except contracts where services are incidental to the delivery of products, equipment or commodities.” This would appear to encompass public works contractors, service providers, and professional firms providing service to the City.
A contractor covered by the new law will be required to provide full-time, non-temporary, and non-seasonal employees with at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 32 hours per year, for employers with more than five but less than 11 employees, and up to 56 hours per year, for employers with at least 11 employees.
However, a contractor can obtain a waiver of the new sick leave requirement by submitting an application to the City’s Office of Labor Standards. The application must set forth detailed reasons for an employer’s inability to comply with the new law. For example, the new requirements may be waived, in whole or in part, by a bona fide collective bargaining agreement. Thus, the many City contractors who are also union contractors will likely be unaffected by the new requirement.
In order to ensure compliance with the new requirements, City contractors should first determine whether it applies to them. If so, these contractors should then amend their leave, record-keeping, and posting policies.
The Philadelphia 21st Century Minimum Wage and Benefits Standard can be found here.