Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Gov. Wolf signs executive order raising minimum wage for state employees and contractors

Earlier this week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order (available here) raising the minimum wage to $10.15 per hour for state employees and contractors. Each year, that amount will increase based on "the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (United States city average, all items, not seasonally adjusted)" rounded to the nearest $0.05.

Gov. Tom Wolf
Who gets this new wage? Well, "Employees of Commonwealth agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor" get it immediately. The executive order also covers:
2(b) Employees who: 
(1) directly perform services or construction; or 
(2) directly perform services for the Commonwealth and are employed by a lessor of property to the Commonwealth; or 
(3) spend at least 20 percent of their working time in a given work week performing an ancillary service called for in a new lease of property or contract for services or construction exceeding the applicable small purchase threshold entered into with a Commonwealth agency under the jurisdiction of the Governor, including bilateral modifications to existing such leases or contracts, after the effective date of this Executive Order.
Hmm, that's tough to decipher. 2(b)(3) seems pretty specific, but what about 2(b)(1)? Employees who "directly perform services or construction" . . . for whom? I would assume it means employees who perform services for the Commonwealth . . . but wait, then what does 2(b)(2) mean? It appears to cover a subset of 2(b)(1) - employees who perform services for the Commonwealth and "are employed by a lessor of property to the Commonwealth." Why would we need 2(b)(2) if 2(b)(1) covered all employees who directly perform services for the Commonwealth regardless of whether the are employed by a lessor? It doesn't make any sense (to me).

I'm still trying to figure out the coverage here. Suffice it to say that some state contractors are covered. Their effective date will be based on "the effective date of the applicable contract or lease solicited or bilaterally modified on or after July 1, 2016."