Government & Politics
5:46 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Bill in PA House Would Make It Illegal for Cities to Set Minimum Wage, Require Sick Leave

It’s not uncommon for individual municipalities to set a minimum wage that is higher than the state- and federally-mandated rate. As of Jan. 1, San Franciscans are making at least $10.55 an hour, compared to the California minimum wage of $8.

Now, state representative Seth Grove (R-York) wants to make that kind of municipal legislation illegal in Pennsylvania.

“They couldn’t put paid sick leave requirements on private businesses; they can’t do minimum wage requirements on private businesses,” said Grove. “They still can, obviously, set employee leave compensation for their own employees who work for the political entities, but they can’t do it on private businesses outside of that.”

Grove is the primary sponsor of House Bill 1960, which he said was motivated by the concerns of business leaders in the Philadelphia area. Philadelphia City Council twice tried to pass legislation to require employers to offer paid sick leave, and twice that legislation was vetoed by Mayor Michael Nutter.

Grove said labor laws are simply outside the scope of municipal government’s role.

“They should be focused on economic development, zoning … setting their tax rates, paving, building roads and maintaining roadways,” said Grove. “Those are the role of local governments, not setting labor law policy.”

He also claims that allowing municipalities to set their own labor laws would place “unnecessary bureaucratic burdens onto private businesses.”

As written, the law would not affect any municipal labor laws already in place.