Yesterday, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf signed an executive order ensuring a minimum wage of $10.15 an hour for all employees under his jurisdiction and employees of Pennsylvania state government contractors.
In response, the Pennsylvania Campaign for Women’s Health, a coalition of more than 50 organizations calling for common-sense policy solutions to real problems faced by real families, issued a statement that underscored the need to raise the wage for all minimum-wage earners in Pennsylvania and emphasized the fact that in Pennsylvania, the minimum wage disproportionately affects women.
From the statement:
Forty percent of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family. In Pennsylvania, women are nearly three-quarters of minimum wage workers—a higher share than all but two other states.
This means that minimum-wage workers in Pennsylvania—mostly women—cannot support themselves and their families, even while working full-time, year-round jobs. A Pennsylvania woman working full time at minimum wage earns just $14,500 annually, more than $4,500 below the official U.S. poverty line for a mother with two children.
“It’s a great step for Governor Wolf to raise the wages of state workers, but there’s still much work to be done… Raising the state minimum wage to $10.15 would give a raise to over 1.2 million Pennsylvania workers,” said Amy Fetherolf, Communications Director for Pennsylvania Working Families. “Pennsylvania’s workers and its economy are being left behind, as 29 other states have raised their minimum wage above the $7.25 federal level.”
Pennsylvania Working Families is a member of the PA Campaign for Women’s Health, a coalition of more than 50 organizations calling for common-sense policy solutions to real problems faced by real families.
The Pennsylvania Campaign for Women’s Health and Raise the Wage PA support proposed legislation that would raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to at least $10.10 per hour, raise the tipped minimum wage to at least 70 percent of the minimum wage, index these wages to keep up with inflation, and increase penalties for employers who fail to pay workers the wages they are due.
For more information about how the minimum wage affects working women and families in Pennsylvania, see this fact sheet.
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The Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.