The Philadelphia Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Worker Protections recently announced that in 2023, it recovered over $327,000 from City employers under its various worker protection statutes, including the Philadelphia Fair Workweek Law. According to the DOL, this amount represents an 82% increase compared to the previous year's recovery. Considering these recent successes, it is highly likely that the DOL will continue to prioritize Fair Workweek enforcement actions against covered employers in Philadelphia.

The DOL's social media activity provides additional insight into the industries it intends to target for its Fair Workweek enforcement actions in 2024. For example, the following social media post demonstrates how the agency has a communication plan to educate City workers about the Fair Workweek Law:


(Source: Facebook)

We have already seen the DOL target large national retailers. Restaurant chains, coffee shops, and other fast-food establishments are likely on the DOL's investigation target list.

What is the Philadelphia Fair Workweek Law?

Philadelphia's Fair Workweek Law, as previously detailed in a Buchanan advisory, imposes certain obligations on covered employers in the retail, hospitality, and food service sectors. These obligations include:

  • Providing employees with a written notice of their work schedule at least 14 days in advance.
  • Offering "Predictability Pay" to employees in specific situations where work schedules are modified.
  • Giving current employees the opportunity to take newly available work hours before hiring new employees.

Failure to comply with these requirements may result in the Philadelphia DOL initiating an enforcement action upon receiving a complaint or employees filing class action lawsuits. Damages under the Fair Workweek Law are strict liability and are often calculated on a per-employee and per-pay period basis, leading to significant financial consequences.

If your business qualifies as a covered employer in Philadelphia, it is crucial that you promptly acquaint yourself with the Fair Workweek Law and seek legal counsel to ensure compliance. Buchanan's labor and employment team possesses extensive experience in handling both Philadelphia DOL Fair Workweek investigations and private causes of action.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.