The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), enacted and enforced by the United States Department of Labor, sets national standards for minimum wage and overtime. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor is responsible for following the FLSA, as well as additional Pennsylvania-specific labor laws. If you are a Pennsylvania employee, it is important to familiarize yourself with these federal and state laws so you know when your rights are being violated.
Pennsylvania overtime refers to hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. The term “work week” has a specific legal definition: seven consecutive days, beginning on the day the employer chooses. However, the workweek should forever start that same day for the duration of a person’s employment. Two or more work weeks cannot be averaged to determine overtime. Each week is independent.
Not everyone is entitled to overtime in Pennsylvania. The law has categories of types of workers and types of businesses that are exempt. For nonexempt employees, Pennsylvania overtime pay is 1.5 times an employee’s regular hourly rate of pay. Under Pennsylvania labor law:
- The regular pay rate should include any commission or other performance-based bonuses, but not vacation bonuses or any other type of cash incentive that cannot be measured by job performance.
- A salaried employee may be eligible for overtime.. The exemptions exist only for those who hold executive, administrative or professional positions, and who earn at least $ 455 a week in salary. The regular hourly rate of pay for a salaried employee is his or her salary divided by weeks in the year and hours in a work week. In other words, salary ÷ 52 ÷ 40.
- In cases where federal and state labor laws conflict, the law that provides the most benefit to the employee is upheld. Thus, while the FLSA restricts employees making $ 100,000 a year or more from being entitled to time and a half pay, Pennsylvania’s overtime law does not place a limit on wages that qualify for overtime.
- Computer workers are entitled to overtime pay in Pennsylvania, although they are considered exempt under the FLSA.
Pennsylvania minimum wage
The minimum wage in Pennsylvania is the same as the national minimum wage: $ 7.25 an hour. Employees who are not exempt (see above) must receive this rate, regardless of the method of payment. That is, day laborers, tipped employees (at least $ 30 a month), and piecework or commission employees must earn at least $ 7.25 an hour when their total pay is divided by their hours worked. If tipped employees don’t earn enough in tipped wages to equal minimum wage, your employer must make up the difference.
If you believe your wages have been withheld, this information about wage and hour law cannot replace professional legal advice.