Wage and Hour Attorneys
Most employees must be paid for all the hours they work and must be paid overtime if working more than 40 hours per week. Various federal and Pennsylvania laws secure this right.
Unfortunately, some employers misapply the exemptions, and employees may be deprived of overtime as a result. In those case, workers may have a claim against their employer for all the money they should have been paid.
Philadelphia, PA Wage and Hour Attorneys
If you have been improperly paid by a current or former employer, then you may have missed out on money you rightfully earned under Pennsylvania or federal law. We have offices in Philadelphia, Moorestown, New Jersey and New York, New York. A dedicated wage and hour lawyer from Console Mattiacci Law, LLC can assist you in collecting what is owed to you.
Wage & Hour Laws : Requirement to Pay Employees for Hours Worked
Both federal and state law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey give workers the right to be paid for all hours they work unless their job meets one of a few exemptions. They must be paid a minimum wage for all of those hours, as well. The minimum wage is currently $7.25 under federal and state law in Pennsylvania; the minimum wage in New Jersey is $8.25.
In addition, if an employee works more than 40 hours per week, they must be paid at an overtime rate, which is one and a half times more than their regular pay rate. Again, there are some exemptions under federal and state law.
Just because you are paid a salary, or a set weekly, biweekly or monthly amount, does not mean that you can be denied overtime pay in some circumstances.
Exemptions to Requirement Under Federal and State Law
Federal law and state law have exemptions both to minimum wage requirements and overtime requirements.
Exemptions are narrowly interpreted. The exemptions from both minimum wage and overtime laws under Pennsylvania law are in 34 Pa. Code §§ 231.81-231.85. They include:
- Primary duty is management of an enterprise, or of a customarily recognized department or subdivision;
- Customarily and regularly directs the work of two or more employees;
- Has the authority to hire and/or fire employees, or the employer gives the employee’s opinion particular weight in employment decisions;
- Customarily and regularly exercises discretionary powers;
- Does not devote more than 20 percent of his or her time (or, in retail and service industries, more than 40 percent) in tasks not directly or associated with any of the above tasks; and
- Is paid on salary basis at least $155 per week exclusive of board, lodging and other facilities, or is paid at least $250 and meets Requirements 1 and 2.
- Primary duty is the performance of office or nonmanual work that is directly related to management policies or general operation of the employer or the employer’s customers;
- Customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgment;
- Assists a person meeting the executive or administrative capacity descriptions regularly and directly, performs specialized or technical work requiring special training under only general supervision, or handles special assignments under only general supervision;
- Does not spend more than 20 percent of his or her time, or 40 percent in retail or service, on tasks not directly and closely related to these activities; and
- Is paid on salary basis at least $155 per week exclusive of board, lodging and other facilities, or is paid at least $250 per week and meets Requirement 1 with work requiring him or her to exercise discretion or independent judgment.
- Primary duty is work that requires advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning usually acquired after a prolonged course of study and/or instruction, or performs original or creative work in a recognized field of artistic endeavor;
- Work consistently requires discretion and judgment;
- Work is predominantly intellectual and varies in character — meaning it is not routine — and cannot be standardized in relation to a period of time;
- Does not devote more than 20 percent of his or her time to activities that are not an essential part of the work described above; and
- Is paid on salary or fee basis at least $170 per week, or at least $250 and meets Requirement 1 and either Requirement 2 or 3.
An outside salesperson spends more than 80 percent of his or her work time away from his or her employer’s place of business making sales or obtaining orders or contracts for the use of facilities. An outside salesperson may not spend more than 20 of work hours doing work not directly related or in conjunction with making sales.
Other Exemptions in Pennsylvania
Some professions are exempt from overtime and minimum wage requirements under Pennsylvania law, including:
- Golf caddies
- Domestic servants in private homes
- Farm workers
- Newspaper delivery
- Elected officials and their personal staff
Federal law also has exemptions for executive, professional, administrative and outside sales employees. However, there are some important distinctions. For example, all three require weekly pay of at least $455. If you make enough money to be exempt under Pennsylvania law but not federal law, then you are not legally exempt and should be earning overtime.
Federal law also contains an exemption for computer employees, defined as employees whose primary duty is the application of computer system analysis and techniques, design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing or modification of systems, programs or operating systems, or a combination of these duties.
New Jersey Law
New Jersey adopts all exemptions found in federal law, in the same manner. Certain other employees, including farm workers, hotel workers, taxi drivers and limo drivers are also exempt from overtime law.
Damages for Unpaid Wages
In addition to unpaid overtime, employers often fail to properly pay workers in regards to:
- Meetings and training
- Donning and doffing safety equipment
- Commissions and bonuses
- Lunch or break time
- Automatic time clock systems
If an employer fails to properly pay an employee, the employee may be owed back pay. In some instances, employers make it a policy to pay a certain class of workers according to the law. In those instances, the improperly paid employees may be able to pursue back pay as part of a collective action.
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC ǀ Philadelphia Wage and Hour Attorneys
If you have earned money under the law that you have not been paid, you may have a claim against a former or current employer either as an individual or as part of a group. At Console Mattiacci Law, LLC, we help workers collect back pay and other benefits they are owed under state and federal law. It is important to act quickly, as some employment claims have strict deadlines of 180 days. Schedule a consultation with a Philadelphia wage and hour lawyer today by calling 215-545-7676.