Pennsylvania Wage and Hour Laws
For people working in Pennsylvania, employees expect that their employers are adhering to all wage and hour laws set by state and federal law. Sometimes businesses take advantage of their employees and subvert the laws meant to protect the people who work for them, or mistakenly violate wage and hour laws when compensating their employees.
At Console Mattiacci Law, we protect the rights of employees and are here to advise you on any questions regarding Pennsylvania wage and hour laws that you may have.
Basic Wage Standards
Wage and hour standards are set by state and federal law in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act govern the payment of overtime and minimum wages. Where state and federal laws do not confer the same benefits, the law that provides the greater benefit to the employees is the one followed.
According to the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, the minimum wage that businesses must pay their employees is $7.25 per hour and is tied to the federal rate. For employees who work overtime, wages for overtime must be a minimum of one and a half times the normal rate of pay for every hour worked over forty hours per week. The law states that all wages must be paid on the pay day for each pay period, generally with two pay periods per month.
The Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act does not cover or limit the number of hours an employee is schedule or required to work, including overtime, though with certain exceptions such as minors.
Some employees are exempt from certain wage and hour protections in Pennsylvania. These include certain business executives, administrative workers, professional workers (such as employees performing work requiring advanced knowledge in a particular field), farm laborers, and outside sale representatives. However, there are specific requirements that must be satisfied in order for such employees to be exempt under Pennsylvania law. State law provides a list of factors for each type of employee to determine whether they are exempt from the typical wage and hour laws.
In addition, tipped workers are also exempt from the basic wage and hour standards set by the state Minimum Wage Act. Tipped workers are subject to a $2.83 per hour minimum wage under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, but only if they typically and customarily receive tips of at least $30 per month. If the employee’s total earnings do not add up to the state’s minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. Other types of employees exempt from the basic wage and hour laws include domestic service workers, newspaper delivery workers, certain seasonal workers, and golf caddies.
Under state law, employers must keep records of all wages paid and hours worked of their employees. The records must be kept by the employer for at least three years from the date of payment and accessible to any employee who requests to see their wage and hour history. Records that must be kept by the employer include the following information:
- Employee name and home address
- Time and day when work week begins
- Total hours worked each day and work week
- Hourly rate of pay
- Total overtime pay earned each work week
- Any additions or deductions of wages
- Any allowances claimed as part of minimum wage
- Total wages paid each pay period
- Date of payment and date range the payment covers
Failure to keep accurate records of employee wages and hours worked can result in a lawsuit against the employer and a federal audit of payroll recordkeeping. Penalties for failure to keep records can include significant payouts to each employee affected as well as civil penalties filed against the employer by state and federal regulatory agencies.
Contact Our Office Today to Learn More
If you have questions regarding Pennsylvania wage laws and hour laws for employees, our experienced employment law attorneys may be able to help. Call us at 215-545-7676 or contact us now at our Philadelphia office to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your legal questions regarding state and federal wage and hour laws.