In Pennsylvania, the Department of Labor & Industry is responsible for administering the state’s labor relations and wage and hour regulations. The Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act establishes the legal wage and hour practices for employers conducting business within the commonwealth. The Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act does not provide a legal distinction between part-time and full-time workers. As long as employers comply with the overtime and minimum wage provisions of the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, they may set their own standards and guidelines.
The Pennsylvania labor relations and payroll laws require employers to pay their employees overtime. Generally, employers must pay their employees overtime if they work more than 40 “straight-time” hours in one workweek, and they must pay overtime compensation at time and one-half. The Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act allows employers to use mandatory overtime practices, and they may terminate employees who refuse to work additional hours. Unless an employee is exempt from the state and federal overtime requirements, her employer must compensate her for her overtime work.
The United States Department of Labor and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry exempt specific types of employees from the overtime pay requirements. Under both sets of laws, executive, professional and administrative employees are exempt from the overtime requirements. Additionally, supervisors are exempt from the overtime compensation provisions. Thus, these employers do not have to pay these types of employees overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours per week. The federal Department of Labor also exempts other categories of employees, such as computer technicians and outside sales employees from the overtime regulations. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, “actual job duties and employment contracts” specify the overtime requirements, not an individual’s job title.
Employers must provide their employees with pay stubs for each pay period indicating the actual hours they worked and their corresponding rates of pay for overtime work and non-overtime work. Each employee’s pay stub must also state the pay period dates, and before an employer can deduct from a paycheck, the employee must provide written consent allowing the deduction. Additionally, unless the state’s minimum wage law specifically exempts the category of employees from the minimum wage requirements, employers cannot pay their full-time or part-time employees less than minimum wage.
Minimum Wage Law
The Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted new minimum wage laws amending the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act. As of July 24, 2009, the commonwealth’s minimum wage is the same as the federal minimum wage of $7.25 hourly. The act requires employers to pay their tipped employees at least $2.83 per hour, current as of May 2011, if their tipped employees receive at least $30 per month in tips, and employers make up any difference between their tipped hourly rate and the hourly minimum wage rate for non-tipped employees. However, under the state’s law, the act exempts some part-time employees and full-time administrative, professional and executive employees from the minimum wage law. The act also exempts some service sector employers, charitable organizations and legislative employees. Although some employers may not have to comply with the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Law, they may have to comply with the federal regulations, as required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
Since state laws can frequently change, do not use this information as a substitute for legal advice. Seek advice through an attorney licensed to practice law in your state.