Pennsylvania

Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The term workweek shall mean a period of 7 consecutive days starting on any day selected by the employer. Overtime shall be compensated on a workweek basis regardless of whether the employee is compensated on an hourly wage, monthly salary, piece rate or another basis. Overtime hours worked in a workweek may not be offset by compensatory time off in any prior or subsequent workweek.

 

Under state law, hours worked include the time when an employee is required by the employer to be on the premises of the employer, to be on duty, or to be at the prescribed workplace; and time spent traveling as part of the duties of an employee during normal working hours.

 

Travel Time

Under Pennsylvania law, an employer must pay for travel time if an employee is required to report to the employer’s establishment to clock in, load up, etc. If an employee leaves directly from home to the job site or vice versa it is not paid time.

Overtime

Employees covered by Pennsylvania’s overtime law must be paid 1.5 times their regular rates for hours worked in excess of 40 per week.

Annual Leave

There is no Pennsylvania labor law which requires an employer to pay an employee not to work. Benefits like sick leave, vacation pay and severance pay are payments to an employee not to be at work. Therefore, an employer only has to pay these benefits if the employer has the policy to pay such benefits or a contract with you to pay for these benefits. An employer must follow its own rules for these kinds of payments. There may also be federal requirements governing leave that has to be provided under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family Medical Leave Act.

Minimum Wage

Employers covered by Pennsylvania’s minimum wage law must pay employees at least $7.25 an hour. If the federal minimum wage increases above the state’s minimum wage, the state’s minimum wage will increase to the same amount effective on the same date as the federal increase. Employees may not agree to work for less than the minimum wage.

With a certificate from the Department of Labor, learners and students can be paid 85 percent of the minimum wage. Under a license from the Labor Department, disabled workers also can be paid less than the minimum wage.

Tips & Gratuities

Tips can count toward meeting the minimum wage, as long as the employer pays a minimum cash wage of $2.83. Tipped employees, those customarily receiving more than $30 a month in tips, must be informed of this provision.

Meal Breaks

Pennsylvania employers are required to provide break periods of at least 30 minutes for minors ages 14 through 17 who work five or more consecutive hours. Employers are not required to give breaks for employees 18 and over. If your employer allows breaks, and they last less than 20 minutes, you must be paid for the break. If your employer allows meal periods, the employer is not required to pay you for your meal period if you do not work during your meal period and it lasts more than 20 minutes. A collective bargaining agreement may also govern this issue.

Special Leave

Unpaid Leave
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (‘FMLA’). Please refer to main United States page for further details on this Federal law.
Judicial Witness and Crime Victim Leave
Employers must provide unpaid leave to employees who take time off from work to attend court as:
      • Victims of a crime; or
      • Witnesses to a crime; or
      • Members of a crime victim’s family.
Emergency Response Leave
Employers must allow employees who are volunteer firefighters, volunteer fire police officers or volunteer members of an ambulance service or rescue squad to be late for or absent from work if they responded to an emergency before their workday started if certification requirements are met.
Organ and Bone Marrow Leave
Eligible Pennsylvania employers that provide employees with one or more periods of paid leave for organ or bone marrow donation qualify for a tax credit. A leave period consists of up to five working days per employee. If an employee uses annual leave or sick days, the employer may not count this time as a period of paid leave for the tax credit. Employers that earned tax credits and did not use them for the taxable year in which a paid leave was provided may carry over the credits for three taxable years.
Jury Service Leave
An employer shall not deprive an employee of his employment, seniority position or benefits, or threaten or otherwise coerce him with respect thereto, because the employee receives a summons, response thereto, serves as a juror or attends court for prospective jury service. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the employer to compensate the employee for employment time lost because of such jury service.
Military Leave
Whenever any employee shall, in time of war or armed conflict, or emergency proclaimed by the Governor or by the President of the United States, enlist or shall, at any time, be drafted into the active military service of the United States, he shall be automatically granted a military leave of absence. So long as an employee is on military leave of absence, he shall not be removed from his employment and his duties shall either be performed by other employees or by a temporary substitute. During such time he may receive remuneration from his civilian employer.

Last updated on: September 24th, 2018