Pennsylvania Wage and Overtime Law
This page is devoted to Pennsylvania* law. For information on Federal law or other states see our overtime page.
The Pennsylvania Overtime law mirrors the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in many ways. Just like the FLSA, the Pennsylvania overtime law requires that non-exempt employees receive overtime pay equal to 1.5 x their regular hourly pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week (overtime). For more specifics about the Federal Law, please see our overtime and wages page.
As discussed on our overtime page many employers try to avoid paying overtime by simply paying their employees a salary, even though the employees are working more than 40 hours in a week. In such cases, the employees are still entitled to overtime pay if they are non-exempt. The overtime wages are calculated by dividing the weekly salary by 40 (or a bi-monthly salary by 80) to get the regular hourly rate and then multiplying that by 1.5 to get the overtime rate. The same analysis under the Federal overtime law applies to the Pennsylvania overtime law.
One advantage to the Pennsylvania overtime law is that unpaid overtime can still be collected up to three years from the date the pay was earned, while the Federal Overtime law is two years and up to three years if the employer was consciously and intentionally violating the overtime law. But the penalties under the Pennsylvania overtime law are not as strong as under the Federal overtime law as under the Pennsylvania law, the employee is entitled to an additional 25% of the unpaid overtime wages if they are more than 30 days past the date payment was due.
The Pennsylvania overtime law has the same major exemptions as the Federal overtime law. (An exempt employee is one who is not entitled to overtime pay because of what he does. See our overtime page for more information on Exempt v. Non-Exempt Employees.) Other exemptions under the Pennsylvania overtime law include: seamen, salesmen or mechanics in the automobile, truck, or aircraft industries, taxicab drivers, employees of movie theaters among others. One unusual exemption under Pennsylvania law is an exclusion for people who process maple syrup.
Filing Both Pennsylvania and Federal Law Claims
A person can file claims under both the Pennsylvania overtime law and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act at the same time. This may make sense where there are different pieces to the different laws that your overtime lawyer wants to take advantage of. The Federal Court will simply enforce both laws including their differences. For this reason, finding a Pennsylvania overtime lawyer or even a Philadelphia overtime lawyer (or Pittsburgh overtime lawyer as the case may be) is not required to be able to pursue your unpaid overtime claim.
Pennsylvania is divided into three Federal Court Districts. Cases from Eastern Pennsylvania (from cities like Allentown, Bethlehem, Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, and Levittown, Pennsylvania) would proceed in Federal Court in Philadelphia, Allentown, Reading, or Easton, Pennsylvania depending on the division. Cases from Middle District of Pennsylvania (from cities like, Scranton, Harrisburg, and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) would proceed in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Harrisburg, or Williamsport, Pennsylvania, again depending on the division. Cases from western Pennsylvania (from cities like Altoona, Pennsylvania, Erie, and Pittsburgh) would proceed in Federal Court in Erie, Johnstown, or Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania again, depending on the division.
It is also illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for asking for his overtime pay, for contacting an attorney, or even filing a claim. If you complain of not receiving overtime pay and your employer fires you, you have a claim for retaliation. This is a separate violation of the law and you should definitely consult an employment lawyer.
If you have been paid a salary when you should not be, if you have not been paid overtime, or have only been paid your regular wage for overtime hours, you may be entitled to more money. The overtime and wage laws are very complex, but the Pennsylvania overtime lawyers at Maduff & Maduff understand them. We regularly handle cases in Pennsylvania and look forward to helping you. Whether you are near Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, Erie or Lancaster Pennsylvania, or anywhere in between, give us a call.