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Pennsylvania Overtime Laws

Pennsylvania Overtime Laws


Guide to Pennsylvania Overtime Laws

It is important for all workers in the state of Pennsylvania to understand their rights according to PA overtime laws.  While not all workers are entitled to overtime according to federal or Pennsylvania overtime laws, most are, and not all employers abide by these rules.  This guide will explain which workers are eligible for overtime according to PA overtime laws, and how much you can expect to be paid in overtime.  You'll also learn what to do if your employer has violated these labor laws.

Who is Entitled to Overtime?

Overtime laws are generally intended to protect mostly blue-collar workers, rather than professionals.  Because of this, there are many positions that are considered exempt from overtime requirements.  If you spend more than 80% of your time at work doing professional, executive, or administrative job duties, or making outside sales calls, you are exempt from PA overtime laws and your employer does not need to pay you any overtime.

It is a myth that all salaried jobs are exempt from Pennsylvania overtime laws.  Even if your job is salaried, unless you are performing exempt job duties, your employer is required by PA overtime laws to pay you the same amount of overtime as any blue collar worker.

When Must Overtime Be Given?

According to Pennsylvania overtime laws, you must be given overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a one-week period.  Employers are not allowed to average an employee's hours over multiple weeks, or to give “comp time” in lieu of overtime, according to PA overtime laws.  Employers are not required by Pennsylvania overtime laws to provide overtime pay for a shift longer than 8 hours, as long as the employee is not working more than 40 hours in one week.  Employers are also not required by PA overtime laws to pay overtime for working on Sundays or holidays, although if union contracts or employment agreements may specify overtime in these circumstances it must be given.

How Much is Overtime?

Pennsylvania overtime laws, as well as federal labor laws, require overtime to be paid at a rate of one and a half times a worker's average hourly wage.  While some employers or union contracts may specify that employees can receive double time for some hours worked, in the absence of these agreements, PA overtime laws never require paying double wages to any employee for any number of hours worked.

What if My Employer Violated PA Overtime Laws?

Many employers try to skirt Pennsylvania overtime laws by providing “comp time” or classifying non-exempt employees as overtime exempt.  If you suspect you have not been paid overtime properly, you may want to consult with a Pennsylvania labor and employment attorney.  These attorneys specialize in resolving disputes between employees and employers.  You may also file a complaint with the Department of Labor, which can often lead to you receiving back wages to compensate you for the missing overtime compensation you are owed.