Philadelphia Employment Law News

Top 10 Things to Know About Overtime Laws in Pennsylvania

Want to know about overtime laws in Pennsylvania?

Don't listen to your friends who work in New Jersey or your cousin in California.

Overtime laws differ from state to state, and what your cousin may get in California (which may be a lot more than you), unfortunately has no bearing on you. For information that actually matters to you, the Pennsylvania worker, pay attention to these general facts about Pennsylvania overtime law, as provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor:

  1. Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week.

  2. The overtime pay rate is one-and-a-half times your regular rate. So if you make $10 an hour, your overtime rate is $15 an hour.

  3. There is no such thing as daily overtime in Pennsylvania. So you won't get overtime pay for working 10 or even 12 hours in one day. Again, it's the 40 hour/week threshold that's important.

  4. Not all employees are eligible for overtime pay. Exempt employees do not get the higher rate if they work over 40 hours.

  5. Exempt employees generally consist of executive, administrative, and professional employees.

  6. You'll need to talk to a lawyer to see if you are properly categorized as exempt.

  7. It takes a lot more than simply earning a salary to be legally exempt. Your work duties have a lot to do with it too.

  8. Employers cannot substitute compensatory time off in lieu of overtime.

  9. Overtime requirements apply to employers regardless of how many employees they have. This isn't the FMLA.

  10. Overtime does not mean voluntary work time. So long as your employer pays you properly, the employer may require that you work overtime.

Keep in mind that these overtime facts apply to the typical employee employed by a private employer in Pennsylvania. Independent contractors, government workers, workers who are covered by a collective bargaining agreements or other contracts, and others may be subject to different rules.

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