Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $7.25 per hour.


Most employees in Pennsylvania must be paid overtime compensation for any hours they work over 40 straight time hours per week. Overtime compensation is one and one-half times the employee’s straight time rate of pay. Other employees may be overtime exempt because they may fall into one or more other exemptions.

Compensatory Time (“Comp Time”)

Compensatory time off instead of payment for overtime is not legal.

Required Number Of Employees Before Overtime Has To Be Paid

The number of employees has no bearing on the payment of overtime. It may, however, impact the minimum wage rate.

Requirement To Work Overtime

Your employer may order you to work overtime. Your employer may discipline or terminate you if you refuse to work overtime. If you are not an exempt employee, your employer must pay you 1-1/2 times your regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 per week. Collective bargaining agreements, however, may specifically govern this issue.

Salaried Employees & Overtime

Being paid a salary does not mean that you are not entitled to receive overtime. Some employees are exempt from overtime, such as executive, administrative, and professional employees, as well as supervisors who are employed solely to supervise. Your actual daily job duties and what your employment contract states determine if you are eligible for overtime.

Holiday Pay

Holiday pay is not required by law. Holiday pay depends on your employer’s policy regarding the payment of holiday pay. For example, if your employer has a policy to pay holidays and you are required to work on a holiday, you would receive straight time for the hours you worked and then payment according to the employer’s policy for the holiday. You could receive straight time for eight hours of work and straight time for eight hours of holiday pay. You are not entitled to overtime pay just because you work a holiday.

Sick Leave, Vacation Pay & Severance Pay

There is no Pennsylvania labor law which requires an employer to pay an employee not to work. Benefits, such as sick leave, vacation pay, and severance pay, are payments to an employee not to be at work. Therefore, an employer has to pay these benefits only if the employer has a policy to pay such benefits or a contract with you to pay 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.

“On-Call” Time

Some on-call time is required to be paid, and some is not. When trying to determine if you need to be paid while on call, you need to look at your freedom to pursue your own interests while “on call.” If you are required to carry a beeper, but are free to pursue your own interests, you would not be required to be paid until you had to respond to a call. If you are required to remain at your employer’s place of business and are not allowed to pursue your own interests,  such as reading, visiting with others or listening to the radio, your employer would be required to pay for this on-call time.

Breaks & Meal Periods

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.

Information An Employer Is Supposed To Place On A Pay Stub

Your employer must give you a paystub each pay period which explains how long you worked, how much money you earned and how much money you were paid. The stub must include the number of hours you actually worked, your rate of pay, your gross wages, your deductions for taxes, and other deductions you have authorized your employer to make. The paystub also has to state the beginning and ending dates of the pay period.

Difference Between Full-Time, Part-time & Temporary Employees

Except for delayed implementation of new minimum wage rates, the Minimum Wage Act makes no distinction between full-time, part-time and temporary employees. Some employers who provide benefits to full-time workers may not provide the same benefits to their part-time or temporary employees. If you are not a full-time employee and you want to know if you are entitled to benefits, you will need to discuss this with your employer. An employer should have set guidelines to establish who qualifies for benefits and who does not. For information on delayed implementation of the new minimum wage rates for smaller employers, please click here for complete details on Pennsylvania’s new minimum wage requirements.

Travel Time Pay

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

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (Last Accessed 1/14/2022).

If you believe you have been a victim of employer wage and hour violations, please complete the form above on the right, e-mail [email protected], or contact Michael Yarnoff, Esq., (215) 792-6676, Ext. 804, [email protected], for a free, no-obligation evaluation of potential legal claims. 
Kehoe Law Firm, P.C.