It is important for both employers and employees to understand all aspects of Pennsylvania (PA) wage and hour laws. Pennsylvania has primarily adopted the standards set as written in the Fair Labor Standards Act which was created by the Federal Government.
The current minimum wage of Pennsylvania is $5.15 per hour. No Pennsylvania (PA) wage and hour laws exist to address minimum wage. Instead, Pennsylvania follows the federal standard, which is subject to change. In fact, a three step increase is being debated by Congress.
If the federal government rules in favor of raising the national minimum wage to as high as $7.25 per hour standard it could affect the state of Pennsylvania. That state would be required to comply with the new federal minimum wage standard. The only exception to this would be if Pennsylvania was to raise their rate higher than the one of the federal government.
The only provision that Pennsylvania (PA) wage and hour laws make regarding breaks is for those given to minors. Pennsylvania employees are only required to give a 30 minute break after five hours worth of work to workers under 18.
Pennsylvania employees who are 18 and over are not required to be given a break. However, employers must pay for any breaks given that are shorter than 30 minutes (usually 5 to 20 minutes). If employers give breaks to adult workers that are 30 minutes or longer those breaks do not have to be paid for by the employer if the employee is free from all duties. Employees may be called back to work during the shorter breaks, however.
Premium pay (overtime) must be paid to employees who work more than 40 hours within a seven day work week. These overtime hours worked will be paid at a rate of one and a half times the regular pay for those extra hours worked. Certain employees such as administrative workers and agricultural hands are exempt from being paid overtime.
In addition, Pennsylvania (PA) wage and hour laws state very clearly that paid hours such as holiday time, sick leave, vacation days, or time off are not counted as actual work hours. Therefore, those hours do not count towards overtime pay.
Pennsylvania (PA) wage and hour laws are primarily adaptations of federal wage and hour laws. These laws were created to help improve working conditions within the United States, including in the state of Pennsylvania.