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Pennsylvania Wage and Hour Laws

The baseline wages that an employer must pay their employees is determined by the state's wage and hour laws, which consist of minimum wage laws and overtime laws. If an employer doesn't pay an employee the wages that they're entitled to receive, then the employee can file a lawsuit against the employer; the lawsuit can result in not only the employee getting their wages, but can also subject the employer to fines and penalties.

Specifically, in Pennsylvania, an employee can file a wage claim with the Pennsylvania Department of Wage and Industry or they can file an individual suit in court to recover their lost wages.

Pennsylvania Wage and Hour Laws at a Glance

Employment law is complex and the best way to get help with understanding the law is by working with an attorney. To get useful information before meeting with counsel, read the chart below for a brief synopsis of the Pennsylvania wage and hour laws.


Pennsylvania Statutes Title 43 P.S. Labor:

Minimum Wage


The minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $7.25, consistent with the federal minimum wage. However, the minimum wage for state employees is $12.00; this also applies to employees of contractors who spend 20% or more of their time on state projects.

Overtime Law

Unlike many states, Pennsylvania follows federal labor laws and doesn't have its own state laws for overtime.

An employee must be paid one and one-half their regular rate of pay for any hours worked over 40 in any 7-day workweek.

Exemptions: Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay

The following employees aren't covered by Pennsylvania's minimum wage law or overtime law:

  • Farm laborers;
  • Employees that perform domestic services in or about the private home of the employer;
  • Employees connected with the publication of any weekly, semiweekly, or daily newspaper with a circulation of less than 4,000;
  • Executive, administrative, or professional employees (including elementary and secondary school teachers and administrators);
  • Outside salespersons;
  • Volunteers for educational, charitable, religious, or nonprofit organizations;
  • Seasonal employees under 18 (or under 24 if they're students) if employed by nonprofit health or welfare agencies engaged in activities for handicapped or exceptional children;
  • Employees of public amusement or recreational establishments that operate for no more than 7 months per year or that make most of their money 6 months out of the year;
  • Golf caddies;
  • Switchboard operators for small telephone companies; and
  • Employees (not subject to civil service laws) of elected officials/elected officials.

Additionally, the following individuals are covered by Pennsylvania's minimum wage requirement, but aren't covered by the overtime requirement:

  • Salespeople or mechanics selling and servicing vehicles, trailers, trucks, or aircraft;
  • Taxi drivers;
  • Announcers, news editors, or chief engineers at small television stations or radio stations;
  • Employees engaged in processing maple sap into sugar or syrup;
  • Movie theater employees;
  • Motor carrier employees.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Pennsylvania Wage and Hour Laws: Related Resources

Learn More About Pennsylvania Wage and Hour Laws from an Attorney

If your employer owes you wages or you're experiencing other problems related to Pennsylvania's wage and hour laws, then get legal help. Find out more information about how to get the pay that you're entitled to receive and whether you can file a lawsuit against your employer by contacting a Pennsylvania employment attorney in your area right away.

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