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Federal and state laws provide overtime wage protection

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The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry defines overtime as any amount of time worked over 40 hours per week. Workers who put in the extra hours are legally entitle to overtime pay at one and a half times their regular hourly wage for each and every hour worked. However, both federal and state laws prohibit many salaried employees and those in certain occupations from receiving overtime because of the structure of their work agreement. This includes administrative, executive and professional employees.

Both Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage Act and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act govern who and who is not eligible for overtime pay. When the laws differ, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry states that employers are to follow the rules that offer the greatest benefits to their employers. This will keep them in compliance with both state and federal regulations.  For example, even though computer employees are not required under federal law to be paid for their extra time at work, Pennsylvania law does not have that exception, so computer employees must still be paid overtime wages when applicable.


Another notable difference in the regulations exists for salaried workers. Even if an employee is salaried and not usually covered under either law, they may still receive overtime in certain situations. The FLSA states that an employer must pay at least $455 per week to all salaried employees or they will be eligible for payment for their extra work. Since the Pennsylvania law’s threshold is only $155 per week, federal law applies to the situation and salaried employees must make more than $455 per week or be paid additional overtime wages.


Additionally, while the FLSA restricts overtime for employees making more than $100,000 annually, the Minimum Wage Act does not have any such provision and therefore Pennsylvania workers can receive overtime wages in excess of that amount. Essentially, if either the state law or the federal law require payment for overtime, employers must pay the wages in order to remain in compliance with both laws.