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Overtime Rules in Pennsylvania

For informational purposes only.

New overtime rules in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act take effect nationwide Wednesday, January 1, 2020.

  • Pennsylvania employers will need to follow both the new federal overtime rules and the overtime requirements of Pennsylvania's Minimum Wage Act.
  • Pennsylvania employers must follow the rule that provides the greater benefit to the employee where there are differences between the two laws.

An employee is entitled to at least minimum wage and overtime pay at time and a half for all hours worked over 40 hours per week. However, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Pennsylvania's Minimum Wage Act do not require overtime pay for "any employee engaged in a bona-fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity" who is paid on a salaried basis instead of an hourly wage and meets the minimum salary threshold defined in federal and state regulations. (29 U.S.C. § 213a(1), 43 P.S. § 333.105a(5)).

The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) published its revised final regulations concerning its overtime requirements under the FLSA on September 24, 2019. (29 CFR 541).

The new federal regulations took effect on January 1, 2020.

The update to federal regulation includes:

  • raising the "standard salary level" from the currently enforced level of $455 to $684 per week (equivalent to $35,568 per year for a full-year worker); and
  • allowing employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) that are paid at least annually to satisfy up to 10 percent of the standard salary level. 

Impact on Pennsylvania Employers

Pennsylvania employers must still comply with the overtime requirements of Pennsylvania's Minimum Wage Act (35 P.S. § 333.101 et seq.) and regulations. (34 Pa. Code § 231.1 et seq.). Pennsylvania's existing state requirements are still in effect.

Pennsylvania's current requirements are similar to the federal standards. However, where there are differences, Employers must follow Pennsylvania's regulations even if these rules are more stringent for employers than the revised federal requirement. Federal law (29 USCS § 218) and the new federal rules (29 C.F.R. § 541.4) specifically state that federal law does not affect enforcement of state overtime requirements, such as Pennsylvania's requirements.

The USDOL enforces Federal rules contained in the FLSA and related regulations. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) enforces Pennsylvania's minimum wage requirements contained in the Minimum Wage Act and related regulations.

Differences Between Overtime Requirements

There are three major differences between Pennsylvania and federal requirements for overtime.  First, Pennsylvania does not recognize the highly compensated employee exemption which allows employer to avoid paying overtime if an employee earns a certain salary. The revised federal regulations set a threshold for this exemption at $107,432 annually. However, this federal exclusion does not apply to Pennsylvania employees because Pennsylvania law does not recognize this exemption.  Therefore, employees earning this salary or above must be paid overtime unless they qualify for an exemption recognized by Pennsylvania law.

Second, the Federal rules do not require overtime for certain computer employees. However, Pennsylvania law does not contain an exemption to overtime for these employees. Accordingly, overtime must be paid to computer employees, if they are unable to qualify for an exemption recognized by Pennsylvania law.

Lastly, Pennsylvania's rule has increased the salary threshold executive, administrative, or professional need to make in order to be exempt from overtime. Pennsylvania's updated overtime salary threshold will be phased in over three steps:

  • $684 per week, $35,568 annually, on January 1, 2021 (note: this is the current level required by federal law; it has been in effect since January 1, 2020 per federal regulations);
  • $780 per week, $40,560 annually on October 3, 2021; and
  • $875 per week, $45,500 annually on October 3, 2022.

Starting in 2023, the salary threshold will adjust automatically based on the average wages of occupations in Pennsylvania that are exempt every three years.

Overtime Posters

Overtime FAQs

Pennsylvania's Overtime Rules were published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on October 3, 2020 and ensures that the duties for executive, administrative and professional workers align more closely to the federal overtime regulation, which will make it easier for employers to know if a worker is exempt or not.

This FAQ is designed to help answer general questions about the new overtime rule and calculation of overtime.

 Accordion



Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version

​What is "overtime"?

Who qualifies for overtime payments under Pennsylvania's overtime rule?

What is the "regular rate" of pay?

May bonuses be used to satisfy part of the new standard salary level test?

Can an employee be required to work overtime?

Can an employee be required to waive their right to receive overtime?

Can an employer refuse to pay an employee for overtime for hours that have they have worked?

What can an employee do to ensure they receive the overtime pay they are owed?

When is a salaried employee considered exempt from the overtime pay requirements?


Information

The USDOL provides information on its overtime requirements. (www.dol.gov). However, L&I will provide additional notification and conduct other outreach efforts to assure that employers are complying with Pennsylvania's overtime requirements. L&I’s Bureau of Labor Law Compliance enforces Pennsylvania’ wage laws, including the Minimum Wage Act. Copies of the Minimum Wage Act and regulations, information on overtime and complaint forms may be obtained from the following:

Bureau of Labor Law Compliance
1301 Labor & Industry Building
651 Boas Street
Harrisburg, PA 17121
Tel. 717-787-4671 or 1-800-932-0665
Website: www.dli.pa.gov