Filing a Wage and Hour Claim - Pennsylvania

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Does Pennsylvania have state overtime laws that are different from federal law?

Like federal law, Pennsylvania law requires that employees be paid one and a half time their regular rate of pay for any hours worked over 40 in any 7-day workweek.

Anyone who is not covered by Pennsylvania's minimum wage (see #2 below) is also not covered by the state's overtime provisions. In addition, the following individuals who are covered by the state minimum wage requirement are not covered by the overtime requirement:

Does Pennsylvania have a minimum wage that is different from federal law?

Pennsylvania's minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, equal to the current federal minimum wage.

The following employees are not covered by Pennsylvania's state minimum wage law:

Employers are permitted to apply tips against the minimum wage using a complicated formula. In general, the tip credit an employer applies to an employee's wages may not count for more than 40% of the employee's wage. In other words, if a tipped employee is making minimum wage, the employer must pay at least $2.83 per hour which, combined with tips, will add up to $7.25 per hour.

An employer is also allowed to credit the value of board, lodging or other facilities, but only if those are customarily provided by the employer to her/his employees.

Does Pennsylvania have meal and rest break requirements, unlike federal law?

Pennsylvania law does not require employers to provide meal or rest breaks to employees 18 years old or older. If your employer does provide you with a break of twenty minutes or less, (s)he is required to pay you for that time. Employers are not required to pay for meal periods over twenty minutes during which employees are not working. Employees between 14 and 17 years old must receive breaks of thirty minutes for every five consecutive hours worked.

How do I file a wage/hour or labor standards claim in Pennsylvania?

If your employer owes you wages, you can file a claim with the Pennsylvania Department of Wage and Industry. The wage claim form can be found at If your claim is valid, the Department will contact your employer in order to help you recover your unpaid wages. If that is not successful, the Department can also bring a suit in court on your behalf against your employer. If your employer does not pay you within sixty days of your filing a claim, you may be entitled to an additional 25% of the value of the wages you are owed.

What are my time deadlines?

Do not delay in contacting the OHR or EEOC to file a claim. There are strict time limits in which charges of wage-and-hour violations must be filed. In order for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor to act on your behalf, you must filed your wage complaint within three years of when your wages are due, since this is the statute of limitations for filing a case for unpaid wages. However, as you might have other legal claims with shorter deadlines, do not wait to file your claim until your time limit is close to expiring. You may wish to consult with an attorney prior to filing your claim, if possible.

How can I or my attorney pursue a claim in court in Pennsylvania?

Instead of filing a wage claim with the Department of Labor, you may also file an individual suit in court to recover your unpaid wages. The statute of limitations for such a claim is three years after the date on which your wages were due. Under certain conditions, the court may require the employer who owes you wages to pay your attorneys' fees and may award you an additional 25% of the wages you are owed.

State Labor Agency

You can contact the following offices of the Bureau of Labor Law Compliance:

1301 Labor & Industry Building
Seventh & Forster Streets
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0019
Phone: (717) 787-4671
Toll Free: 1-800-932-0665

1103 State Office Building
110 North 8th St., Suite 203
Philadelphia, PA 19107-4064
Phone: (215) 560-1858

1201 State Office Building
301 5th Ave, Suite 330
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1210
Phone: (412) 565-5300
Toll Free: 1-877-504-8354

Suite 200, 2nd Floor
1130, 12th Avenue
Altoona, PA 16601
Toll Free: 1-877-792-8198

201-B State Office Building
100 Lackawanna Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503-1923
Phone: (570) 963-4577
Toll Free: 1-877-214-3962

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