Labor Laws in PA for Salaried Employees
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Salaried employees, as well as some unsalaried employees, have legal rights under both federal and state labor laws. There are many different laws out there, however, and it can be difficult to determine when a situation has reached the level of a lawsuit against an employer. If you believe that your employer broke the law, however, you might have grounds for a lawsuit against them. To verify this, set up a time for a consultation with an experienced team of lawyers.
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What to Do Next if You Suspect Labor Law Violations
If you are curious about whether or not your employer has violated labor laws in PA for salaried employees, you should consider discussing your next best steps with an experienced lawyer. The legal team at Morgan & Morgan has extensive experience in understanding exemptions at the federal and state level. This is particularly important when determining which labor laws in PA for salaried employees affect your rights and entitle you to potentially recover compensation.
The support of an attorney is critical for clarifying these details, especially when there is so much to consider as it relates to your rights. There are numerous different elements linked to labor laws in PA for salaried employees, and the sooner you can engage with an attorney to discuss the possible issues with this, the easier it will be for you to decide if you have grounds for a case.
If you already have evidence supporting your claim, organize this so that you can present it to your PA labor law employment lawyer, too.
Workers' Compensation Laws
A Workers' Compensation Act in Pennsylvania protects the rights of both non-salaried and salaried employees. The primary provisions of this act require the employers bound by it to maintain safe and healthy work environments. Furthermore, employers must pay the medical costs and leave of employees who are not able to work any longer due to workplace injuries, especially those injuries associated with outdated, negligent, or poor facilities or safety standards.
It is important for employees to understand that where they are protected by workers’ compensation, they must file a claim sooner rather than later. They need to report any injuries and illnesses to their employer right away.
All salaried employees working within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are eligible for wages that are equal to those of workers within the same company of employment in the same field doing the same job. The primary purpose of these labor laws in PA for salaried employees is to prohibit employers from discriminating against people on the basis of gender, race, orientation, sex, or ethnicity. In situations in which an employee brings forward a claim that an employer violated this law, fines will be levied, and all wages withheld from the workers involved will get paid out.
What Is the Prohibition of Excessive Overtime and Health Care Act?
A specific Pennsylvania law known as the prohibition of excessive overtime and the Health Care Act blocks health care facilities like hospitals from requiring non-salaried as well as salaried employees to work excessive overtime hours. This applies to those health care professionals who have regular patient contact.
The goal was to prevent nurses and doctors from potentially making dangerous mistakes due to being overwhelmed and exhausted. However, the law does not block employees from working shifts longer than eight hours if the hours between the parties were agreed on by both parties. However, this does not cover on-call workers.
What Are Exempt Employees in Pennsylvania?
Much like the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the law in Pennsylvania mandates that certain employers pay nonexempt employees overtime of one and a half times the employee's regular rate for pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a work week. The primary impact of this state law is to make sure that overtime protections are extended to those workers who may not be covered by the federal standard.
Pennsylvania, however, doesn't mandate overtime pay for those hours worked in excess of eight per day on holidays or weekends. Many Pennsylvania employers are covered by the federal overtime requirements since the Fair Labor Standards Act applies to nearly all people in all companies involved in interstate activities. As of October 3rd, 2021, in order to be exempt, employees must make at least $780 per week in addition to passing very specific duties tests.
Tipped Worker Rules Now in Effect in Pennsylvania
Workers who are tipped and salaried employees who work on a changing weekly schedule are now in effect as of 2022. All tips and gratuities that are paid for by a non-cash method or credit card belong to the employee receiving them and employers cannot deduct any payment processing fees or credit card fees from employee tips. There are also some new regulations to be aware of for tip pooling. They include:
- Supervisors, employers, and managers are prohibited from getting tips in a tip pool though they may choose to submit tips earned into the general pool.
- If all employees in the organization are paid at least the state minimum wage, tip pools can include both non-tipped and tipped employees.
- Tip pools including any employee paid a tip credited minimum wage may only include individuals in those jobs who regularly and customarily receive tips.
What Are Prevailing Wages?
Certain employers in Pennsylvania may be required to pay residents wage rates that are established by state or federal prevailing wage rates and rules. This may be different from the state's standard of minimum wage rates. If these employees work on state or federal government-supported construction jobs or perform state or federal government services, these employees may be eligible for these protections under this law.
Are There Requirements for Meals and Breaks?
Those employees who are between ages 14 and 17, who work five or more consecutive hours are entitled to a 30-minute break period, per PA statute 43-40.3(a). Those employees aged 18 and over are not required to receive breaks per Pennsylvania state law. If an employer chooses to provide a break that lasts less than 20 minutes, it must be paid. For employers who provide a meal period, it does not need to be paid if the employee doesn't work during the meal period and if the break lasts more than 20 minutes.
Are There Any Salaried Labor Laws Regarding Nursing Mothers?
Employers in Pennsylvania are not currently required to provide all mothers who are nursing breaks during work to pump breast milk, however, the Fair Labor Standards Act does require some employers to provide nursing mothers (nonexempt) for a period of a minimum of one year following childbirth with rest breaks and private spaces outside of a bathroom to pump breast milk.
Are Pennsylvania Employers Required to Provide Vacation Leave?
Employers are not required to provide employees with benefits for vacation regardless of whether they are unpaid or paid. However, any benefits that are provided by an employer must be established in a vacation leave policy or employment contract.
Similarly, Pennsylvania law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits or paid/unpaid holiday leave. An employer in Pennsylvania, however, is required to allow employees who have been selected for jury duty to attend jury duty, but they cannot deprive an employee of seniority or benefits or discharge, coerce, or threaten them from attending jury duty.
This rule, however, does not apply to those employers in the retail industry with fewer than 15 employees or manufacturing industry companies with fewer than 40 employees. If you believe that your Pennsylvania employer has violated any state or federal labor laws, you need to share this information with an experienced and qualified employment attorney.
What Should I Do If I Have a Legal Case?
If you're a salaried employee in Pennsylvania dealing with an employer's illegal actions, you must take this situation seriously. Time is of the essence and you should set aside the chance to speak with a qualified employment lawyer in PA to discuss your grounds for filing a claim and potential damages.
Being discriminated against at work or wrongfully terminated is an unwelcome experience as it creates a lot of confusion. You might not even be sure if you have enough evidence to support a legal claim. The important thing to remember is that you should collect any evidence you do have and share this with your lawyer. If your relationship is ongoing with your employer, you must proceed carefully with any lawsuit, and it's strongly recommended that you hire someone who is familiar with what to do in these scenarios. The lawyers at Morgan and Morgan have a nationwide track record for pursuing employment claims firmly. Our law firm is here to help you get answers to your questions throughout the duration of your case.
Don't wait to schedule your initial consultation if you have a situation involving a violation of labor laws for salaried employees in PA. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get started.