Pennsylvania Labor Laws
If you make a living in Pennsylvania, you’re entitled to certain rights and protections. When an employer or a colleague violates these rights, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. Morgan & Morgan’s labor and employment attorneys are here to help.
If you were the victim of discrimination, harassment, or another unlawful labor practice, contact our Pennsylvania attorneys. It costs nothing up front to hire us, and we get paid only if you win. Schedule a free, no-risk case evaluation today to learn more.
State and federal laws prohibit discrimination against workers on the basis of race, religion, national origin, and other protected traits. Discrimination may take the form of one or more of the following actions:
- Refusing to hire an applicant
- Denying a promotion or raise
- Offering less pay for equal work
- Using unnecessary job qualifications to root out minorities
- Unjustly enforcing disciplinary policies against certain workers
- Refusing to provide accommodations for disabled employees
If these actions are taken because of an employee or applicant’s age, sex, ethnicity, religion, parental status, veteran status, or another protected trait, they open up the employer to a potential lawsuit.
When a supervisor or coworker subjects an employee to unwelcome comments or actions, it may constitute workplace harassment. Here are just a few examples:
- Obscene jokes or stories
- Unwanted physical contact (even if it’s not sexual in nature)
- Racial slurs or racially intolerant language
- Making lewd or offensive gestures
- Commenting on a coworker’s sex, age, religion, or appearance
Workplace harassment can also take the form of a quid pro quo (“this for that”) proposal, in which a superior suggests that a raise, promotion, or other benefit is contingent on an employee satisfying a sexual demand.
Wage & Hour Violations
Wage and hour laws are designed to ensure that workers are paid appropriately for their work, especially if they work long hours. In Pennsylvania, these laws include the following:
- Minimum Wage: Employers are required to pay at least $7.25/hour, and $2.83/hour for tipped employees.
- Overtime: Employees must be paid time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40 in a week. For example, if you normally make $20 an hour, you would earn $30/hour for every overtime hour in a week.
- Leave: Due to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), workers are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn child or a seriously ill family member.
- Misclassification: Employers may not misclassify their employees as independent contractors in order to avoid giving them benefits and overtime.
Like most states, Pennsylvania has “at-will” employment, which means a worker can be laid off at any time for almost any reason. That said, there are exceptions to this rule, and wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee for an unlawful reason. For example:
- Discrimination: A worker cannot be fired because of their age, race, sex, religion, or another protected trait.
- Retaliation: A worker cannot be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim, for refusing to commit perjury or fraud, or for blowing the whistle on unlawful or unethical conduct.
- Breach of Contract: If you have a verbal or written contract guaranteeing employment for a certain length of time, and your employer breaks that contract by firing you, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against them.
- Military Service: It’s against the law to dismiss an employee because of their veteran status, or due to a past, present, or future tour of duty.
Contact a Pennsylvania Labor & Employment Attorney
If you were the victim of harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, or another violation of your rights, contact our Pennsylvania attorneys to see if you’re owed money for damages.
For over 30 years, Morgan & Morgan has fought to protect the rights of America’s workers. Our law firm files more labor and employment lawsuits than any other firm in the country, and we have the resources, reputation, and experience to take on employers of any size. Across offices and practice areas, our attorneys have recovered more than $7 billion for our clients.
See if we can help you by scheduling a free, no-obligation case evaluation. It costs nothing to hire us, and we get paid only if we win. Contact us today.