There are state and federal laws which govern the payment of wages.
Employers are thus required to pay wages to employees on a timely basis. Some laws require employers to pay “equal” wages and not to discriminate on the basis of gender or some other characteristic. The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires employers to pay minimum wage and overtime pay to non-exempt employees. Exemptions to these requirements are generally reserved for those employees who take on positions that are considered executive, professional and/or administrative. It is unlawful to misclassify employees in order to avoid paying them required wages. Not all exempt workers receive a salary. Exempt workers may still be required to record hourly time and/or be paid according to an hourly wage.
The Fair Labor Standards Act
The FLSA defines a “workweek” as a period of 168 hours during 7 consecutive 24 hour periods. In Pennsylvania, employers must pay employees at least $7.25 per hour and a rate of 1.5 times the hourly rate for all hours over 40 hours in the workweek. It is unlawful to pay employees a “day rate” without overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. Employees who receive tips totaling more than $30 per week may be paid as little as $2.13 per hour, but their combined tips and wages must still reach the $7.25 per hour threshold.
The FLSA also provides protection from retaliation to workers who raise concerns, inquire about wages or file good faith complaints about unpaid wages.
The FLSA and Pennsylvania’s Wage Payment and Collection Law require that wages be paid on the employer’s designated payday. In Pennsylvania, the time between the pay period and the payday must not exceed 15 days and any overtime wages must be included with wages paid out after the following pay period. Employers may not withhold earned wages for any reason.
Contact our experienced team of employment attorneys today for a free consultation if you have questions about your exempt status, your employer’s failure to pay wages on time, including overtime wages, or if you believe you have been subjected to retaliation.