PA issues new overtime rules expanding eligibility

More Pennsylvania workers are now eligible for overtime benefits thanks to new legislation.

The expansion updates the state's Minimum Wage Act regulations for overtime pay. In doing so, it will allow workers with higher annual incomes to qualify for the benefit. Prior to this, Pennsylvania's overtime pay regulations had not been changed since 1977.

Pennsylvania's update expands eligible overtime benefits past the federal threshold. The federal threshold to receive benefits was $23,660 of annual income prior to January 2020 when the Trump administration raised it to $35,568. Workers with that income can now receive benefits of $684 per week.

The update to the federal threshold which raised the national salary threshold in January 2020 was the first change to income requirements since 2004.

Pennsylvania's new rule raises state protections to exceed that threshold in a two phase plan that occurs over several years. The first phase has gone into effect.

Workers who make $40,560 annually will be eligible to receive overtime benefits of $780 per week starting Saturday. The next phase happens on Oct. 3, 2021, when workers who make $45,500 in annual income can start to receive $875 in weekly overtime pay

Starting in 2023 the salary threshold will then adjust automatically every three years. Pennsylvania workers who make more than these specified thresholds are not generally eligible for overtime pay based on their income, but they may be eligible under federal rules related to their job duties.

The new rule will make approximately 140,000 additional workers eligible for overtime pay and strengthen protections for another approximately 250,000 Pennsylvania workers.

Eligible workers who meet the salary requirements must also meet the following requirements:

    • All hourly employees who work more than 40 hours per week, with few exceptions.
    • Most salaried employees who work more than 40 hours per week and earn less than the salary threshold regardless of their job duties.
    • Most salaried employees who do NOT perform executive, administrative, or professional duties, regardless of how much they are paid.

The new rule is also meant to help compensate workers more appropriately based on the contemporary cost of living and wages, as the rule's PA Bulletin posting explained. It's also meant to better meet the needs of workers in Pennsylvania.

"Tomorrow marks the first update to the commonwealth's overtime regulations in more than four decades," Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Oleksiak said upon the regulation's release. "This final rule ensures that employees who work overtime are fairly and fully compensated for their labor in accordance with the original intent of the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act."

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