Laws regarding wages and breaks

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2020 | Employment law

The law requires employers to provide employees with a minimum hourly wage as well as overtime pay. There are also laws related to what an employer can deduct from one’s check. 

Employees should understand these laws and file a wage claim if an employer is not compliant. 

Wage and break laws 

According to the Department of Labor and Industry, all employees in Pennsylvania must receive a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. If employees work more than 40 hours a week, they must receive overtime compensation, which is 1 ½ times normal hourly pay. 

The state does not require employers to give breaks for adult employees, but they must provide breaks of 30 minutes minimum for workers aged 14 through 17. If an employer does allow for breaks that are less than 20 minutes, they are paid breaks. An employer does not pay for meal periods that last more than 20 minutes. 

Paycheck deductions 

An employer must take all state and federal tax deductions out of employees’ checks, but a worker must give written authorization for any other deduction, such as an employer or third-party loan. Deductions must be only for the benefit of the employee, and they cannot lower gross pay below minimum wage. 

Breaks for nursing mothers 

Although there are not requirements that employers must allow for breaks, the U.S. Department of Labor does require employers to provide break time for a nursing mother. This federal law allows these breaks for the first year after birth, and mothers must have access to a space that shields them from coworkers and members of the public. A bathroom is not an acceptable space.