Pennsylvania labor laws outline the employment rights, obligations, protections, and consequences for workers and employers. The laws are put in place to make sure that people receive their correct wages, fair treatment, and required health care benefits.

Part-time vs. Full-time

Part-time employment is less than 40 hours per workweek.  Full-time employment is 40 hours per workweek. State laws control the number of hours that children under 18 years old can work.

Under the Pennsylvania Child Labor Law most workers under 18 must have work permits before starting a job.  School districts are responsible for giving the permits to student who live in the district and attend public, private, online, and home schools. However, if the minor get a job in another state, the school district where the employer is responsible for providing the work permit.

Pennsylvania law defines a workweek as 7 uninterrupted days, starting on any day the employer designates.

Minimum Wage

The current minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $7.25, which is the same amount as the federal minimum wage. Additional states laws provide certain types of workers with higher minimum wages. Other factors, such as having a job where you get tips, may lower the hourly minimum wage you can receive.

Currently, there are no upcoming bills or laws to increase the state minimum wage. There is an increase of the minimum wage to $10.15 an hour for employees who work directly with the state.


Employees must get 1.5 times the regular pay rate the for any hours in the week over the 40-hour workweek. State law and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require overtime for people who receive a salary instead of an hourly wage. Most employers may force employees to work overtime; however, by law, certain individuals such as healthcare workers and other direct caregivers can refuse to work overtime with the consequence of dismissal from their jobs.

Health Benefits

Pennsylvania employers are not required to provide healthcare coverage for employees who are not full-time. Coverage of health benefits for employment is currently guided by the federal Affordable Care Act for the year 2017. If jobs do offer coverage, the state insurance laws require the policies offer the following health benefits:

  • Maternity minimum stay
  • Serious mental illness services
  • Alcohol or other drug abuse and dependency services
  • Autism
  • Child immunization
  • Mammograms
  • Annual gynecological and routine pap smears
  • Diabetic supplies and education mandate
  • Chemotherapy


Employment discrimination occurs when an workers receive mistreatment or harassment in the workplace based on their race, religion, sex, disability, age or sexual identity. Pennsylvania employment discrimination laws apply to companies that have 4 or more employees, but not to government and law enforcement agencies. The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) is a federal agency that oversee employment discrimination issues between federal agencies and their workers.

In most cases, you must file a lawsuit only after submitting a claim to the EEOC, which makes one of the following decisions:

  • File the lawsuit on your behalf; or
  • Not file the lawsuit on your behalf and send you a letter giving you the right to sue on your own

An employer who seeks revenge for the lawsuit faces the chance of a retaliation lawsuit.

If they loses that lawsuit, then the penalty is one or more the following:

Time Off

Pennsylvania does not require employers to provide you with paid or unpaid time off for sickness not covered by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA),vacation, holiday, mourning a death.

The FMLA does provide leave to care for yourself or your family for medical reasons including:

  • Birth of and care for your newborn child.
  • Placement of a child with you for adoption or foster care.
  • To care for your spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition.
  • Due to serious health condition of the employee.
  • Duties arising because your spouse, child, or parent is on active duty (in the Armed Forces)

Where Can You Find the Right Lawyer?

If you think your labor rights have been violated, then contact a local Pennsylvania labor lawyer today to protect your rights as an employee under the Pennsylvania labor laws.