Employers have specific responsibilities towards their employees that the state of Pennsylvania spells out in its laws. If you are any having issues receiving your paycheck, you should find out what the law is and what protections and rights you are entitled to. It may be the case that you need to take legal action in order to receive the proper remedy for the violation.

When Must Paychecks Be Sent Out According to Pennsylvania Law?

The state of Pennsylvania allows employers to choose how often they pay their employees, provided that the paydays are regular and designated in advance. If your employer fails to designate the regular paydays in advance, then they are required by law to pay you your wages within 15 days at the end of your pay period.

For instance, suppose that your employer tries to pay you on a different day every month for working on a monthly basis. In this type of situation, they must pay you no later than 15 days after the end of each month that you work for them.

What Happens to My Paycheck If I Am Fired in Pennsylvania?

Whether you are terminated from your job or you quit, you are entitled to receive your final paycheck by the next scheduled payday. There are no laws in Pennsylvania that require employers to pay out unused vacation or sick days.

Instead, your financial compensation for these days depends completely on the company’s policy and the employment contract you have. So, if your contract states you should be paid for unused paid time off, then that amount should be included in your final paycheck.

Can My Paycheck Be Garnished Under Pennsylvania Law?

Wage garnishment is a special type of arrangement that allows an employer or creditor to access some of an employee’s wages and send them for the payment of debt. Depending on the situation, the employer may often send the payment amounts directly to the court, or they may work with an outside party who will manage the funds for them.  

An automatic garnishment can be placed on your wages for specific types of debts, including owed child support, defaulted student loans, and back taxes. However, if a creditor wants to go after your wages for another personal debt, there may be limited types of debts that can be garnished from your paycheck in Pennsylvania. Those kinds of debts include spousal support, back rent, divorce-related obligations, and court ordered restitution for criminal activities.

The state of Pennsylvania only allows employers to make work-related deductions for items that the benefit employees, such as purchasing company securities or payments into a savings account. With most work-related deductions, your employer must obtain your written authorization to make the deduction, unless the deduction has been previously agreed to as part of a collective bargaining agreement.

Can I Recover a Withheld Paycheck in Pennsylvania?

Your employer is not allowed to withhold your paycheck from you under any circumstances. If you are having problems obtaining your paycheck, you have the right to file a complaint with the appropriate agency, such as Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Bureau of Labor Law Compliance. You also have the right to go to court and sue your employer in a private lawsuit for your unpaid wages.

In the event that your paycheck is incomplete or has missing amounts, you may need to file a wage and hour lawsuit. This is especially important if the paycheck issues have been repeated over time or if they are an ongoing problem.

Class action lawsuits may be necessary in cases where many employees or entire departments are affected by the issue. In most cases, the issue involves wage rates, hours worked, overtime pay, and other similar subjects.

Should I Know Anything Else About Pennsylvania’s Paycheck Law?

If you borrowed money from a third party, you are allowed to choose to have your employer pay off the debt directly from your earned wages. However, you need to give your employer written permission before they can take the money from your paycheck. Also, any items in an employment contract that may affect paycheck rights should be reviewed in order to avoid a violation.

Lastly, employers in Pennsylvania are prohibited from discriminating against their workers (or against candidates for employment). For instance, employers are not allowed to withhold paychecks from an employee solely based on their race, age, sex, religion, national origin, political affiliation, and other characteristics.

They also cannot discriminate based on a person’s pregnancy status or based on their medical disability or condition. In cases where discrimination is involved, it may be necessary to file for a remedy with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer for a Paycheck Issue in Pennsylvania?

It is important that you assert your rights as an employee if your employer is interfering with your ability to get your paycheck. An employment lawyer in Pennsylvania can fight on your behalf for the paycheck amounts you are owed. Your attorney can represent you in court and provide legal research and feedback for your case.