Pennsylvania Updated Minimum Wage Regulations Take Effect This Friday

By: Marcia L. DePaula

Published: August 4, 2022

By Friday, August 5, Pennsylvania employers must ensure their wage and hour practices comply with the updated Pennsylvania minimum wage regulations. The new regulations address compensation calculations for tipped employees and the method of calculating overtime hours for salaried, nonexempt employees.

Tipped Employees

Currently, the Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage Act permits employers to reduce the hourly minimum wage of tipped employees from $7.25 per hour to $2.83 per hour, if the workers receive at least $30 in monthly tips. Starting on August 5, the $30 monthly threshold increases to $135.

The new regulations more closely align with the tip pooling provisions of federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations, as follows:

The new regulations also incorporate by reference the “80/20” rule found in the federal FLSA regulations. This rule addresses scenarios where tipped employees devote more than 20% of their time to non-tip-producing activities. Under this scenario, the new regulations:

Notably, when service charges are distributed to employees, such distributions must be included in the employees’ regular rate of pay.

If employing tipped workers, employers should evaluate any necessary policy changes to comply with these new rules.

Fluctuating Workweek

The FLSA permits employers to use a fluctuating workweek method of calculating overtime rates for salaried, nonexempt employees whose work hours vary weekly. However, in Pennsylvania, the new regulations eliminate the use of the “fluctuating workweek” for salaried, nonexempt employees. This is consistent with a 2019 Pennsylvania Supreme Court opinion abolishing the use of the fluctuating workweek.

The regular rate of salaried, nonexempt employees must be calculated by adding the employees’ weekly compensation and dividing the total by 40. This calculation is different from calculating weekly compensation based only on all hours worked in a particular workweek.  Once the regular rate is calculated, employees working more than 40 hours during the workweek are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their respective regular rate.

If using the fluctuating workweek, employers should evaluate any necessary timekeeping changes to comply with these new rules.

If you have questions about this alert and how these new rules impact your business, please contact the authors.

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