What Is the Minimum Wage Law in Pennsylvania

Updated January 31, 2024
5 min read
What is the Minimum Wage Law in Pennsylvania

If you are currently working or plan to work in Pennsylvania, it's essential to familiarize yourself with what is the minimum wage in PA. Understanding how much compensation you are legally entitled to as an employee or how much you are obliged to pay as an employer can prevent conflicts and ensure that you comply with the law.

Overview of Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Laws

All states, including Pennsylvania, are governed by federal laws regarding how employers must treat and compensate their employees. A federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 per hour, has been established for employees across the United States. Employers must pay this minimum compensation to their workers, irrespective of the job type.

In addition to the federal laws, each state has the autonomy to set its minimum wage, typically influenced by the average cost of living in that state. Minimum wage laws aim to ensure all workers earn enough to cover basic living expenses such as food, shelter, and utilities. Every state's minimum wage must be at least equivalent to the federal minimum wage, though states can opt to set a higher state-level minimum. Pennsylvania's state minimum wage, as it stands, mirrors the federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour for up to 40 hours of work in a scheduled workweek.

Understanding Overtime Pay in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, workers who clock in more than 40 hours within a single workweek are legally entitled to overtime pay. This overtime pay equals 1.5 times the minimum wage or the employee's standard hourly rate, whichever is higher. The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act mandates this overtime regulation.

While it's crucial to note that Pennsylvania employers have the authority over your work schedule and hours, it's also essential to understand your rights relating to overtime work. In Pennsylvania, your employer can mandate overtime hours. Non-compliance with such requirements can lead to disciplinary action or dismissal. However, any mandated overtime is subject to an increased pay rate of 1.5 times your standard hourly rate. Also, your employer cannot offer compensatory time off in place of overtime pay, nor can they substitute other benefits for legally mandated overtime pay.

Minimum Wage Regulations for Different Types of Workers

Pennsylvania's state minimum wage requirement applies to all individuals employed. This includes temporary, seasonal, part-time, and full-time employees. All are entitled to the same minimum wage and overtime compensation.

Changes To Income

It's worth knowing that your employer can change your hourly rate anytime. However, they must provide notice before instituting such changes, and they cannot decrease your pay rate below Pennsylvania's minimum wage.

Here's an example: If your regular payday falls on the 15th of every month, and your employer decides to adjust your pay rate to $10 per hour, they should provide you with a written consent notice by the 13th of that month. They might change your rate to $8 the following month and $7.50, served with prior notification. In all these scenarios, the minimum wage doesn't fall below the state or federal level, thus making these changes permissible.

Addressing Issues with Wage Rates

If ever you find that your compensation does not align with Pennsylvania's minimum wage laws, you have the right to take action. One can file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Labor Law Compliance or hire an attorney to build a case against the employer.

You have two years to submit a claim with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, in which you would present solid evidence of instances where you weren't compensated the legally mandated minimum wage.


In response to what is the minimum wage in Pennsylvania, it is essential to note that the state's minimum wage is equivalent to the federal minimum wage, which applies to all employees regardless of their employment status in Pennsylvania. In cases where an employer has failed to adequately compensate you according to Pennsylvania's minimum wage laws, there are numerous legal recourse actions available, including seeking professional legal assistance from a lawyer.

Article by
Inna Chumachenko

Inna Chumachenko is the Content Lead at Lawrina. She is responsible for managing all the content found on the blog, guides, and other website pages. Inna has a degree in philology and a vast interest in law. In her role at Lawrina, Inna oversees the content team, establishes collaborations with writers, and curates content from various contributors.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the content for Lawrina, please feel free to contact Inna directly via email at i.chumachenko@lawrina.org or connect with her on LinkedIn.