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Proposed Changes to the Minimum Required Salary for Pennsylvania White-Collar Overtime Exemptions

On June 23, 2018, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (“DLI”) proposed major rule changes to the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (“PMWA”). The PWMA is the state version of the Fair Labor and Standards Act (“FLSA”), which creates minimum wage and overtime rules for employers.

The most significant proposed change involves the minimum salary level pertaining to the white-collar exemption. For an employer to avoid paying overtime to salaried employees, the employee must meet both the “Duties Test” and the minimum salary level. As it currently stands, the FLSA requires salary employees under the white-collar exemption to be paid at least $455 per week or $23,660 annually. The proposed regulation to the PMWA would change this minimum salary level to: $610 per week or $31,720 annually effective on the date the final rule is published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin; $766 per week or $39,832 annually effective one year after the publication of the final rule; and $921 per week or $47,892 annually effective one year later.

In addition to the proposed changes to the minimum required salary, the DLI also proposed changes to the “Duties Test”, which explains what job duties an employee must perform to qualify under the white-collar exemptions. However, the proposed rule changes do not mirror the FLSA regulations when it comes to the test and will presumedly create confusion for employers trying to comply with both the FLSA and PMWA. For example, certain exemptions such as the computer professional or highly compensated employee exemptions are recognized under the FLSA but not under the proposed change to the PMWA.

The DLI states within the proposal that these changes are needed to more closely align with federal regulations, and because the minimum salary levels in Pennsylvania have not been updated in 40 years and fail to keep pace with economic growth.

Philadelphia overtime dispute lawyers of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green are highly skilled business and employment litigators with experience representing employees with overtime claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Call 215-574-0600 today or submit an online contact form to arrange a consultation.  Our office is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and we represent clients throughout the Philadelphia and South Jersey regions.