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Overtime and withholding a paycheck-Pa Pennsylvania

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  • Overtime and withholding a paycheck-Pa Pennsylvania

    I come here with two questions.

    The first being, my mother works for a Nursing home as a part time Nurse (RN). She is hourly payed as are every one else outside of the administration that works there. A while back there had been an incident where they were not paying overtime for hours worked over 40 in a week. Their hand book states that they run a seven day work week, Monday morning to Sunday night. Needless to say the employees contacted The Pa Department of Labor and were told that yes, Part time employees are exempt from overtime. Now from my understanding of the law, the federal law states that full and part time are covered unless they meet certain exemptions. None of these employees meet those exemptions that are listed on the Federal site. Also from my understand that even if Pa did have a law that exempted part time employees (I could find none while doing a quick web search), the federal law would still cover them because it is the more stricter. I guess for this one my question is what laws apply to part time employees regarding overtime.

    The second one involves with holding a paycheck. My father recently had his paycheck with held. The day after payday he called the Pa Department of Labor and was told that unless he is a part of a union he would have to wait fifteen days before he could even report an Employer for withholding a check. I was under the impression that in Pa one was to receive their paycheck on their scheduled payday or they could report their employer.

    Could anyone here help me by pointing me to actual laws, either Federal or State that relate to the above situations. Is what my parents were told correct or do we just have some very dumb people who work for the PA Department of labor and Industry.

  • #2
    Federal and state law are not mutual exclusive. It is not an "either/or" situation. It is possible for both federal and state law to be in effect at the same time. The employee generally gets to choose which law is more pro-them, but this does not by itself make the other law go away. Sort of like two different roads. Driving on one road does not make the other road go away.

    If we are talking federal law only (FLSA), then you are correct that the feds do not care part time versus full time, only about hours actually worked. So if you are talking about a wage claim filed with federal DOL, then you know what the feds think on this subject.

    Now you are apparently talking to PA-DOL (or whatever they call it). PA-DOL does not enforce federal law. PA-DOL enforces PA law. PA can have whatever laws they want in this area. Having the sort of rule you mention sounds very odd, but not illegal on it's face. PA law can say pretty much whatever PA wants it say. Alternatively, maybe the person you were talking to does not have a clue what they are talking about. That also happens. PA is not my state, so my interest in this is fairly limited. I can say with certainty that:
    1. There is nothing what-so-ever that PA (or any other state) can do to make the federal rules go away.
    2. The feds do not care even a little bit what PA law is on this or almost anything else.
    3. If PA really has a rule like this, and I am skeptical, then just have the employee file a wage claim with federal DOL.


    Holding a paycheck is different. That is not the feds issue, other then to say that the employees must be paid "when due", but they (the feds) leave just what "when due" is to the state in question. Meaning all over the place.

    PA is still not my state, but I have a 50-state chart on this subject in a source book. According to the book in PA, employers have 15 days after the end of the pay period to make the payment.


    We have another responder (Patty) who knows a lot more about PA then I do. Presumably she will pick up whatever I missed.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      I have nothing to add.
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