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PA - Overtime Exemptions Clarification Pennsylvania

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  • PA - Overtime Exemptions Clarification Pennsylvania

    According to Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act of 1968 (Minimum Wage Act of 1968) found on

    Section 4(c) states that overtime must be paid at 1 1/2 times the normal hourly rate. I understand that this is more or less standard. Here is where my question gets tricky...

    Section 5(a)(9) states:

    (a)Employment in the following classifications shall be exempt from both the minimum wage and overtime provisions of this act:

    (9) In employment by an establishment which is a public amusement or recreational establishment, organized camp, or religious or nonprofit educational conference center, if

    (i) it does not operate for more than seven months in any calendar year, or

    (ii) during the preceding calendar year, its average receipts of any six months of such year were not more than thirty-three and one-third percent of its average receipts for the other six months of such year;
    This would include businesses such as ski resorts, amusement parks, drive-in movie theaters, ice cream parlors that are not open year-round, etc.

    I'm trying to find clarification on item (i), that a business is exempt from paying overtime if it does not operate for more than seven months.

    Does that go by the "official operating schedule" of said business, or by the hire/termination dates (or even first/last day of work) of the employee in question in that calendar year?

    For example, Let's say that John Doe works at a Drive-In Movie Theater (let's call it "DIM" for the example). DIM's operating season runs from 1st week in May to the last week of October. (6 months) Obviously, this falls within the exemption. Now let's say there's a lot of preparatory work that needs to be done prior to the first day of operation, and as such John starts working 1st week of April. Let's go on further to say that he helps close things down after the last day of operation, so he's working consistently through November. While the operating season is 6 months, John is working 8 months, and therefore above the 7-month threshhold for exemption. In this case, DIM would not fall under item (ii) since it's receipts for the 6 months May-Oct would obviously be more than 33 1/3% of the other six months, which would be 0.

    Should John be paid overtime for any work weeks in which he worked more than 40 hours?

  • #2
    Sorry for the double post. I found something in section 5(b)(6) that states that Motion Picture Theaters are exempt from overtime.

    So let's change the type of business to an amusement park instead (basically something that would not be exempted from OT by any other clause other than 5(a)(9)(i)


    • #3
      There is also a federal exception for "seasonal establishments".

      I honestly don't know if PA law overrides this exception, but after you read it, you should be able to intelligently ask the proper question of the state DOL as to whether it is recognized in PA (which it would be unless the state has specifically either stated that such establishments are subject OR the law you cited is deemed to be the sole law for such exceptions.
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


      • #4
        That helps a lot. Thank you!

        While the rules are the same (verbatim, in fact) in the PA law as it is in the federal law, that sheet explains it later a lot better, in that it only deals with "full operation"... the other months would constitute "maintenance" and "ordering supplies", as it is just set up before and tear down after the "actual season".

        With that information, it seems as though in my example, the employee in question would NOT be entitled to overtime pay.


        • #5
          You're welcome. As it happens, the federal DOL Fact Sheets are pretty well written for "regular people".
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.