Pennsylvania Labor Laws Compliance Guide 2024

Alex Kehayias | Feb 27, 2024

Pennsylvania Labor Laws Compliance Guide 2024

Adhering to Pennsylvania labor laws in 2024 is essential for any business, especially when it comes to employment regulations. Pennsylvania already has its own unique set of laws, making this task particularly challenging.

In business, staying updated and compliant with state labor laws is a legal obligation and a cornerstone of ethical practices. It ensures a smooth work environment and shields businesses from potential legal disputes — and that’s where Mosey comes into play.

Think of Mosey as your compliance navigator, helping you keep track of Pennsylvania’s labor laws. By organizing your payroll compliance data, Mosey transforms what can be an overwhelming tide of information into a manageable stream.

Keep reading to find out what Pennsylvania’s labor laws look like in 2024 and how Mosey can help.

What Is New Hire Reporting in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania’s new hire reporting system is an important component of employment compliance. This process involves submitting specific details about new or rehired employees. It aids the state in enforcing child support obligations and helps detect unemployment compensation fraud.

The drill is straightforward but demands precision. Within 20 days of their hire date, employers must report the necessary details of their new team members to the state.

What Information Is Required?

For employees, it’s the standard fare: Full legal name, address, Social Security Number (SSN), and the dates and states of hire. Employers need to furnish their company’s name, address, federal employer identification number (FEIN), and a contact person’s name and number. It’s a two-way street of information that keeps everything above board.

Reporting Methods and Deadlines

Pennsylvania offers a buffet of reporting options — electronic file uploads, data entry, or Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) for the tech-savvy and mail or fax for the traditionalists.

First-time employers in the state must register before proceeding, and those operating across multiple states have the option to register with the national multi-state employer registry. The rule of thumb is to report within 20 calendar days of hiring.

Special Considerations for Multi-State Employers

Pennsylvania’s reporting requirements come with an added layer for businesses with employees scattered across various states. These employers can choose to report new hires to each employee’s respective state or pick a single state for all their reporting needs.

However, remember, multi-state employers must embrace the digital age — electronic reporting is the only way to go for them.

Adhering to these procedures keeps your business compliant and streamlines your administrative processes, making them more efficient and less prone to error. With Mosey’s assistance, managing these requirements becomes a less daunting and more streamlined part of your business operations.

What Is the “Ban the Box” Law in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania’s “Ban the Box” law is a significant stride towards fair employment opportunities. This legislation is designed to remove the checkbox asking about criminal history from initial job applications. The reason is to ensure that candidates are evaluated on their qualifications first, without the immediate bias of their past.

However, don’t be misled — this law doesn’t forbid employers from considering criminal history altogether. Instead, it delays this scrutiny until later in the hiring process, offering candidates a fairer shake at proving their worth.

Philadelphia’s Specific Regulations

Philadelphia takes “Ban the Box” a step further. In this city, employers are generally prohibited from inquiring about a candidate’s criminal history during the initial application phase. The city dictates that such checks can only be conducted after a conditional job offer has been made.

Additionally, Philadelphia employers can only consider arrests and convictions that occurred within the last three years, adding another layer of fairness to the hiring process.

What Does Immigration and Employment Eligibility Look Like?

When it comes to immigration and employment eligibility, the federal government holds the reins. Employers across the U.S., including Pennsylvania, are required to hire only individuals legally authorized to work in the country.

This mandate ensures a lawful workforce and verifies the employment eligibility of every new hire using Form I-9. The process might seem like a mundane administrative task, but it’s an important step in maintaining legal compliance.

E-Verify Requirements in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, the E-Verify system comes into play for certain employers. While private employers aren’t universally required to use E-Verify, it becomes mandatory for public contractors and subcontractors.

Also, if you’re in the construction industry or hiring F-1 students seeking a STEM OPT extension, prepare to embrace E-Verify. This system cross-references with government records to confirm employee eligibility, adding an extra layer of verification to your hiring process.

What Are the Wage and Hour Laws in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania walks in step with the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Tipped employees, for instance, have a different beat to follow. They can be paid as low as $2.83 per hour, provided their tips bring them up to the standard minimum wage.

For learners, students, or individuals with disabilities, employers can pay less than the minimum wage under specific conditions, but only if they obtain a special certificate for it.

Overtime Rules and Exemptions

Overtime in Pennsylvania is pretty straightforward — one and a half times the regular pay for hours worked over 40 in a week. But not everyone follows the overtime rule.

Salaried executive, administrative, or professional employees earning above a certain threshold are often exempt. It’s essential for employers to classify each employee correctly to avoid missteps.

Wage Payment Timing and Final Pay Requirements

Pennsylvania employers must pay wages on regularly scheduled paydays and furnish a pay statement with each payment. When it comes to final paychecks for terminated employees, they must be provided no later than the next regular payday. Employers can’t play the waiting game here, as promptness is key.

What About Meal and Rest Breaks?

Pennsylvania doesn’t mandate meal or rest breaks for employees 18 and older, but if an employer chooses to provide short breaks (up to 20 minutes), they must be paid. Meal breaks (over 20 minutes) can be unpaid as long as the employee is completely relieved from duty.

However, when it comes to minors, Pennsylvania is different. Employees under 18 must receive a 30-minute break if they work more than five consecutive hours.

What Are the Pennsylvania Leave Laws?

Pennsylvania’s leave laws are a mosaic of federal, state, and local regulations. While there’s no statewide mandate for paid sick leave, the FMLA does apply to eligible employers and employees.

Let’s look at some specific leave laws in cities:

  • Philadelphia: Employers with 10 or more employees must provide paid sick leave, while smaller employers provide unpaid leave. The accrual is one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked.

  • Allegheny County: Employers with 26 or more employees must provide paid sick leave, with accrual rates and usage similar to Philadelphia.

  • Pittsburgh: Has its own sick leave law, covering employees who work at least 35 hours per year within the city.

Other leave types include:

  • Victim Leave: Philadelphia mandates leave for victims or family members of domestic violence or sexual assault.

  • Holiday and Jury Duty Leave: Not mandated, but jury duty leave is unpaid.

  • Military Leave: Protects employees in the National Guard or reserves, with certain benefits continuation.

In Pennsylvania, leave laws are complex but important for both employee welfare and business compliance. Tools like Mosey can help businesses work through these laws, ensuring they stay in tune with legal requirements and support their workforce’s well-being.

What Are the Workers’ Compensation and Benefits Laws?

In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation is a must-have for most employers. The safety net catches employees if they fall ill or get injured on the job. This program covers medical treatment costs and provides wage loss benefits.

For employers, it’s not just a legal requirement but a crucial part of responsible business practice. Almost all industries are required to have this coverage, ensuring employees are protected and businesses are shielded from direct liability.

Philadelphia Commuter Transit Benefits Program

Philadelphia has added another layer to the employee benefits scene with its Commuter Transit Benefits Program. Effective December 31, 2022, employers with 50 or more employees must offer commuter transit benefit programs.

This could be a pre-tax payroll deduction for mass transit expenses or an employer-paid benefit. It’s a move that supports employees’ commuting needs and promotes sustainable transportation.

COBRA and Pennsylvania Mini-COBRA Laws

COBRA, the federal law, and Pennsylvania’s mini-COBRA provide continued health coverage options for employees who’ve lost their jobs or experienced reduced work hours.

The mini-COBRA specifically targets employers with fewer than 20 employees, offering coverage for up to nine months under certain conditions. This safety net ensures that employees don’t suddenly find themselves without health coverage during transitional periods.

What Should You Know About Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation?

Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation (UC) program is like a financial umbrella, offering temporary income support to those who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. Individuals must meet certain eligibility criteria related to their previous employment and earnings and actively seek new employment to qualify.

This program plays an important role in stabilizing the local economy and providing a buffer for individuals as they deal with job loss and reemployment.

Stay Compliant in 2024 With Mosey

Successfully adhering to Pennsylvania’s labor laws requires diligence and precision. Mosey simplifies this process, offering a streamlined solution for managing compliance requirements.

For businesses looking to ensure adherence to these complex regulations while focusing on growth, Mosey is the ideal partner.

Book a demo today to discover how Mosey can transform your compliance management today.

Read more from Mosey:

Review your compliance risks, free.

Ready to get started?

Sign up now or schedule a free consultation to see how Mosey transforms business compliance.