What Is the Minimum Wage in Pennsylvania?

Ben Steele  | 

2019 Minimum Wage in Pennsylvania: $7.25 Per Hour

The minimum wage in Pennsylvania has been $7.25 since 2009, when the federal minimum wage was raised to that amount. The state has been tethered to the federal minimum wage since then. However, there have been significant debates in Pennsylvania’s state legislature about raising the minimum wage.

Minimum Wage Exceptions: Students and People With Disabilities

Students and learners may be paid 85 percent of the minimum wage under certain circumstances, for limited periods of time. Special permission must be acquired, after which learners can be paid that rate for a maximum of eight weeks, and students up to 20 hours a week when school is in session, and 40 hours a week during school vacations.

People with disabilities may be paid a rate below minimum wage with special permission from the Bureau of Labor Law Compliance.

Tipped: $2.83

The tipped minimum wage for Pennsylvania is based on subtracting a “maximum tip credit” from the base minimum wage. Tipped workers are still required to be paid the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, however, their employers can claim a tip credit. As such, employers can pay tipped workers less than the minimum wage, as long as the employee is making at least $7.25 an hour after calculating tips.

The maximum tip credit that can be applied is $4.42 in Pennsylvania, meaning that an employer would pay a cash wage of $2.83 to reach the minimum wage mark.

The maximum tip credit in Pennsylvania is lower than the federal standard, which means that tipped workers draw a slightly higher base cash wage than in some other states.

Weekly: $290 Per 40 Hour Week

The weekly minimum wage is based on the minimum hourly wage times 40 hours. This figure is calculated before taxes and deductions, so the actual take-home wage will vary from individual to individual.

Annually: $15,080

The annual minimum wage is calculated based on 52 workweeks in a year and 40 hours per week at the minimum wage rate. This doesn’t account for vacation time, sick time, overtime, taxes or deductions. As such, the actual amount you receive will vary depending on all of those factors in any given year.

Overtime: $10.88 Per Hour After 40 Hours in a Week

After an employee has worked for 40 hours in any given workweek, they should be paid at a rate of one and a half times the normal rate of pay. For minimum wage, that makes a minimum overtime pay of $10.88 per hour.

The state has several specific exemptions from both minimum wage rates and overtime rates, described in the minimum wage poster summary linked at the top of the page.

Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Increase News

Conversations about minimum wage are gaining more attention and support in Pennsylvania. Republicans have historically opposed efforts to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $12 per hour, and while that resistance still exists, the two parties have been negotiating. Republicans generally favor a wage closer to $8 per hour, while Democrats are pushing for an immediate $12 per hour wage, set to increase to $15 per hour over a period of time. It is too early to say what will come of these efforts.

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Ben Steele is a writer, theatre(re) professional, and nonprofit administrator. He was born in England, spent his teen and early 20s in Canada, and now lives in America. Please excuse his occasionally confused voice and the odd recalcitrant u after an o.

This post was updated July 2, 2019. It was originally published July 2, 2019.