Pennsylvania Minimum Wage: Minimum Wage in Pennsylvania for 2024

February 13, 2024
Pennsylvania Minimum Wage

Are you prepared for a potential increase in the minimum wage in Pennsylvania? How will this affect your business's bottom line, and what steps can you take now to prepare?

This article will delve into the current state of the minimum wage in Pennsylvania, including considerations for tipped employees and exemptions that may apply to your workforce. We'll also explore the implications of any future increases and offer strategies to ensure your business remains compliant and financially healthy. Read on for actionable insights that will help you navigate the complexities of wage regulations in the Keystone State!

What is the Minimum Wage in Pennsylvania?

The minimum wage in PA remains at $7.25 per hour, consistent with the federal minimum wage. This rate has not changed since its last adjustment, positioning Pennsylvania alongside states with the lowest minimum wage thresholds. Despite this, recent legislative efforts hint at potential changes. 

In June, the Pennsylvania House passed a bill to increase the minimum wage to $11 in 2024, with further increases planned for the subsequent years. However, this bill did not become law in time to affect the minimum wage in Pennsylvania for 2024.

There's growing optimism, however, as discussions for raising the PA minimum wage have resumed, with Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward expressing openness to explore options for 2024. While the details of the proposed adjustments remain unclear, this development suggests that changes to the Pennsylvania minimum wage may be forthcoming, potentially affecting your business operations and financial planning.

Minimum Hourly Wages for Tipped Employees in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, employers are mandated to pay tipped employees a base cash wage of $2.83 per hour. However, the combination of this base wage and the tips earned must equal at least the full Pennsylvania minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. This arrangement hinges on the prerequisite that employees earn a minimum of $135 in tips per month. 

If an employee's tips plus the base wage do not meet the state minimum wage, the employer is required to make up the difference. This ensures that tipped staff are compensated fairly for their service, aligning with the state's commitment to worker rights and employer responsibilities.

Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Exemptions

It's crucial to identify if any exemptions apply to your workforce. Notably, the state outlines specific roles not subject to the standard minimum wage or overtime rules, which could significantly affect your business model.

Executive Exemption:

In Pennsylvania, executive employees who play a key role in managing your business or a distinct sector and have a significant influence over employee status are not bound by minimum wage laws. These individuals must consistently supervise at least two staff members and be compensated with a salary exceeding $875 weekly, a figure set to adjust annually from October 3, 2023, in alignment with the average wages of Pennsylvania workers.

Administrative Exemption:

Similarly exempt are administrative employees whose main duties are non-manual and pivotal to business operations or management policies, provided they're salaried.

Professional Exemption:

Professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and educators, who contribute through intellectual or creative expertise, also fall outside the minimum wage and overtime requirements.

Other Exemptions:

The exemption umbrella extends further to include outside salespeople, computer-related roles, among others, each with specific criteria.

Overtime Pay in Pennsylvania

Employees who clock in more than 40 hours a week are entitled to overtime pay, unless their job falls under specific exemptions set by the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act or the Fair Labor Standards Act. It must be at least one and a half times the employee's standard pay rate.

For those earning the minimum wage in PA, currently pegged at $7.25 per hour, any work beyond 40 hours should be compensated at a minimum of $10.88 per hour. Calculating an employee's regular rate involves looking at the actual hourly wage, which cannot dip below the state's minimum. Even salaried employees aren't exempt from these rules. Their overtime is calculated based on a 40-hour workweek division of their salary.

Calculating Overtime Pay

Example Scenario:

An employee is paid an hourly wage of $7.25, the minimum wage in Pennsylvania. Let's calculate their overtime pay rate for hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek.

Step 1: Confirm the Regular Hourly Rate

The regular hourly rate is the minimum wage in Pennsylvania, which is:

  • Hourly Rate: $7.25

Step 2: Calculate the Overtime Pay Rate

Pennsylvania law requires that any hours worked over 40 in a workweek be paid at an overtime rate of at least one and one-half times the employee's regular rate.

  • Regular Hourly Rate: $7.25

  • Overtime Multiplier: 1.5

  • Calculation: $7.25 * 1.5 = $10.875 per hour

Step 3: Determine Overtime Hours

If the employee works 45 hours in a week, the overtime hours are calculated as follows:

  • Total Hours Worked: 45 hours

  • Overtime Hours: 45 hours - 40 hours = 5 hours

Step 4: Calculate Overtime Pay

The total overtime pay is calculated by multiplying the overtime hours by the overtime pay rate:

  • Overtime Pay: 5 hours * $10.875 = $54.375

Step 5: Calculate Total Weekly Earnings

The total earnings for the week, combining regular and overtime pay, are calculated as follows:

  • Regular Pay: 40 hours * $7.25 = $290

  • Total Earnings for the Week: $290 (regular pay) + $54.375 (overtime pay) = $344.375

In this scenario, for a 45-hour workweek at an hourly rate of $7.25, the employee in Pennsylvania would earn a total of $344.375, with $54.375 of that being for the overtime hours worked. This example underscores the importance of correctly understanding and correctly applying overtime pay calculations to ensure compliance with Pennsylvania's minimum wage laws and fair employee compensation.

Who is Eligible for Overtime?

Following the U.S. Department of Labor's Final Rule on Overtime Update, effective January 1, 2020, approximately 1.3 million American workers became eligible for overtime pay. This update revised the earnings thresholds for exempting executive, administrative, and professional employees from the minimum wage and overtime pay protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

Specifically, the "standard salary level" was increased to $684 per week, equating to an annual salary of $35,568. Additionally, for "highly compensated employees," the threshold was set at $107,432 per year. Importantly, these regulations allow employers to count nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments towards up to 10% of the standard salary level, providing flexibility in meeting these thresholds.

Pennsylvania State Minimum Wage vs Federal Minimum Wage

In the United States, the interplay between federal and state minimum wage laws sets the stage for the earnings of millions of workers. While the federal minimum wage creates a uniform baseline, states have the freedom to enact higher wages tailored to their economic conditions and cost of living. This system ensures a nationwide foundational income level for workers, with room for adjustments to better reflect local needs.

Federal Minimum Wage

The federal minimum wage has been steadfast at $7.25 per hour since 2009, as determined by the Fair Labor Standards Act. This rate is the minimum employers across the country are required to pay their employees, except where state or local laws stipulate a higher minimum wage.

State Minimum Wage: Pennsylvania

As of 2024, the minimum wage in Pennsylvania aligns with the federal rate of $7.25 per hour. This standard applies to most employees within the state, with specific exceptions like tipped employees, who are guaranteed a lower base wage provided their total earnings with tips meet or surpass the PA minimum wage. 

Despite ongoing discussions to elevate the minimum wage in Pennsylvania, it stands at the federal level, underscoring the critical role of both federal and state legislation in securing a base income for workers.

Pennsylvania Minimum Wage & Labor Law Posters

Complying with the mandatory posting requirements in Pennsylvania is crucial for your business. Pennsylvania law mandates that employers display certain posters in their workplaces to inform employees about their rights under various labor laws. These notices must be placed in a visible area where employees can easily read them. Non-compliance can lead to significant penalties and fines. Additionally, entities with government contracts exceeding $25,000 must post an anti-drug policy statement per the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1998.

State Required Employee Notices:

  • Abstract of the Pennsylvania Child Labor Act (LLC-5) - Mandatory for all PA employers of minors, detailing child labor laws.

  • Resumen de la Ley de Trabajo Infantil (LLC-5 ESP) - For employers of minors, in Spanish.

  • Hours of Work for Minors Under Eighteen (LLC-17) - Guidelines for work hours for minors, required for all PA employers of minors.

  • Horas de Trabajo para Menores de Dieciocho Años (LLC-17 ESP) - Work hours for minors, in Spanish.

  • Minimum Wage Law Poster and Fact Sheet (LLC-1) - Essential minimum wage information for all PA employers, available in various sizes and in Spanish.

  • Abstract of Equal Pay Law (LLC-8) - All PA employers must post this to promote equal pay for equal work.

  • Resumen de la Ley de Igualdad Salarial (LLC-8 ESP) - Equal Pay Law abstract in Spanish.

  • Pennsylvania Right to Know Law (LIBC-262) - For public employers, detailing the right to know the law.

  • Unemployment Compensation (UC-700) - Information on unemployment compensation for all employers.

  • Compensacion Por Desempleo (UC-700 ESP) - Unemployment compensation details in Spanish.

  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance Posting (LIBC-500) - All PA employers must inform employees about workers' compensation insurance.

  • PA Clean Indoor Air Act Signage - Required for employers under the PA Clean Indoor Air Act.

  • Equal Opportunity & Fair Practices Notices - Employers must display notices promoting equal opportunity and fair practices.

How is the Minimum Wage Determined in Pennsylvania?

The process of setting the PA minimum wage is guided by the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act. This crucial legislation defines the state's minimum wage and overtime pay rates, laying down clear guidelines for employer compliance. It's the responsibility of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, through its Bureau of Labor Law Compliance, to ensure these rules are followed. They conduct investigations and audits, and take action against any business that fails to adhere to the set standards. By understanding and complying with this act, you ensure your business operates within legal boundaries, avoiding potential penalties.

Potential Implications for Restaurant Owners

Given that the minimum wage in PA will not see an increase, you might breathe a temporary sigh of relief. The stability in labor costs allows for more predictable financial planning and operational adjustments in the short term. However, it's essential to remain vigilant and forward-thinking, considering the broader implications of a potential future increase in the minimum wage Pennsylvania legislators are contemplating:

1. Labor Cost Management: 

The current stability offers an opportunity to assess your labor cost management strategies. Utilizing efficient scheduling and investing in employee training can enhance productivity, offsetting future wage increases.

2. Pricing Strategies: 

With the possibility of future wage increases, now is the time to evaluate your pricing strategies. Gradual adjustments to your menu prices can mitigate the impact of sudden labor cost spikes, ensuring that you maintain profitability without alienating your customer base.

3. Investment in Technology

Automating certain aspects of your operation can reduce dependence on manual labor, thus controlling costs. Technologies like advanced POS systems streamline operations and provide valuable data for making informed business decisions.

4. Employee Retention: 

The challenge of retaining employees might intensify as they seek higher-paying opportunities elsewhere. Offering competitive wages or additional benefits could be strategies to consider.

5. Customer Experience: 

Any changes in operational costs, including labor, can impact the customer experience. It's crucial to balance cost-control measures with the quality of service and product you offer. Maintaining high standards is key to sustaining customer loyalty and driving repeat business.

How Can I Prepare My Business for Future Minimum Wage Increases?

Preparing your business for potential future increases is crucial for sustainability and compliance. Here's how you can stay ahead:

1. Budget for Future Increases

Start by reviewing your current payroll expenses and forecast the impact of potential wage increases. Adjust your budget to accommodate these changes, ensuring you can maintain profitability without compromising quality or service.

2. Evaluate Staffing Needs

Analyze your staffing requirements and consider optimizing schedules or roles to ensure efficiency. Being proactive in workforce planning can help mitigate the financial impact of wage increases.

3. Invest in Employee Training

Enhancing your team's skills can improve productivity and customer service, offsetting the cost of higher wages. Consider implementing training programs that empower your employees to take on more responsibilities.

4. Explore Automation

For certain tasks, automation and technology can provide cost-effective alternatives to manual labor. Evaluate areas of your operation where technology can enhance efficiency, such as inventory management or order processing.

5. Monitor Legislative Developments

Stay informed about legislative changes regarding the minimum wage in Pennsylvania. Understanding the legal landscape can help you anticipate changes and adjust your business practices accordingly.

6. Seek Professional Advice

Consult with financial advisors or HR professionals to ensure your business remains compliant while optimizing operational costs. Expert advice can offer valuable insights into strategic planning and cost management.


While the minimum wage in Pennsylvania remains unchanged, ongoing discussions and legislative efforts suggest that changes could be on the horizon. Staying informed and preparing for potential increases in labor costs is vital for sustaining and growing your business in a competitive market.

Don't wait for legislative changes to impact your bottom line. Take action now by exploring how Chowbus POS can transform your restaurant operations. Book a free demo or consultation with us today and discover the difference the right technology can make in preparing your business for the future.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Minimum Wage in Pennsylvania

Diving into the financial essentials of living in Pennsylvania, this FAQ section aims to shed light on the crucial aspects of wages within the state. Here, you'll find insights into the minimum and livable wage figures for 2024, alongside an evaluation of the state's cost of living.

What is Minimum Wage in PA 2024?

The minimum wage in Pennsylvania for 2024 remains at $7.25 per hour, the same as the federal minimum wage. This rate has yet to see an increase and matches the minimum set by the federal government, applying to most employees within the state.

What is a Livable Wage in PA?

A livable wage in Pennsylvania depends on various factors, including the size and composition of a household. For an individual without dependents, the hourly rate needed to meet basic living expenses is approximately $21.95. In households with two working adults and children, this figure adjusts accordingly. Without children, each adult needs to earn around $15.33 per hour. However, with three children, this requirement increases significantly to about $32.11 per hour for each adult. These figures account for essentials such as housing, food, childcare, healthcare, transportation, and other critical expenses.

Is it Cheap to Live in PA?

Living in Pennsylvania is generally affordable compared to the national average. Housing costs, including both buying and renting, are about 13% lower. Healthcare expenses are also slightly lower by 3%. However, utilities, food, and transportation costs are slightly higher, with utilities and transportation being 8% higher and food costs 2% higher. Goods and services prices align with the national average. Overall, while certain living expenses are above the national average, the lower housing and healthcare costs contribute to making Pennsylvania an affordable place to live.

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