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Employment laws to protect employees in Pennsylvania

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2023 | Employment Law (Employee)

Pennsylvania has many laws that protect you as an employee in case your employer does something that is illegal or that seems unethical and unfair to you. For example, if you have been terminated from your job and you don’t understand why or feel that your employer was not justified in terminating you, there are state and federal laws that may protect you. Becoming educated about those laws will serve you well.

Pennsylvania is considered an “at-will” state when it comes to employment. That means that the employer can terminate the employee at any time, whether that employer has justification or not, provided that the employee is not terminated for an unlawful reason (such as some recognized form of discrimination). On the other hand, the employee has the same right to resign from their position for any reason they choose whenever they choose (they don’t even need a reason).

Are there any exceptions to the “at-will” rule?

There are some exceptions to the “at-will” rule. The employer is not permitted to terminate the employee for any discriminatory reason, including religion, sex, race, nationality, disability or age. Additionally, in the event of a mass layoff, they are responsible for giving the employees 60 days’ notice before the employees are going to lose their jobs.

How is overtime handled in Pennsylvania?

If you are a non-exempt employee, it is your right to get overtime pay if you work over your regular amount of hours. In all likelihood, you will not be working an indefinite amount of overtime; however, according to the law, you must get paid for whatever amount of overtime you do work. If you are a salaried employee (exempt), you most likely are not going to be paid overtime no matter how many extra hours you work.

Exactly what the overtime rates are for you is not one set amount, although 150% after you have worked your regular 40 hours is not unusual. The same rule applies in Pennsylvania regarding certain employees not qualifying for overtime pay. If you are a non-exempt employee and you are asked to work on a holiday, your employer is not legally responsible to pay you overtime pay although many employers do that anyway.

Legal advice from a knowledgeable Pennsylvania employment attorney

If you are working in Pennsylvania and feel that your employer has treated you unfairly on the job, it may be a good idea to consult a Pennsylvania employment attorney who can educate you about your rights and help you to make sure that you go after your employer if they have violated those rights and have not followed what Pennsylvania and the federal government have mandated. Your employment attorney can give you valuable recommendations regarding your case and hopefully the outcome will be in your favor so that you can get what you deserve and what you need to move on.