Employment Laws: What are Employment Laws in Pennsylvania?
If you are working in the state of Pennsylvania, it is essential for you to know the federal and state laws that govern your workplace. In Pennsylvania, as an employee, you are protected throughout your employment process under both federal and state law. However, state laws provide greater protection to working employees than federal laws in Pennsylvania regarding anti-discrimination laws and health care coverage.
An employer in Pennsylvania, in addition to following federal and state law, has to follow municipal laws concerning the employer-employee relationship. This article will provide you with all the necessary information you would require to know regarding employment laws in Pennsylvania.
Discrimination and harassment laws in Pennsylvania
Under federal law (Civil Rights Act of 1964), employers are prohibited from discriminating on the grounds of race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, and genetic information. Employers in Pennsylvania who have at least 15 employees are subject to these laws, and for the law prohibiting age discrimination, employers with at least 20 employees must adhere to the code.
In addition to the above laws, laws in Pennsylvania also prohibit discrimination regarding job listings, hiring decision, interviews, layoffs, promotion, compensation, and termination. Also, in addition to the above prohibitions, employees in Pennsylvania are protected from discrimination on the grounds of their use of a service animal and sexual harassment.
Equal pay in Pennsylvania
In jobs of comparable work, Pennsylvania laws prevent employers from paying females lesser than males relating to skill and responsibility with an exception only based on the merit system and seniority system. Also, discrimination must not be based on race, color, religion, sexual orientation and national origin.
Wage and labor in Pennsylvania
Regarding minimum wage, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the minimum wage and working hours that employers must follow. Employers are guided by law to pay the highest minimum fee to employees which is $7.25 an hour in Pennsylvania, which is the same as the federal minimum wage. However, if an employee earns tips, the employer can lower the minimum payment as long as the hourly pay adds up to the minimum wage.
Child labor in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, minors aged under 18 are prohibited from working in hazardous jobs like working as a pilot, as a fireman or working in the manufacturing of dyes or chemicals.
Leave laws in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, benefits such as paid leave, sick leave, holidays and paid time off (PTO) are offered voluntarily by many employers. However, paid leave is not recognized by federal law or Pennsylvania law. Unpaid leaves may be issued by employers in the following cases:
Military leave- under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and Pennsylvania law, employers must allow their employees to take a vacation from work in case of federal or state military duty.
Family and medical leave- the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that requires employers who have a workforce of at least 50 members to issue employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off every year in the case of illness or caregiving issues.
Jury duty- employees in Pennsylvania are guided by law to take leave for jury duty.
Compensation and safety laws in Pennsylvania
In the case of on-the-job injury, an employee in Pennsylvania is eligible for worker’s compensation.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act, which is a federal law, require employers in Pennsylvania to provide a safe workplace and a non-hazardous working environment.
If employees feel that their employees have committed safety violations, then they have the right to request an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection.
Leaving a job in Pennsylvania
Employees in Pennsylvania can move their job at their own will. However, employees cannot be fired for discriminatory reasons.