Pennsylvania Abandons $45,500 Minimum Salary for Overtime-Exempt Workers

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

July 9, 2021

Last year, Pennsylvania's labor department issued regulations that would have increased the minimum salary threshold for most overtime-exempt workers to $45,500 over the next three years, and then adjusted it for inflation every three years after that.

That plan is now no more. Buried in a budget bill enacted today is a single sentence repealing those 2020 regulations.

It is not yet clear whether the regulations that were repealed - specifically, sections 82, 83 and 84 of the minimum wage code - now revert back to previous versions (under which the minimum salary levels for executive, administrative and professional employees range from $155 to $250 per week) or if they are repealed entirely.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry did not return requests for comment.

The issue is moot for the vast majority of employers, who are covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore subject to a minimum weekly salary of $684 for most overtime-exempt employees.

Business groups said there were big implications had the state moved forward with the proposed minimum salary hike. "The damage the [overtime rule] could have caused to Pennsylvania businesses cannot be overstated," Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr said in a statement. "Increasing the overtime salary threshold ... would have been a death knell for many businesses already struggling to recover from the pandemic, namely small business owners and non-profits."