Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Two Important Differences in Pennsylvania Law for Overtime Claims - Sales Persons and IT Professionals

Minimum Wage, Overtime and Wage Laws in Pennsylvania

Are You Getting the Overtime You Deserve?
Overtime in the United States is governed by one major federal law, the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and by various state laws, such as Pennsylvania's Minimum Wage Act ("PMWA").

These laws dictate who is entitled to overtime and who is not.  Generally, the FLSA controls, and the PMWA in most significant respect mirrors the FLSA.

What Type of Sales People Are Entitled to Overtime in Pennsylvania?

However, there are at least two different areas where the PMWA grants greater rights to employees where overtime is concerned then does its federal counterpart, FLSA.

The two areas in question relate to Outside Sales Persons and Computer Professionals (just
click links to find out more).

Where sales people are concerned, you get overtime pay UNLESS you spend at least 80% of your time out on the road making sales calls.

Unless You Spend >80% of Your Time on the Road Making Sales Calls,
You Are Entitled to Overtime in Pennsylvania
NOTE:  Checking on product placement or dropping off product samples is NOT making a sales call.

Dropping Off Drug Samples to Existing Customer is NOT Making a Sales Call
IT Professionals: If You Work in Pennsylvania and Are a Computer Programmer, Analyst, Software Engineer, You Are Probably Entitled to Overtime Pay

Under federal law, most IT professionals are exempt from overtime laws (that is, they are not entitled to be paid overtime).  Not so in Pennsylvania.  Under Pennsylvania's Minimum Wage Act, many IT professionals, such as computer programmers, software engineers and IT analysts, are in fact entitled to overtime pay.

Computer Professionals Often Entitled to Overtime Under Pennsylvania Law

Since many companies tend to follow the federal laws, and may be unaware of the this difference in Pennsylvania, there are likely many IT professionals who work in Pennsylvania who are being deprived of overtime to which they are entitled.

What Type of Penalties Are Available Under Overtime Laws for Companies That Break the Law?

Double Damages Available Against Employers
That Willfully Violate Overtime Laws
If a company is found by a court to have willfully violated state or federal overtime laws, it can be forced to pay two times the damages actually suffered by the employee.

In addition, prevailing plaintiffs are permitted to recover all legal fees and costs incurred in prosecuting the claim.

That is why many lawyers handle overtime claims on a contingent fee basis.

Is it Illegal for a Company to Fire an Employee That Demands Overtime Pay?

Yes, it most certainly is.

If you believe you are entitled to overtime, and wish to raise the issue with the company, it may be best to consult counsel first.

How Should I Complain That I Am Entitled to Overtime and Protect My Job?

If you choose to go it alone, however, make sure you do it in writing, delivering copies to HR,and your supervisor/manager.

You Cannot be Protected From Retaliation
Unless Company Knows Your Identity
If you choose to do it through the Department of Labor, and act anonymously, you will have no protection if you are fired soon after (the company will assert that it did not retaliate against you for complaining about overtime, because the mystery person that complained did so anonymously.

Overtime Lawyer Helping Pennsylvania Employees Since 1991
Philadelphia Area Overtime Attorney Representing Employees

John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents employees in Pennsylvania. 

John typically represents employees who need an employment lawyer in Philadelphia County, Chester County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Berks County, Lancaster County and Montgomery County.

Pennsylvania Employment Attorney Provides Free Telephone Consultations

If you are looking for an employment lawyer, and live in Malvern, Wayne, King of Prussia, Downingtown, Glenside, Doylestown, Radnor, Newtown Square, Exton, Philadelphia, West Chester, Skippack, Langhorne, Haverford, Nether Providence, Broomall, Drexel Hill, Reading or any of their surrounding towns, feel free to send me an e-mail or give me a call.  I am always glad to spend some time with people via a free telephone consultation.

Need an Employment Labor Lawyer Near Philadelphia?

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of employment law, from wrongful termination, to wage and overtime claims, to discrimination and retaliation laws, to Family and Medical Leave

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of Pennsylvania Unemployment Law, from willful misconduct, to voluntary quit, to Referee Hearings, to severance issues

Click Here to e-mail John directly.

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