Pennsylvania governor proposes new state overtime threshold
- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is proposing to update the state's overtime salary threshold. As part of Wolf's “Jobs That Pay” initiative, the update could increase wages for nearly half-a-million workers, according to a statement.
- The proposal would put the state's overtime eligibility threshold above the federal minimum rate ($455 per week, or $23,660 a year) at $610 a week, or $31,720 a year, on Jan. 1, 2020. The overtime threshold would also increase to $39,832 a year on Jan. 1, 2021, and to $47,892 a year by 2022. Overall, overtime pay would be extended to 370,000 workers, the governor's office estimates.
- Four years after the implementation of the changes, the governor's office estimates that 460,000 Pennsylvania workers will have received wage increases, according to the statement.
Like several other states and municipalities, Pennsylvania is acting independently of the federal government by moving ahead with pro-worker initiatives. At the federal level, employers won't likely have to worry about a Republican-led Congress changing course on the minimum wage, "ban the box," pay equity and salary history question policies otherwise pursued by states. But employers could see some compromise on paid leave.
The counter-argument to increased overtime pay, though, is the additional regulatory burden and cost placed on businesses. That's been a key contention for federal lawmakers with respect to both overtime regs and other propositions, like expanded parental leave and minimum-wage increases.
Steered by the Trump administration and its mission to roll back Obama-era policies, the U.S. Department of Justice effectively abandoned its defense of the controversial overtime rule changes last fall. But with states adopting their own pro-worker policies, employers must be aware of any changes in the states in which they operate and be ready to comply. New York and California, for example, have their own versions of the overtime salary threshold that are higher than the current federal version.