“Small Employer” minimum wage increases to $7.15 per hour effective July 1, 2008
All employers in Pennsylvania must pay the state’s minimum wage of $7.15 per hour based on the expiration of the Small Employer exemption. Previously, an employer who had an employee complement composed of the equivalent of 10 or less full-time employees had a lower minimum wage rate of $6.65 per hour until July 1, 2008.
Pennsylvania’s Training Wage Increases to $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008
Pennsylvania’s training wages is scheduled to increase from $5.85 to $6.55 effective July 24, 2008. The training wage is no longer allowed after July 23, 2009. A 60-day training wage may be paid to employees under 20 years old effective January 1, 2007. This wage matches the current federal minimum wage. Eligible employees may be paid the training wage up to the day before the employee’s 20th birthday. On and after the employee’s 20th birthday, pay must be raised to the regular Pennsylvania minimum wage even if the 60-day period has not expired.
The 60-day period starts on the first day of work. The 60-day period is counted as consecutive days on the calendar, not as days worked or business days. A break in employment (e.g. vacation, school year, etc.) does not affect the calculation of the 60-day period of eligibility and does not allow the employer to “restart” the 60-day period.
A youth under 20 may be paid the training wage for up to 60 consecutive calendar days after initial employment with any employer, not just the first employer. The fact that an eligible youth may be employed at the same time by more than one employer (unrelated to each other) does not affect either employer’s right to pay the training wage. An employee may be “initially employed” only once by any one employer even if there are breaks in employment.
Employers must notify these employees at the time of hire of this wage and their right to receive the regular Pennsylvania minimum wage after 60 calendar days. Current employees may not be displaced, have their hours reduced or have their wages or employment benefits reduced to allow hiring of persons eligible for the training wage. Employers do not have to meet any training requirements to pay an eligible youth this training wage.