The wage payment and collection law of Pennsylvania is designed to protect employees by providing them with a way to receive wages earned. However, when determining what wages are due to the employee, or ex-employee, it is necessary to see know how wages are defined by the Pennsylvania Statutes.
First, the individual must have worked for an employer. This “includes every person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, receiver or other officer of a court of this Commonwealth and any agent or officer of any of the above-mentioned classes employing any person in this Commonwealth.” 43 P.S. 260.2a. In other words, if you are employed, then you have an employer. However, this may not cover someone who is paid under the table for a job.
Assuming you are properly employed, that employer must provide you with compensation. Pennsylvania Statute calls this compensation “Wages.” Wages are all earnings, regardless of whether you are paid based on the time it took to complete work or paid a flat fee, or earned a commission, etc. The term also includes “Fringe Benefits” or “Wage Supplements” whether paid to you or a another person, like your family. “Fringe Benefits” and “Wage Supplements” are any benefit plan (like retirement), guaranteed separation pay, vacation pay, or holiday pay. Also, if you work in an environment that provides you with reimbursement of expenses, your employer has to reimburse you. Finally, any union dues withheld from your pay or any other agreed upon payment must be returned or paid to you.
Just about the only sources of income not included are bonuses. Bonuses are considered gifts from the employer that may be taken away at any time. In other words, unless you have been guaranteed a bonus, you have no right to demand on. A guarantee should come in the form of a written contract.
Putting all of this together, if you are working for someone and paying taxes on the money you earn, then your employer must pay you all money you have earned and all benefits you are promised. If not, then you can sue for that money.
One really nice part of the Wage Payment and Collection Law, if you win, your employer has to pay for your attorney. That means it does not cost you a dime to hire me. Once I win, the person you sued has to pay for my representation.
For more information, check out my Full Wage Payment and Collection law Page.
If you think money is owed to you by your employer, give me a call at 412-209-0657 and ask for Matthew Becker. I will sit down with you and discuss your case during a free consultation.