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Pennsylvania Bonus Payments: What you need to know

Pennsylvania law specifies that bonuses paid as gifts do not have to be added in when determining the employee's regular rate of pay for calculating overtime (PA Stat. Tit. 34 Sec. 231.43). These are called discretionary bonuses characterized by the facts that the employer has the sole discretion over whether payment is to be made, and the amount of the payment, and that the employer makes the decision to pay at or near the end of the period that defines the bonus. In addition, a discretionary bonus payment may not be made pursuant to any prior contract, agreement, or promise that would cause the employee to expect to receive this type of bonus payment regularly.
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If the bonus is in any way determined by hours worked, production, or efficiency, the extra pay must be added in for the pay period in which it is awarded. These are called nondiscretionary bonuses.
Practice tip: To minimize overtime costs and complications, schedule performance bonus awards tocoincide with shorter workweeks.

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Pennsylvania Bonus Payments Resources

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Claim Your Free Copy of Top 100 FLSA Overtime Q&As

We’ve compiled a list of the 100 most commonly asked questions we have received on the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations.
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This report, "Top 100 FLSA Q&As", is designed to provide you with an examination of the federal FLSA overtime regulations in Q&A format, including valuable tips for bringing your workplace into compliance in an affordable manner.

At the end of the report, you will find a list of state resources on wage and hour issues. This report includes practical advice on topics such as:
  • FLSA Coverage: How FLSA regulations apply to all employers and any specific exemptions from the overtime requirements
  • Salary Level: Qualifying for exemptions and nonexempt employees
  • Deductions from Pay: Deducting for violations, disciplinary reasons, sick leave, or personal leave


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