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Tips for Temporary Holiday Employees in Pennsylvania

By: Anapol Weiss

Retail companies, restaurants and other businesses often hire additional employees to work during the holiday season and manage the influx of customers. While seasonal employees may only work for a few weeks or months, they still have to be proactive in ensuring they are being paid properly and their legal rights are being honored.

Below are a few tips if you’re applying for a temporary job this season.

You Have Rights

The same laws involving harassment, discrimination, and workplace safety apply to seasonal workers as they do to other employees, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Further, both part-time and full-time employees have equal rights regarding minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping and child labor under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Keep Payment Records

According to the National Consumers League, temporary holiday employees must make sure they are being paid the amount they are owed by saving all payroll stubs and double-checking the following:

  • Number of hours worked

  • Rate of pay

  • Paycheck deductions

  • The legal name of the employer

To help employees calculate how much they should be earning, the U.S. Department of Labor has created a free smart phone app that tracks hours worked and determines the amount employers owe.

Know Your Payment Options

Businesses frequently offer many payment options for employees, and it’s important for employees to know which choices are available to them. Some employers offer a payroll debit card as an option, but in Pennsylvania, these systems cannot be the sole form of payment available to employees.

In fact, a judge ruled in 2015 that a Pennsylvania McDonald’s franchise owner broke the law by requiring employees to be paid solely by payroll debit cards. The cards are riddled with transaction fees that force users to pay to access their own money.

Other Pennsylvania businesses may be breaking the law by paying employees exclusively with payroll debit cards. Employees are urged to contact a lawyer if other options are not being made available to them.