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Pennsylvania tax and labor law guide

Household employment requirements for families hiring a caregiver in Pennsylvania

Families have a lot to think about when they hire a household employee and we want to make it as easy as possible to find the tax and labor law information they need. Our Pennsylvania nanny tax overview has all the answers for navigating the household employment process. Check out the information below that HomePay is here to help with.

Checklist for Pennsylvania household employers

We know you’re busy so here’s a quick “to-do” list with links to extra details below.

Beginning of employment 

During employment 

Optional benefits for your employee

Ending employment

Beginning of employment 

Workers’ compensation

Household employers in Pennsylvania are not required to get coverage for workers’ compensation insurance, but we recommend all families do so. These policies pay for medical expenses and lost wages if an employee has a work-related injury or illness. Obtain an instant quote and purchase a policy online, or contact our partner, Clarke White, at 804-267-1210 or wcnanny@allrisks.com.

Wage notice 

Household employers in Pennsylvania are required to provide their employees with a written wage notice at the time of hire. The notice must include the employer’s address and the employee’s hourly rate of pay.

Families in Pittsburgh should provide their employee with this notice instead.

Employment contract

Families in Philadelphia are required to have a written employment contract that includes the following:

  • List of job duties.
  • The employee’s hourly and overtime rate of pay.
  • An expected weekly schedule, including the total hours worked in a week.
  • How the employee will be paid and the payment frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, etc.).
  • How meal and rest breaks are handled.
  • The paid and unpaid leave the employee has.
  • Any paid holidays the employee has.
  • Other benefits the family will provide.
  • Modes of required transportation.
  • Value of housing provided if the employee is a live-in employee.
  • Sleeping periods and personal time for an employee that is a live-in.
  • The duration of the contract.
  • Anything else agreed upon by the family and the caregiver.
  • Two weeks notice is required to terminate an employment contract (four weeks if a family has a live-in employee) unless there is significant misconduct by the employee.

Employment posters 

Families in Pennsylvania are required to notify their employee of their rights by sharing these posters.

During employment 

Minimum wage rate

The current minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $7.25/hour.

Pennsylvania overtime requirements

  • Live-out employees must be paid 1.5x their hourly rate for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
  • Live-in employees are not required to be paid overtime. 
  • Overtime is not required to be paid when work is performed on a holiday. 

Pittsburgh paid sick time

Household employers in Pittsburgh are required to provide up to 24 hours of sick time to their employees each calendar year. Sick time accrues at 1 hour for every 35 hours worked, but employers can offer the full amount of sick time upfront if they choose. Employers are required to roll over up to 24 hours of unused sick time to the next year unless they have chosen to offer the full amount of sick time upfront to their employee. Sick time records must be kept for 2 years and employers must notify their employee of their rights using this poster

Philadelphia meal and rest break requirement

Employees in Philadelphia are allowed to take an uninterrupted, paid 10-minute rest period for every four consecutive hours they work, and an uninterrupted, paid 30-minute meal break after 5 hours worked. If this is not possible because of the nature of the job, the employee must continue to be paid while they are eating.

Philadelphia unpaid sick time

Household employers in Philadelphia are required to provide up to 40 hours of sick time to their employees each calendar year. The sick time does not have to be paid and accrues at 1 hour for every 40 hours worked. Employees can begin using their sick time after 90 days of employment and may roll over unused sick time to the next year, but cannot accrue more than 40 hours.

Philadelphia paid time off

Household employers in Philadelphia are required to provide up to 40 hours of paid time off (PTO) per year to their employees. PTO accrues at 1 hour earned for every 40 hours worked and can be used if an employee is sick or needs personal time away from the job to handle unexpected personal matters. Employees can also use PTO if the family has to unexpectedly change their work schedule or cancel a day of work.

Philadelphia time off requirement for live-in employees

Families in Philadelphia with live-in domestic workers cannot require them to work more than six consecutive days without a 24-hour rest period. This time off does not have to be paid, but employees must be allowed to come and go as they please and have no work responsibilities.

Optional benefits for your employee 

Health insurance

Families with only 1 employee can make contributions toward their employee’s health insurance premiums and treat the amount as non-taxable compensation. In this scenario, neither the employee nor the employer are required to pay any taxes on that portion of the compensation.

Families with 2 or more employees have 3 options:

  1. Set up an Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA).
  2. Set up a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA).
  3. Purchase a policy through SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program). 

Visit our health insurance page for more information about these options.  

Mileage reimbursements

The current federal mileage reimbursement rate is $0.56 per mile and only covers miles driven by your employee while on the job. Miles driven commuting are not eligible for reimbursement.

Ending employment 

Termination notice

Household employers in Pennsylvania are required to provide their employee with a termination notice when they are let go from their job. 

Managing unused PTO 

Pennsylvania household employers do not need to pay their employees for unused sick and/or vacation time.

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