According to the Economic Policy Institute, Ohio workers are illegally paid less than minimum wage about 217,000 times per year. Those violations cost each worker an average of $2,800. Few of us would take a $2,800 loss in stride, … [Read more...] about Fighting Wage Theft in Ohio
Wage and Hour Claims
You show up to work and do your job expecting fair compensation. It’s a reasonable expectation, but one that isn’t always realized. Wage theft is a significant problem in Ohio and around the country.
Ohio employers commit wage theft in many ways. For example, some employers illegally require employees to work off the clock during set-up, clean-up, or other time they’re required to be on site. Often, workers are afraid to speak up when these violations occur, because they don’t want to lose their jobs or otherwise be penalized at work. And if the period is brief--say, 15 minutes at the end of the day--it may not seem like enough time or money to argue over. But those minutes add up.
One study determined that there are more than 200,000 minimum wage violations in Ohio each year. These violations, on average, cost $2,800 per employee. At the 2021 Ohio minimum wage of $8.80/hour, that’s the equivalent of working nearly eight full-time weeks without pay.
Other common violations include unlawfully classifying employees as independent contractors to avoid minimum wage and overtime requirements, wrongly classifying salaried employees as exempt to avoid paying legally-mandated overtime, failing to pay the increased rate required for overtime hours, requiring employees to perform tasks off the clock after hours, and rounding hours downward.
Enforcement of Employee Rights
Wage and hour claims arise under both state and federal statutes. Two key statutes are the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Ohio Minimum Wage Fair Standards Act. Government agencies at both the state and federal levels are charged with enforcing these statutes. But government enforcement is limited. Fortunately, these statutes also provide for a private cause of action, meaning that workers suffering violations of wage and hour laws can work with an experienced Ohio wage and hour attorney to pursue compensation directly.
Often, the workers who are cheated out of this time are the ones who can least afford it. In this section, you’ll find information about your rights under state and federal wage and hour laws, common violations occurring in Ohio, the industries most affected, and other basics. If you believe you’ve been the victim of wage theft in Ohio, contact us today to learn more about your rights.