Columbus Wage & Hour Attorney
At Brian G. Miller Co., L.P.A., our Columbus wage & hour attorneys represent individuals, and groups of individuals, in claims against their employers for unpaid minimum wages and unpaid overtime wages.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires employers to pay their employees at least a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked. The FLSA also requires employers to pay their non-exempt employees time and one half for all hours worked over 40 hours per workweek. In addition, Ohio also has wage and hour state laws that govern how much and when an employee must be paid.
- Employer Intentional Tort
- Independent Contractor Misclassification
- Minimum Wage
- Tipped Employee Wage Violation
- Unpaid Overtime
Despite the law’s protection, wage theft still occurs
Although federal and state law govern how one is paid, employers can still make wage and hour violations. If you feel that you have experienced a wage and hour violation, consulting with an experienced Columbus wage and hour lawyer should be your first step. A skilled wage and hour attorney can help you understand your rights and options for filing a claim. However, below are a few examples of common wage and hour violations:
1) Failing to pay overtime or paying overtime incorrectly
Under the FLSA, a non-exempt employee who works more than 40 hours per week is entitled to “time-and-a-half” of the regular rate of pay. Violations occur when employers fail to pay their employees for overtime earned or fail to pay their employees at the proper rate for over time.
2) Failing to pay for “off the clock” work
Employers are required to pay its employees for all hours worked if the employer allows such work to occur. Common violations occur when employers fail to pay for “off the clock” work such as balancing registers and cleaning pre-shift or post-shift or when an employer fails to pay employees, such as cleaning crews or technicians, for travel time during work between two or more work sites. Contact our Columbus off-the-clock work attorney.
3) Illegal paycheck deductions
Even though some deductions from an employee’s paycheck may be lawful, if those deductions cause that employee to be paid less than minimum wage, it is illegal. This means that deductions, such as those for broken equipment, tools, or other supplies, or as a form of “punishment” are illegal when they will result in the employee being paid less than minimum wage.
4) When a tipped employee makes less than minimum wage after combining tips and regular wages
For employees who traditionally receive tips, the FLSA allows employers to pay their employees at a lower rate, down to $2.13 per hour, so long as the employee makes additional tips, that when combined with his or her wages, result in at least minimum wage of $7.25 or more. In instances where the tips combined with wages do not add up to minimum wage, employers are required to pay the remaining balance so that the employee is receiving at least $7.25 per hour. If your employer has not paid the remaining balance, a violation has occurred. If this has occurred, contact a wage and hour lawyer in Columbus, Ohio to discuss your rights.
5) When the employer is taking all or a portion of its employee’s tips
In addition to the lesser amount employers may pay to tipped employees, employers also may require tipped employees to pay into a “tip pool.” A tip pool is when employees, who customarily receive tips, share tips together. In tip pools or otherwise, employers may not take any portion of their employee’s tips nor may they allow their supervisors or management to share in tips either. When they do, it is a violation of the FLSA. Contact the Columbus wage and hour attorneys at Brian G. Miller Co., L.P.A if you are experiencing these issues.
What Damages are Available to Collect for Wage and Hour Violations?
Under the FLSA, employees are eligible to collect damages two years back from the date of the last violation, and up to three years back under certain circumstances. If an employee is successful in establishing that a violation occurred, the employer must pay the following compensation and expenses:
- Back Pay – Back pay is the amount of money that the employee should have been paid. In this context, the money would be for unpaid minimum wages and unpaid overtime wages.
- Liquidated Damages – Liquidated damages are additional damages that must equal the amount of the back pay. For example, if an employee is owed $5,000.00, he or she is also eligible to receive liquidated damages for an additional $5,000.00. Liquidated damages are not mandatory but are often awarded when a violation occurs.
- Attorney’s Fees – The employee’s attorney fees are also paid, in addition to the back pay and liquidated damages. This is true regardless of how much wages are owed.
- Punitive Damages (in some cases) – If an employee can establish that the wage and hour violation was intentional, or that the employer retaliated against them for pursuing recovery of such wages, the Court has the discretion to also award punitive damages, intended to punish the employer for its bad conduct. However, in most circumstances, Courts are hesitant to award punitive damages.
Determining damages in a wage and hour lawsuit can often be difficult and confusing. Having an experienced Columbus wage and hour attorney can help you understand your rights of recovery.
Consult with Wage and Hour Attorneys Near Columbus, Ohio
If you feel that you have faced wage and hour violations in Ohio, please call the Columbus wage and hour attorney at Brian G. Miller Co., L.P.A. at (614) 221-4035 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.