Steps To Take In A Wage And Hour Claim
Employees in Ohio and West Virginia receive less than the wages they are owed in a variety of circumstances, including in situations where an employer fails to pay the minimum wage or overtime, or fails to pay an employee for working time during rest breaks or off-the-clock hours. Depending upon the circumstances, a wage and hour violation may be intentional, or it may be the result of an unintentional error. Either way, it is critical for employees to know that they have rights under state and federal law, and that they can take steps to address an underpayment or other wage and hour violation. What steps should you take if you believe you have not been paid accordingly and have been harmed by a wage and hour violation? Consider the following steps from our wage and hour lawyers.
- Determine the Hours You Worked
First, it is important to determine the number of hours you worked in order to figure out the amount of work for which you should have been paid. You should keep in mind that overtime pay is required for non-exempt employees when an employee works more than 40 hours in a single workweek, and overtime pay must be paid at the rate of 1.5 times the employee’s regular hourly rate. When you are determining the hours you worked, you should count short rest breaks permitted by your employer within the hours you worked, but you should not count 30-minute meal breaks (or longer) unless you were required to perform any work tasks during that time. As soon as an employer requires you to do work during a meal break, you must be paid.
- Determine the Amount You Should Have Been Paid
Next, you should determine the amount you should have been paid. Under Ohio law, non-exempt employees must be paid a minimum wage of at least $9.30 per hour for non-tipped employees or $4.65 per hour for tipped employees. If you earn the minimum wage and you worked overtime, you must be paid $13.95 per hour for every hour worked beyond 40 hours. If you earn more than the minimum wage, you must be paid 1.5 times the amount of your hourly wage for each hour worked beyond 40 hours.
If your paycheck included permitted deductions, you cannot be paid less than the minimum wage. If this happened, your employer must spread out the deductions such that you receive at least the minimum hourly wage in your paycheck.
- Address the Issue With Your Employer
Addressing the issue with your employer may resolve the issue. To be sure, your employer could have made a mistake. When you ask them, be careful about being combative or escalating language that could be perceived as threatening or inflammatory. You don’t want to give your employer any reason to retaliate against your inquiry, and if they do, you should seek legal help.
- Seek Advice from a Columbus Wage and Hour Attorney
If your employer does not recognize the error and is not willing to address the violation, it may be time to contact an experienced wage and hour law attorney in Columbus. One of our lawyers can evaluate your situation, and we can determine whether you may be eligible to file a claim under Ohio state minimum wage law, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), or under another relevant law.
Contact Our Columbus, OH and West Virginia Wage and Hour Attorneys Today
Anyone who has concerns about a wage and hour violation, and being underpaid, should get in touch with one of the experienced Columbus wage and hour law attorneys at the law firm of Brian G. Miller CO., L.P.A. to find out about filing a claim. It may be possible to seek the wages you are owed as well as other remedies under state or federal law.