At Brian G. Miller Co., L.P.A., our experienced attorneys represent individuals in various employment matters, which span from employment discrimination and wrongful terminations, to FMLA violations, to wage and hour violations.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires all qualified employers to pay non-exempt employees federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime wages for all hours worked over 40 hours per week. In addition, Ohio also has wage and hour state laws that govern how much and when an employee must be paid.
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 employee’s “regular rate” of pay. Violations occur when employers failing to pay its employees for overtime earned or failing to pay its employees at the proper rate for over time.
2) Failing to pay for “off-the-clock” work
Employers are required to pay its non-exempt 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 tasks 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.
3) Illegal paycheck deductions
Even though some deductions from an employee’s paycheck may be lawful, if those deductions cause for that employee to be paid less than minimum wage, it is illegal. This means that deductions, such as those for uniforms, tools, or other supplies, are illegal when they are made to employees who are paid minimum wage because those deductions will result in the employee being paid less than minimum wage.
4) Wage violations with tipped employees
Tips plus wages do not equal minimum wage. For employees who traditionally receive tips, the FLSA allows employers to pay its employees at a lower rate, down to $2.13 per hour, so long as the lower rate plus tips received add up to federal minimum wage of $7.25 or more. In instances where tips plus the paid wage does 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.
Employer taking some of your 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” or otherwise share their tips with other staff such as cooks, dishwashers, bartenders, and others. In tip pools or otherwise, employers may not take any portion of its employees tips nor may allow its supervisors or management to share in tips either. When they do, it is a violation of the FLSA.
Unlawful tip pooling. Further, tip pooling alone in certain circumstances may be unlawful. Unlawful tip pooling occurs when an employee pays its tipped employees less than minimum wage and requires its employees to share its tips with other staff who do not “customarily and regularly receive tips”, such as cooks, dishwashers, and others. Tip pooling with such staff, however, may be lawful in situations where the employer pays its employees the full minimum wage and does not take benefit in paying a lower rate.
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.