How Does Product Liability Work in Ohio?

How Does Product Liability Work in Ohio?

Injuries and accidents happen all the time. Injuries caused by a defective product may qualify you for a product liability lawsuit.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) organizes its accident, injury and fatality statistics into the following categories.

  • Amusement Rides
  • All-terrain vehicles and recreational off-road vehicles
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Chemicals
  • Electrical
  • Electrocutions
  • Fire
  • Fuel, lighters and fireworks
  • Furniture and decor
  • Home appliances, maintenance and construction
  • Kitchen and dining
  • Nonpool submersions
  • Nursery products
  • Older adults
  • Other children’s products
  • Other furniture and décor
  • Other sports
  • Pediatric poisonings
  • Playgrounds
  • Pool and spas
  • Portable generators
  • Portable generators and engine-driven tools
  • Public facilities and products
  • Sports and recreation
  • Tipovers
  • Toys
  • Toys and children’s products


As extensive as that list is, it omits cars, trucks, automotive equipment, and a whole range of other items and devices that people regularly use in their homes and at work.

The categories of consumer products that are monitored for the harms they cause exist, first, to identify dangerous and defective items. That information is then used to either make products safer or to remove them from the market.

Second, the CPSC’s list reflects the bedrock legal principle that companies and individuals who make and sell products have enforceable duties to ensure their products will not injure or kill people. Breaching those duties creates product liability.

How Does Ohio Define Product Liability?

Section 2307.71 of the Ohio Revised Code (O.R.C.) states that manufacturers or suppliers face product liability when one of the items they make or sell causes a death or injury because the item

  • Was poorly designed, formulated, constructed, assembled, repaired, or tested;
  • Was deceptively or fraudulently marketed;
  • Lacked sufficient warnings;
  • Lacked adequate instructions for safe use; or
  • Failed “to conform to any relevant representation or warranty.”

This section of the O.R.C. also defines a manufacturer as “a person [or company] engaged in a business to design, formulate, produce, create, make, construct, assemble, or rebuild a product or a component of a product.” Under the law, a supplier is either “a person [or company] that, in the course of a business conducted for the purpose, sells, distributes, leases, prepares, blends, packages, labels, or otherwise participates in the placing of a product in the stream of commerce” or “a person [or company] that, in the course of a business conducted for the purpose, installs, repairs, or maintains any aspect of a product.”

Grounds for filing a product liability lawsuit exist when the use of a defective or dangerous product directly causes death, physical injury or emotional distress to a person. The use can be one time for over an extended period. Property damage from a defective or dangerous product can also merit a lawsuit.

How Long Do I Have to File a Product Liability Claim in Ohio?

Generally, section 2305.01 of the O.R.C. sets the statute of limitations for a product liability claim at two years from the date on which a personal injury or wrongful death occurred. The law further specifies that injuries or deaths that happen more than 10 years after a product was purchased will not support claims for compensation.

A major exception to the statute of limitation involves injuries or death due to an exposure or ingestion of medications or hazardous and toxic chemicals, or the implantation or use of a medical device. In those situations, the deadline for filing a product liability lawsuit extends from the date on which a diagnosis of the harm was made.

What Types of Damages Can Be Claimed in a Product Liability Lawsuit?

Ohio’s product liability laws allow victims to demand compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are monetary settlements or jury awards that cover the costs of the victim’s past and future medical treatments, replace lost wages and future earnings, and compensate the victim for physical and emotional pain and suffering.

Punitive damages are noncriminal fines assessed to penalize a negligent or reckless manufacturer or supplier. These are also called exemplary damages because the financial penalty is meant to serve as an example of what could happen to another person or company that acts in a similarly negligent or reckless way. Only a jury can award punitive damages, but a product liability claim can be settled without going to trial.

On a final note, when a dangerous or defective product kills a user, Ohio law permits the victim’s spouse, adult child, next of kin, relative, or legal executor to file a wrongful death claim on the deceased victim’s behalf.

Tip Credit and the 80/20 Rule

Re-introducing: the Paycheck Warriors at Barkan Meizlish, LLP! The Paycheck Warriors is a weekly column written by The Paycheck Warrior himself, Managing Partner Bob DeRose. Every week, Bob will take the time to address commonly asked questions about wage and hour law. He will also take on wage and hour topics popping up in the news. Have a question? Leave a comment and see what The Paycheck Warrior has to say! Today’s topic: tip credit and the 80/20 rule


How many jobs can your server have?  And which job pays them at least minimum wages? What is a tip credit?

Did you know that your busy server is actually doing three jobs at once?

An employer is required to pay their employees at least the Federal minimum wage for all hours worked, currently $7.25 per hour; however, for employees who regularly and customarily receive tips, employers may apply a “tip credit” which allows them count tips received as if it were cash payment toward the minimum wage.   Servers being paid under a “tip credit” system, can be paid as little as $2.13 per hour (in states that don’t have a state tipped employee minimum here is a link to the Department of Labor’s list of state minimum wage requirements) and the restaurant owner uses customers’ tips to make up the remainder of the minimum wage owed.   Thus, the employer gets a “credit” for the tips customers leave to apply to its obligation to pay its servers.

In 2018, the Trump administration, removed a provision of the “tip credit” that required employers to pay tipped employees the full minimum wage when they are spending more than 20% of their time performing non-tipped duties.  On December 28, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reinstated the “80/20 Rule” and broadened tipped employee protections. Under the revived and renewed “80/20” rule, a tip credit is not available when tipped employees spend more than 20% of their working time on non-tipped activities. The revision also created the “30-Minute” Rule.  The “30-Minute” rule prohibits employers from taking a tip credit when a tipped employee spends more than thirty continuous minutes performing non-tipped work.

The new rule creates three categories of work:    “Tip-producing work,” “work that directly supports tip-producing work,” and “work that is not part of the tipped occupation.”

What is tip-producing work?

The DOL provided a non-exhaustive list in its final rule but defined it as “all aspects of the work performed by a tipped employee when they are providing service to the customer” and customarily and regularly receive tips.

What is directly supporting work?

According to the Rule, directly supporting work is work that is “either performed in preparation of or otherwise assists the tip-producing customer service work.”  The DOL provided another non-exhaustive list of what it considers directly supporting work.  The directly supporting work are tasks that an employer assigns and are foreseeable such as refilling condiment containers, rolling silverware, setting tables, bussing tables, and cleaning up the table areas.   Servers waiting for customers to wait on is considered “directly supporting work.”   An employer cannot take a tip credit for directly supporting work that exceeds 20% of the server’s workweek or performed for more than 30-minutes at a time.

What is work that is not part of the tipped occupation?

Everything else.

Confused?    Not surprising! The reinstated and revised “80/20 Rule”  does give servers more protections.  It will be a challenge for employers to categorize a tipped employee’s hours worked each week, but they must do it if they want to comply with the FLSA and pay employees correctly.  It is important to note that the “80/20” Rule applies to all tipped employees, not just restaurant workers.   If are a tipped employee with questions about how your employer pays you, feel free to call us at Barkan Meizlish DeRose Cox, LLP.

Employers Must Include Shift Differential In Regular Rate When Calculating Overtime

Re-introducing: the Paycheck Warriors at Barkan Meizlish, LLP! The Paycheck Warriors is a bi-weekly column written by The Paycheck Warrior himself, Managing Partner Bob DeRose. Every other week, just like your paycheck, Bob will take the time to address commonly asked questions about wage and hour law. He will also take on wage and hour topics popping up in the news. Have a question? Leave a comment and see what The Paycheck Warrior has to say! Today’s topic: shift differentials

shift differential

Employers must include shift differential in regular rate when calculating overtime.

You are working an afternoon shift at your company.  You work six 8-hour shifts and get paid overtime for all hours you work over 40-hours per week. That sounds great until they forget about the fact that every afternoon shift worker has their hourly rate increased by $0.50 per hour – or a  shift differential. When a worker is paid a shift differential, that additional money must be added to the hourly rate, or what is called the regular rate, when calculating the rate that overtime hours are paid.   If the company does not include the shift differential when calculating overtime pay,  the workers are being cheated out of their hard-earned money!

The Department of Labor (DOL) has specific rules on how overtime must be paid.  Overtime is paid at 1.5 times a worker’s “regular rate” not their hourly rate. One of the most common mistakes employers make is not including shift differential in the regular rate when paying overtime.   So, what does the FLSA consider an employee’s “regular rate?”    To compute the regular rate, you take all compensation an employee earned in a workweek and divide  it by the total hours worked in that workweek.


Employee makes $10.00 per hour and works 50-hours per week.  The overtime rate for the 10-hours she worked over forty is $15.00 per overtime hour.  The regular rate is in this example is the same as the hourly rate.   However, if she received a $0.50 per hour shift differential during the week, her regular rate has to include $0.50 for each hour she was paid the shift differential.

Let us say she usually works day shift and is paid $10.00 per hour but gets $10.50 ($0.50 shift differential) when she works afternoon shift.  In our example she worked two 8-hour afternoon shifts in the week she worked 50-hours.   Her regular rate is calculated by taking 34-hours multiplied by $10.00 ($340.00) and 16-hours multiplied by $10.50 ($168.50) for a total of $508.00.  Divide the $508 by 50-hours and her regular rate is $10.16.  Thus, each overtime hour must be paid at 1.5 times $10.16 or $15.24.

In our example, if her employer did not include the shift differential in her regular rate then she was cheated out of ten overtime hours at $15.24, or $2.40 for that week.  This amount may not seem like much to the reader, but for her, since she did the work, it is wage she earned and is entitled to receive.

In Conclusion:

DOL overtime rules are complex, but overtime is one of the most regulated areas in employment. If an employer fails to pay overtime correctly, an employee could file a wage and hour claim against them. Those claims can get expensive as they often result in back overtime wages plus liquidated damages that must be paid to employees who win their case(s).

I hope that you found this blog post helpful. I would love to hear your feedback or any questions about the topic discussed in my blogs at


Thank you for reading!

Bob DeRose, Esq.

Attorney at Law | The Paycheck Warrior! | | 614-221-4221 (office) | 614-832-5297(cell) ©2022 All Rights Reserved.

Neither Barkan Meizlish DeRose Cox, LLP, nor the author intends to create an attorney-client relationship by providing information through this blog or otherwise. The transmission of information from this blog or the provision of any email correspondence to Barkan Meizlish DeRose Cox, LLP or the author does not create an attorney-client relationship. This blog is not intended to be legal advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions.

This information is not a substitute for individualized legal advice. Although we have attempted to provide accurate and current information, the laws in your jurisdiction may be different from those described here. If you have questions about your specific wage issue, you should contact an attorney to seek specific advice. If you have any questions about overtime or would like more information on how to correctly pay overtime, please contact Barkan Meizlish DeRose Cox, LLP. We are happy to help!

Paraquat linked to increased rates of Parkinson’s disease

Paraquat linked to increased rates of Parkinson’s disease

Paraquat dichloride (a.k.a. “paraquat”) is the most common brand of herbicide in the United States. Also referred to as Gramoxone, Paraquat is a chemical pesticide used to kill leaves that it comes into contact with. Applied as a spray, it has been used to clear fields before planting in United States commercial farming and agriculture since the 1960s. Applicators typically spray it on commercial crops such as corn, soy and cotton.

Paraquat is extremely toxic and harmful to humans. Ingesting as little as one sip of paraquat can kill you. Manufacturers mix paraquat with blue dye so that it is not confused with a food product. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) classifies paraquat as a restricted use pesticide, meaning only certified pesticide applicators can use it. To be a certified pesticide applicator, a person must take an EPA-approved training and examination, and continue to be regulated by the state where they acquire and apply paraquat. Once certified, the individual becomes a “commercially licensed applicator.” Unfortunately, commercially licensed applicators of paraquat are “the most at risk for exposure.”[1]

Exposure can incur by ingestion, inhalation, and skin exposure. Safety measures exist to prevent accidental ingestion, direct inhalation, and/or exposure while mixing and applying. Unfortunately, the commercially licensed applicators and those who work with them (including groundskeepers, farmers, growers, pickers, and other agricultural workers), are exposed to paraquat residue on their clothes, skin, and hair. They are also exposed to mist drift when the wind changes while they are applying the pesticide.

Multiple scientific studies have linked repeated exposure to paraquat in low doses to the development of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease effects the human neurological system. Individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease often experience reduced control over their fine motor skills.  As a result, tremors, loss of balance and coordination, slower movement, and rigid limbs are all associated with this devastating disease. Unlike other neurodegenerative diseases, the genetic cause of Parkinson’s is not completely clear and thought to be low. However, the link between Parkinson’s and exposure to pesticides such as Paraquat has been demonstrated through numerous scientific studies. “People who used [paraquat] developed Parkinson’s disease approximately 2.5 times more often than non-users.”[2]

Commercially licensed applicators and other agricultural workers exposed to smaller amounts of the chemical over a long period may not manifest symptoms for years.  Many commercially licensed applicators and other agricultural workers who have been exposed to Paraquat and later developed Parkinson’s disease are filing lawsuits against the manufacturers. If you or a loved one was exposed to paraquat and developed Parkinson’s disease, you should seek legal advice on your rights.


Believe you were affected? Contact our Paraquat attorneys.

Bob DeRose


[2] Robin Arnette, NIH study finds two pesticides associated with Parkinson’s disease., National Institute of Health, February 11, 2021

What is Wage Theft?

What is Wage Theft?

Wage Theft is when an employer neglects to pay their employees for all of their time at a fair price. One of the most common instances of wage theft is when an employer pays an employee less than the minimum wage required in that specific area. Additionally, other common forms of wage theft include employees who have their tips stolen, receive pay “under the table” or off the books, employees not paid fair overtime pay, and employees who are forced to work off the clock for any amount of time. These are just a few of the most common examples of wage theft committed in the United States, but any form of shorting an employee’s pay is considered wage theft and is therefore illegal.

If you suspect that your employer is stealing your wages, then you are entitled to compensation, and the unpaid wage attorneys at Barkan Meizlish are here to help you get it. Contact us today for your free consultation and be on your way to recovering your stolen wages.

Wage Theft Statistics

Wage theft is a major problem in the United States and especially in the state of Ohio. It is so common that it has likely happened to you at some point in your life and is nearly guaranteed to have happened to at least one person you know. Approximately $50 billion in wages are stolen by U.S. employers nationwide every year. That number is enough to provide 1.2 million people with employment and pay them $20 per hour. In comparison, the combined robberies, motor vehicle thefts, larcenies, and burglaries added up to less than $14 billion in 2012.  States, along with the Federal Department of Labor, recovered approximately $933 million in stolen wages that same year, less than 2 percent of what was taken from hard-working employees. These statistics show just how damaging wage theft is to the average American household’s quality of life, the economy of Ohio, and the national economy as a whole.

Thankfully, people are fighting the war against wage theft. While we are still a long way from completely eradicating the problem, some states have taken significant action to address the issue and recover those wages that have been stolen from their residents. New York has the strongest anti-wage theft laws in the country and has even passed a Wage Theft Prevention Act to closely monitor employees’ pay through mandatory reporting on behalf of the employer.

State attorney generals in 45 states have recovered $14 million in stolen wages. In addition, private attorneys like those at Barkan Meizlish have recovered $467 million in class-action lawsuits, while the U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $280 million. Unfortunately, this hasn’t even put a dent in the estimated $50 billion stolen from hard-working employees annually, which is why we here at Barkan Meizlish are still fighting hard to prevent wage theft across the state of Ohio.

Ohio Wage Theft

The state of Ohio has ranked second in the nation when it comes to workers reporting wages lower than the minimum wage. Wage theft is a huge problem in Ohio and has detrimental effects on the lives of our friends and neighbors. Not only does wage theft reduce the quality of life of those affected, but it has detrimental effects on our state’s economy. When an employer steals from their employees, they steal from everyone in the state because millions of dollars are unaccounted for, meaning there is less money to allocate for infrastructure, education, and governmental assistance. If you or somebody you know has experienced wage theft in Ohio, you need to contact an experienced wage theft lawyer like those found at Barkan Meizlish.

Columbus Wage Theft Lawyer

Wage theft hurts the national economy as well as the economy of the state of Ohio. Our home was founded by hard-working pioneers, and so we find it truly ironic that so many of the employers in the state are stealing from their employees regularly. You have a duty as a resident of Ohio to report unfair theft of wages in order to uphold a higher standard of living for yourself and your fellow Americans. Here at Barkan Meizlish, we work with employees to help them recover the wages that they have worked for. Contact us today for your free consultation with a professional wage theft lawyer in Ohio and be on your way to recovering what is rightfully yours.

Can You Sue For Emotional Distress Lawsuit Against Employer in Ohio?

Can an Employer Be Sued for Emotional Distress in Ohio?

Work is stressful enough as it is without your superiors intentionally causing you emotional distress through targeted actions. If your employer or managers have taken deliberate action that resulted in you experiencing emotional distress, then you can file an emotional distress lawsuit. However, it is important to note that in the state of Ohio, the classification of a case like this is extremely specific and, as a result, difficult to win. 

If you have sufficient proof that some action by the company’s managers triggered profound shame, fear, embarrassment, depression, or post-traumatic stress, then you may very well be entitled to compensation. Contact the Columbus employee rights attorneys at Barkan Meizlish today to find out if you have a case for an emotional distress lawsuit. The initial consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose.


Grounds for Bringing an Emotional Distress Lawsuit Against an Employer

It is important to note that state laws in Ohio make it nearly impossible for employees to sue their employers after work-related accidents induce emotional distress. That is to say, personal injury lawsuits, which often include emotional distress claims, almost never move forward against employers when the plaintiff is an employee unless the emotional distress is caused by another clearly violated law.

Most claims related to an on-the-job injury or illness must be handled through the workers’ compensation program. A workers’ comp claim can include requests for the coverage of treatment for mental and emotional problems that develop as a result of an injury or illness, but the program will not approve a claim for emotional distress specifically. If you have reason to believe you were targeted by an employer or manager and it led to you experiencing emotional distress, then you need to hire an Ohio emotional distress attorney to take your case.

The types of lawsuits against employers that can include claims for emotional distress usually relate to violations of employment laws that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and illegal forms of retaliation. For instance, a worker who brings a wrongful termination lawsuit can include a claim for the emotional distress they suffered while unemployed and struggling financially.

Stress itself cannot support either a workers’ comp claim or a lawsuit against an employer. Lawmakers and courts expect all jobs to be stressful and therefore rule out emotional distress claims in and of themselves without an underlying cause that is in violation of another law. An employer can only be sued when its managers deliberately make a position more stressful than it needs to be in order to harm an employee or to compel the employee to quit.


Can I Sue for Emotional Distress?

To succeed in convincing a judge and jury that you suffered emotional distress because of something your employer did, you must present convincing evidence of all the following facts:

  • Your employer acted recklessly or with intent,
  • The action was illegal or extreme and outrageous,
  • The action directly caused your emotional distress, and
  • Your emotional distress was severe.

Proving intent in an emotional distress case can be challenging, but documenting complaints about distressing treatment such as harassment or discrimination will significantly help your case when you decide to take action. Partnering with an experienced and understanding employee rights attorney like those at Barkan Meizlish will help you cite which laws were violated and make a case for actions well beyond ordinary teasing or everyday stressors.

You can use medical records, insurance claims, pharmacy bills, and therapists’ notes to demonstrate the connection between the action and your emotional distress. In addition, this information can also be used in determining the severity of the emotional distress caused by your employer.

Finally, to secure a jury award, you must be able to show that your employer knew about the issue that was causing emotional distress and either caused the issue or did nothing to resolve it. Internal records of meetings and emails can be essential forms of proof in this regard and should always be documented for use in your emotional distress lawsuit.


Columbus Emotional Distress Attorney

Here at Barkan Meizlish DeRose Cox, LLP, our attorneys specialize in employee rights laws which means we are always on your side. We provide the assistance you deserve and can determine whether or not you have a valid emotional distress case upon your initial consultation, which is always free of charge. Contact the Columbus employee rights attorneys at Barkan Meizlish today to determine if you have a case and to get the compensation you deserve.

From the Barkan Meizlish DeRose Cox, LLP Archives: Letter to the Editor

Stop the medical errors, and you stop the lawsuits

March 3, 2012 | Columbus Dispatch, The (OH)
Page: 9A | Section: Editorial & Comment | Column: LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
437 Words

With regard to the Feb. 20 article “Doctors go on the defensive with tests,” I offer the following comments that hopefully reflect the other side of the debate.

The article described a practice among some doctors who allege they order unnecessary tests as a hedge against potential medical-malpractice claims.

There is a crisis in medicine: medical errors, and errors ought to be the primary concern of the medical community, not the declining number of lawsuits against hospitals and doctors when those preventable errors occur.

Rather than asking how we can further reduce the number of lawsuits and limit accountability, which was done legislatively in the early 2000s (the number of lawsuits in Ohio has declined every year since), we should be considering how we can improve the quality of medical care in this state and reduce the staggeringly high rate of medical errors.

According to the Institute of Medicine, 98,000 people die annually because of medical errors. That’s the equivalent of two 737 airplanes crashing every day for a whole year.

Health Affairs magazine reported last year that one in three patients in a hospital is the victim of medical errors. Why aren’t we talking about these horrifying statistics and the ways to solve the problem?

Wouldn’t Ohioans be better served by working to find solutions to this rampant problem rather than trying to reduce overall accountability when those errors occur?

We also question the veracity of the self-reports where doctors claim to order unnecessary tests. The law does not require doctors to order any tests.

Instead, a doctor need only act reasonably in the care and treatment of the patient, and if it is reasonable to not order certain tests, the doctor cannot be held liable.

Second, many tests, particularly invasive tests, come with inherent risks. It is inconceivable that a caring doctor would intentionally subject a patient to such a test simply for selfish reasons.

Third, in Ohio, a doctor cannot be sued at all unless another physician in the same specialty has executed an affidavit under oath stating the treating doctor acted unreasonably. So, it is doctors who determine whether a treating doctor can be sued, not the patient or the patient’s lawyer.

Such a physician surely could determine whether a test was necessary or not. The law already has been changed many times to discourage patients from filing claims.

Additionally, if we can raise Ohio’s standard for the quality of care, the few remaining lawsuits due to medical malpractice will naturally fall. If, however, we simply reduce the ability of average citizens to seek justice through our courts, we are turning a blind eye to the real problem.


Updates on Temperature Checks and the FLSA

Updates on Temperature Checks and the FLSA

In mid-2020, the team at Barkan Meizlish DeRose Cox, LLP reported on the new workplace normal. Namely, we analyzed how mandated temperature checks could lead employers into hot water. Between workplace ethics and potential FLSA violations, the institution of regular temperature checks and other COVID-19 conscious practices led to these concerns. Now, in early 2021, employees across the United States are finding themselves the victims of such FLSA violations.

In a recent California federal court filing, a tennis company came under fire when employees reported underpayment of wages. This underpayment seems to be a direct result of newly instituted COVID-19 safety measures, such as temperature checks. The company expected employees to undergo such measures prior to clocking in. The FLSA protects workers from their employers expecting work be done off the clock, including meetings, pre-shift duties, and post-shift duties. Temperature checks fall under this umbrella, as both statewide mandates and employer-instituted regulations require can require employees undergo this action.

This is not the first collective and class action suit to be filed in relation to unpaid wages and COVID-19 precautions. Apple, Walmart, and Converse have all been hit with similar filings. With large companies being hit left and right with actions regarding FLSA violations and COVID-19 safety checks, small company should take note.

Some Information on the FSLA:

Employees are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act, also known as the FLSA. The FLSA ensures that employers are held accountable under federal law for proper payment of employees. In the case of mandated temperature checks, employees should anticipate payment for undergoing such an event before the technical start of their shift. As a required workplace action, employees should be compensated for their time.


If you are concerned that your workplace has not been properly paying you, an attorney may be able to help. Contact attorneys with Barkan Meizlish DeRose Cox, LLP today to set up a free consultation.

Seasonal Businesses and the FLSA

Seasonal Businesses and the FLSA

In response to the effect of COVID-19 on seasonal businesses, the U.S. Department of Labor will issue a temporary reprieve to these seasonal businesses against the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime violations. Many of these businesses were forced to adapt their day-to-day operations because of the pandemic. Resultingly, many seasonal businesses were made ineligible for the seasonal exemption due to these necessary adaptations.

Changes due to the Pandemic

Businesses that have had to change their operations due to the pandemic are, according to a Law360 article, “those business that are only open for seven months a year or less or whose income fluctuates dramatically at different points in the year.” Such seasonal businesses include amusement parks, golf courses, stadiums, and camps, whose ability to remain open and offer services is highly dependent on the weather and/or (especially for camps) the summer term of the school year. Again, these businesses will benefit from non-enforcement of FLSA minimum wage and overtime violations that may even continue into 2021 should the pandemic, and its dampening economic effect, persist.


Companies that have had to adopt alternatives to their usual operations will be those benefited by the non-enforcement of such FLSA claims for the time being. However, with the benefit of this non-enforcement, a few factors must be met for it to apply to a seasonal business.

Factors to Consider

In order to enjoy the advantages the DOL is offering, businesses must have either been an exempt seasonal operation before 2020 or one that had already implemented plans to become an exempt seasonal operation before the start of that year. Additionally, the businesses must put in place a plan to resume regular business in 2021 while maintaining their pre-pandemic wages.


All of these changes have been implemented by the DOL in an effort to mitigate the harsh impact that the pandemic has had on businesses, mainly seasonal ones. With the implementation of the non-enforcement of such claims for the time being, the DOL hopes to ease the burden that such employers have had to face until the levels of such operations can adjust to their normal, pre-pandemic positions.


– Jacob Mikalov for Barkan Meizlish DeRose Cox, LLP

Work History and Your Social Security Disability Claim

Work History and Your Social Security Disability Claim:

The circumstances that lead someone to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) vary. The strenuous application process includes a series of difficult questions. These questions include a request for a detailed work history. This may seem counter-intuitive, as individual’s applying for SSDI can no longer work. However, understanding the application process and questions can help you complete your application as effectively as possible.

Need to Knows:

SSDI applications require your work history for several reasons. Namely, work history helps the Social Security Administration (SSA) determine:

  1. Eligibility for SSDI based on your past income taxes and
  2. That you can no longer perform the tasks required at your previous jobs or other “substantial gainful activity.”

These two factors are key to determining whether you will receive SSDI benefits. SSDI is a tax-funded program. Evaluating an individual’s past capacity to pay into the system, or that a family member has paid into the system, is part of the application process. Work history helps verify payment into the SSDI system, as this tax is taken out of paychecks. Your actual ability to work or participate in “substantial gainful activity” is equally important to the SSA.

When the SSA evaluates your work history and your application, they are looking to see if your disability or injury affects your ability to earn income. For instance, if you worked in one field for your entire career before your disability began impairing your work, it may be difficult to switch industries. The Administration may ask for more specific information on your previous work experience, including information on daily tasks and expectations.

Now What?

The SSDI/SSI application process is difficult. We want to help. Our SSDI attorney may be able to help with the application process, as well as with the appeals process. Contact our office today for your free consultation by email at

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