Too many employers illegally deny overtime pay to too many minimum wage and hourly workers. People who work hard every day get cheated out of the extra money they earned by putting in more than 40 hours during a workweek.
At Barkan Meizlish, LLP, we maintain a staff of experienced unpaid overtime lawyers at out Columbus, Ohio, offices. These dedicated employment law attorneys make it their mission compel employers to pay workers what they have earned. Specifically, we hold business owners and companies accountable under a law known as the Fair Labor Standards Acts, or FLSA.
The FLSA requires employers to consider each minimum wage or hourly employee who performs more than 40 hours of paid work during a seven-day period eligible to receive overtime pay. The rules put in place to implement the FLSA are complicated. Unsurprisingly, a lot of employers use that confusion to cheat workers out of earned overtime pay.
We explain some of the rules below. If you believe your employer has illegally withheld overtime pay from you and your co-workers, call one of our overtime attorneys at (614) 221-4221 to request a FREE CONSULTATION. We also make appointments online and we can answer specific questions via email at email@example.com.
During 2019, full- and part-time employees who earned up to $455 per week or $23,660 per year automatically qualified to earn overtime unless they were classified as managers or professionals. That salary threshold for overtime eligibility is expected to increase to $679 per week or $35,308 per year in 2020.
You are an employee if you report to a specified workplace, take instructions from a manager, and depend on your employer to provide the equipment you use to do your job. There are other rules regarding who counts as an employee for the purposes of overtime eligibility, but the three listed are the most important for distinguishing an employee from a contractor. Contractors choose their worksite and clients, supervise themselves (for the most part), and supply a majority of their own equipment.
A manager is someone who oversees the work of two or more people and performs tasks like budgeting and making shift schedules. A professional is someone who exercises a great deal of discretion over the tasks he or she performs and over how he or she completes tasks. Think of the difference between a billing clerk and a technical writer. The technical writer can be classified as a professional.
Now, a business owner or company can decide to pay anyone overtime. Managers, professionals, and contractors should always ask if they will earn overtime pay. The answer is supposed to appear in a written employment contract, but clarifying pay rates with the one’s supervisor or client is worth the effort.
The FLSA sets the basic overtime rate at one-and-a-half times a worker’s base wage. During 2019, the Ohio minimum wage for most employees was $8.55 per hour. This means a minimum wage employee will earn $12.83/hour once he or she goes into overtime.
The FLSA also requires employers to pay overtime to employees who take tips and can be paid just $4.30 per hour. Calculating of the overtime pay for tipped employees can look complex, but the short, legal answer is that an Ohio waitperson, say, must also earn at least $12.83/hour after going into overtime. The total earned can include tips received. If the tips plus the hourly wage do not reach the legal minimum for overtime pay, the employer must make up the difference.
Importantly, employers are allowed to pay overtime in 15-minute increments. However, the laws of Ohio dictate that the amount of time that constitutes a quarter-hour for the purposes of calculating overtime must be rounded up from 8 minutes.
Some of the many ways that business owners and managers cheat employers out of earned overtime pay are
Federal and state law gives employees the right to ask about and demand unpaid overtime. You can speak with co-workers and request that managers correct honest mistakes. You can also report illegal or inconsistent pay practices to the Ohio attorney general.
The best way to ensure you receive all the money you earned from putting in extra hours at work is to partner with a unpaid overtime attorney. At Barkan Meizlish DeRose Wentz Mclnerney Peifer, LLP, we are available to help workers all across the United States. And while we have a special interest in cases involving Ohio workers, we have successfully brought unpaid overtime and minimum wage cases against employers in Pennsylvania and Kentucky.
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