Barkan Meizlish, LLP is one of the preeminent Columbus overtime law firms. We have nationally recognized employment wage and overtime attorneys that will assist you with any wage and hour issues you may have resulting from your employer failing to pay you correctly.
We can help you whether you are in Columbus, Ohio, or anywhere in the United States. Barkan Meizlish, LLP files claims for unpaid wages or overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) nationwide. We also bring claims under the minimum wage and overtime statutes of many states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.
An FLSA violation occurs when the employer does not pay the employee for all hours worked, bringing the hourly rate for that period under the minimum wage. The FLSA has a minimum wage requirement of $7.25 per hour. However, as of January 1, 2018, Ohio has a minimum wage requirement of $8.30 per hour for non-tipped employees. The employer must pay the minimum wage required for each and every hour that the employee actually worked.
Many employers fail to properly pay overtime wages to their non-exempt employees. The FLSA states that for all employees who are entitled to overtime pay, the employee must be paid at a rate of one-and-a-half times the employee’s for each and every hour worked above 40 hours. There are many exemptions to the overtime law. Overtime violations sometimes occur when the employer does not include all wages in the hourly rate.
Misclassification of an employee usually occurs when an employee is treated by an employer as from overtime pay (not entitled to overtime pay) when in reality the employee’s job duties would suggest otherwise. Federal and Ohio law requires that most employees who work more than 40 hours a week receive overtime pay. To avoid paying overtime, companies sometimes give their workers job titles and pay them a “salary” and claim they are exempt from receiving overtime.
Employees who voluntarily come in before their regular starting time or remain after the end of their shift, do not have to be paid for such periods provided, of course, that they do not engage in any work or activities related to their work. Many employers attempt to get around FLSA and state wage requirements by having their employees work additional “off the clock” hours. If the employer utilizes a time clock, this usually means directing the employee to work before they clock in or clock out early and continue working. If the employer keeps track of time manually (or not at all), this usually means paying the employee for less hours than she actually worked.
Many employers improperly believe that wages can be legally deducted from an employee’s paycheck for certain issues that arise in the workplace. Deductions for shortages, uniforms, supplies, loss of merchandise, and customer walkouts, etc., which reduce an employee’s pay below the minimum wage or reduce required overtime pay is a FLSA violation.
Many companies, particularly where time clocks are used, follow the practice for of recording the employees starting time and stopping time to the nearest 5 minutes, or to the nearest one-tenth or quarter of an hour. This practice is permitted if the arrangement averages out so that the employees are fully compensated for all the time they actually work and the rounding has a neutral impact on the employee. Employee time from 1 to 7 minutes may be rounded down, and thus not counted as hours worked, but employee time from 8 to 14 minutes must be rounded up and counted as a quarter hour of work time. An employer will likely violate the FLSA if the employer always rounds down or if the result, over a period of time, is the failure to compensate for all the time they have actually worked.
In order for meal breaks to be unpaid the time must be uninterrupted for at least 30 minutes. If the employee is required to work during unpaid meal period then the employer is in violation of the FLSA. Any break from work, other than a meal break, that is less than 20 minutes must be paid. As an example, your employer cannot dock your time for going to the bathroom while you are working.
There are specific guidelines established that define employees and independent contractors. If a worker is deemed by the employer to be an Independent Contractor, when in reality the worker should be classified as an employee that is a sign a potential FLSA or state wage violation since the employee is most likely being paid a flat rate with no additional pay for hours worked over 40 in a work week. The number of hours the employee works may be such that the employee is not being paid minimum wage.
The Key question is control. When a company exerts control and instruction over your work then you are an employee rather than an independent contractor, even if you signed a independent contractor agreement.
Employees that travel during the course of their work should be paid for time spent traveling. For example, a cleaning crew that travels to clean buildings on their assigned route must be paid for the travel time between locations.
a. The employer (not the employee) has the duty to properly maintain proper records, such as time and payroll records, as well as other vital information about the employee. Many employers fail to properly maintain such records. In Ohio, there are specific rules about the type of information an employer must collect and keep.
Remember, employment claims are covered by statutes of limitations—that is, if you wait too long, you may be unable to recover the past wages you were wrongfully denied. If you believe your rights have been violated by an employer, contact Barkan Meizlish, LLP and our FLSA wage employment attorneys will be able to meet all of your wage and hour needs. To see a list of our current investigations, please click here.
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