Unpaid Wages Attorney in Columbus, Ohio

The Columbus-based unpaid wages attorneys with Barkan Meizlish, LLP, advise and represent workers across Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. We take all types of wage and hour cases involving violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), state and local minimum wage laws, and prevailing wage statutes.

Many employees are entitled to receive overtime pay when they work more than forty (40) hours in a given workweek, but are nevertheless denied this pay.  Are you one of these workers? If so, contact an unpaid overtime lawyer in Columbus, Ohio at Barkan Meizlish, LLP today to discuss your situation.

Our Columbus Ohio unpaid wages attorneys speak every day with employees who struggle to cover their basic living expenses because their employers refused to pay them as the law requires. We fight for back pay, interest on unpaid wages, front pay, and other types of compensatory and punitive damages. When warranted, we also seek court orders to compel employers to document improvements in their compensation practices.

Our unpaid overtime lawyer 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. Our unpaid wages lawyer also bring claims under the minimum wage and overtime statutes of many states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.

Holding Employers Accountable for Paying Workers Fairly


As wage and hour attorneys in Columbus, Ohio, much of our work is done under provisions of the FLSA and the Ohio Minimum Wage Fair Standards Act (the Ohio Wage Act). For the majority of hourly workers, the federal law mandates time-and-half for work performed in excess of forty (40) hours during a workweek.  Determinations as to which employees qualify for overtime pay can be complicated.  In addition, the case law and regulations which affect these determinations often change.  Anyone who believes he or she has been improperly paid, especially concerns about possible unpaid overtime should consult with a Columbus wage attorney.

Minimum Wage

Beginning in 2019, the Ohio Wage Act requires employers to pay most workers at least $8.55/hour for each hour an employee works. Tipped employees such as wait staff, bartenders, bell hops and dogwalkers can be paid $4.30/hour, but their average hourly pay must still total at least $8.55. Every Ohio resident who earns the minimum wage is assumed to be eligible for overtime, even those who take tips.

Employers engage in many illegal and deceptive practices to deny employees the minimum wage and overtime pay. The Columbus, Ohio, unpaid wages lawyers with Barkan Meizlish, LLP, are available to assist workers who fall victim to any of the following problems.


One of the ways an employer can steal a workers’ pay is by misclassifying them as an independent contractor instead of as an employee.  Independent Contractors do not have legal rights to demand a minimum wage or overtime pay.  This gives unscrupulous employers an incentive to misclassify full-time and part-time employees as independent contractors.  The federal government and the State of Ohio enforce rules for which workers must be paid as employees.  Factors which indicate that a worker is an employee rather than an independent contractor include that the worker reports regularly to a single worksite, works under the direct supervision of a manager employed by the same organization, and depends on the employer for the equipment and resources needed to complete tasks.

Misclassification also occurs when an employer treats an overtime-eligible worker as ineligible for overtime.  The legal terms are “exempt” and “nonexempt,” with the basic criteria for being exempt from overtime being earning a high salary, supervising co-workers, and/or performing professional duties.  Employers can misreport earnings and give a person a professional-sounding job title in order to deny earned overtime pay.

Off-the-Clock Work

Employers cannot require  hourly employees to perform uncompensated work. This means that managers cannot insist that tasks be completed before an employee clocks in or after an hourly employee clocks out. It also means that mandatory unpaid overtime, clocking employees out without their knowledge, and withholding overtime pay as a punishment are illegal. Additional paid time off can sometimes be offered instead of overtime pay, but employees must then be allowed to take this compensatory time (“comp time”) off, within a reasonable time period and without onerous restrictions.

Illegal Deductions

Employers are allowed to make certain deductions from workers’ wages for uniforms, special equipment, and employee-caused losses such as money drawer shortages and damage to company property. However, deducting wages as a form of punishment for a policy or code of conduct violation is generally not allowed. Nor can an employer deduct so much from an employee’s pay that the worker ends up earning less than the minimum wage.

Illegal Rounding

Rules put in place to ensure employees get paid for each hour they work require employers to record work time in 15-minute increments. Periods of 1-7 minutes can be rounded down to the previous quarter-hour; periods of 8-14 minutes must be rounded up. Some employers cheat workers by always rounding down. Other employers refuse to record workers’ time in increments shorter than half hours or full hours.

Misreporting/Miscalculating Break Time

Employees cannot be required to work during unpaid breaks. Also, employers cannot require workers to clock out for breaks that are shorter than 20 minutes. What this means in practical terms is that workers cannot have their pay docked for taking bathroom breaks.

Withholding Pay for Travel Time

Traveling for work outside of your normal commute is generally considered compensable work time.  If your job requires you to travel to different locations during the day, the travel between locations is compensable work time.

Poor or Fraudulent Recordkeeping

Laws like the FLSA require employers to keep accurate, detailed, and reviewable records of hours worked and wages paid.  Employers who misreport an employee’s time cheat workers of their pay even when errors are not made intentionally.

A Columbus Unpaid Wage Attorney Who Fights for Workers

Employees have legal rights to demand fair wages and earned overtime. The laws and regulations that enforce these rights, however, also impose strict statutes of limitations. As soon as you believe that your employer is engaging in illegal pay practices, contact an experienced wage and hour attorney in Columbus, Ohio.

In addition to explaining your legal options, an employee rights lawyer can help you identify and obtain essential evidence. Your lawyer may also be able to identify other workers the employer has underpaid and exploited and form a group of plaintiffs that has more influence than one individual.

To schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with a Columbus wage attorney at Barkan Meizlish DeRose Wentz Mclnerney Peifer, LLP, call (614) 221-4221, email info@barkanmeizlish.com or fill out this online contact form.


Client Testimonials

“Barkan Meizlish, LLP brought great attention to my case when I needed it. They fought right by my side and were fair with the entire process. Their team was a great help. I’d recommend them to anyone.” -Anonymous

“A-1 team to work with indeed” – TJoy Knice

“Sam Marcellino is a great attorney! I’m very satisfied with the outcome of my settlement. He really cares about who he represents and the condition of your health after your injury. He is also hard working and gets the job done as quick as possible. I will definitely recommend him in the future.”
– Aareona W.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better lawyer. Sam did a great job with my workers’ compensation case. He took the time to explain the process and got me a great result!” – S. Cecil

“Barkan Meizlish has bargaining and litigation experience in the public and private sector. Their firm is unique because they have decades of experiencing representing unions under the NLRA, the RLA and in the public sector.” Sarah,
Local Union President

“Barkan Meizlish’s union lawyers are always there for our members. They are an excellent resource for our staff representatives. We know we can count on them in arbitration and at the negotiating table.” Mike, International Staff Representative

“This group of lawyers are very honest, professional, and courteous. They made a really bad event a lot easier to go through. I highly recommend Leslie Albeit and Jason Cox for representation on your behalf. They sincerely have the client’s best interest at the top of their list! Thanks to leslie and Jason, and all the staff. We will never forget!” – Larry and Gloira

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