No matter what industry you work in, there are state and federal employment laws governing when and how much you must be compensated for time spent on the clock. Unfortunately, while violations of these laws can lead to harsh punishments, this has not stopped employers from trying to engage in wage theft.
Wage theft is by far the most widespread form of theft in the United States today. If you suspect it has happened to you, consider talking to a Chardon wage and hour lawyer about your legal options. A dedicated employment attorney could help you pursue restitution for all the back pay your employer wrongfully denied you.
In the state of Ohio, the minimum hourly wage that non-tipped employees must receive is $8.70, higher than the $7.25 minimum hourly wage mandated by federal law. The minimum wage for employees who receive tips during working hours is significantly lower at $4.35 per hour, but employers must make up the difference if the wage plus tips do not equal $8.70 per hour.
In addition, federal overtime laws require time-and-a-half compensation for any hour beyond 40 worked in a single week by a non-exempt worker. Contrary to what some workers may believe, or what they may have been told by their employers, salaried employees are not exempt from receiving overtime pay unless they make more than $684 per week, equivalent to $35,568 per year.
Whether it stems from requiring “off the clock” work, failing to compensate travel or mandatory break time, failing to keep accurate records, or any other intentional or inadvertent action, any employer who does not compensate their workers in accordance with these regulations may be subject to litigation. A wage and hour attorney from the area could help any worker impacted by wage theft seek restitution for back pay and other related losses.
One of the most common ways employers in Chardon commit wage theft is by misclassifying employees as exempt from certain protections. For example, since independent contractors are not owed overtime pay or even a minimum hourly wage under federal law, many employers wrongly treat workers as contractors when they should be compensated as proper employees.
A worker is only an independent contractor if they have total control over when and how they work, if they have the right to decline assignments, and if they fulfill a number of other criteria. If a worker is still treated like an independent contractor by their employer despite not meeting these criteria, they may be experiencing wage theft. A local wage violation lawyer could help them fight back against this injustice.
Everyone deserves fair pay for a day’s work, and both federal and state laws go a long way towards ensuring that outcome for every worker in Ohio. However, just because these rules are in place does not mean they are always followed. Employers who fail to follow those rules end up stealing billions of dollars in compensation from workers every single year.
You do not have to accept being paid less than what you are owed under the law, nor do you have to contest your employer’s illegal actions alone. Contact a Chardon wage and hour lawyer today to discuss your circumstances with the team at Tittle & Perlmuter.