Whether you leave your job voluntarily or are forced to due to a layoff or due to being terminated for cause, your former employer still has an obligation to pay you for all the time you worked prior to your departure. Unfortunately, employers do not always adhere to state law regarding payment of wages following an employee’s termination, leading to significant financial losses for workers every year.
If a company you used to work for refuses to send your final paycheck after you left its employment, you may have grounds to file suit and seek both backpay and additional damages. A qualified wage theft lawyer can explain during a private consultation what options may be available to you in light of your former employer’s failure to pay wages due at termination in Chardon.
Ohio Revised Code § 4113.15 sets out various rules regarding the “semimonthly payment of wages” by employers to their workers, including regulations for the payment of workers after their term of employment has ended. According to this section of state law, terminated employees must receive their final paycheck within fifteen days of termination or on the next normal pay date. In the event a worker was fired, he or she must receive their final paycheck on whichever of the two aforementioned dates comes first.
This final paycheck must include compensation for the exact number of working hours or days provided by the terminated worker in the applicable pay period, based on the same hourly wage or salary structure the employee had while he or she was still employed. Employers cannot withhold this final paycheck longer than 15 days for any reason, and they cannot make any deductions to it other than legally required taxes or garnishments or pre-agreed deductions like charitable contributions. Any violation of this rule or outright failure to pay wages due at termination may justify legal action with help from a Chardon attorney.
An employee who suspects an employer has withheld wages from him or her can file a claim with the state Department of Labor, ideally with guidance from a seasoned legal professional. Following an investigation, a valid claim may result in the Department of Labor ordering the defendant employer to provide the payment he or she withheld.
If an employer unlawfully withholds wages due at termination for longer than 30 days after a worker’s termination date, the affected worker may seek restitution through a wage and hour lawsuit for what are known as “liquidated damages.” As a measurable consequence for unlawful behavior, employers in Chardon who fail to pay a terminated worker the final wages or salary he or she is due may owe that worker not only the backpay withheld, but also an additional $200 or six percent of that unpaid amount, whichever is higher.
No matter the circumstances under which a term of employment ends, your employer cannot withhold pay from you for any reason. Accordingly, if you never received your final paycheck or had deductions unlawfully taken out of it, a conversation with a wage and hour lawyer may be in your best interests.
Failure to pay wages due at termination is a serious problem in Chardon and throughout the state—and fortunately, legal counsel is available to help you fight back against it. Call Tittle & Perlmuter today to schedule a consultation.