Laws concerning labor and employment can be complicated, and few workers know the intricacies of the rules that dictate how they get paid. Unfortunately, some employers may try to take advantage of that and ignore certain rules for their own benefit. If you believe your labor is being exploited, call a professional wage and hour lawyer. They could evaluate your situation and inform you of important things to know about wage and hour laws in Cleveland.
Wage and hour claims occur when an employer fails to pay an employee minimum wage or overtime, or when an employee is misclassified as an independent contractor. Often when a misclassification occurs, it is because the employer is trying to deprive that worker of overtime pay, benefits, or other aspects of labor laws subject to regulations. If benefits are being withheld, that can fall under the jurisdiction of the federal law known as ERISA.
Any time that a worker has questions about their employer’s pay practices or benefits management, they should get in touch with an attorney. All work-related activities should be labeled as compensable work but some employers may try to avoid distinguishing it that way. An attorney could also help if a worker is not being paid proper overtime or if the company is garnishing their paycheck without merit.
For the most part, laws that govern wages are statutory, meaning they are laws passed by a government entity such as the United States Congress, the Ohio state legislature, or by local ordinance.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination and Employment Act, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act are broader areas of employment law which protect certain vulnerable demographics of people. Those would all fit under the umbrella of employment law, in addition to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards Act which apply to all workers.
Unpaid vacation and personal time are another common violation. Furthermore, if an employee has accrued unpaid vacation or personal time when they leave a company, they are owed pay for those unused days when they depart, under Ohio law.
Another issue is the failure to pay the proper overtime rate to include all of the elements of compensation and overtime. These violations commonly affect tipped employees who receive more than $30 a month in tips as part of their job. Tipped employees must be paid half of the Ohio minimum wage rate, which as of 2022 is $9.30 an hour. That means a tipped employee will be paid $4.65 an hour.
The tips must make up the rest of the $9.30. If they do not, the employer must make up the difference so that minimum wage was met. A Cleveland worker should also contact a wage and hour attorney if their employer is retaining any of the tips or distributing them to others.
A common misconception about wage and hour law is that salaried workers do not have to be paid overtime. This is incorrect – salaried workers can be paid overtime. In addition, employers have the ability to set what a workweek is. It does not have to be Sunday to Saturday; it could be Monday to Sunday or Thursday to Wednesday, et cetera. Regardless of how many hours they work in a traditional calendar week, employees must be paid overtime if they exceed their usual hours in a workweek.
An important thing everyone should know about wage and hour laws is that, particularly if they are an hourly employee or a non-exempt salary employee, they are entitled to pay for every hour of work-related activities they are doing. This could include anyone who is on-call. Their employer is required to be paying them for all of that time.
Overtime pay, tipped wages, minimum wage, employee benefits, and unused vacation or personal time are just a few of the numerous ways that employers can skirt labor laws. As a worker, you are entitled to certain standards when it comes to your employment. You should familiarize yourself with these important wage and hour facts, and place a call to an experienced attorney if you believe any of these rules are being violated.