There are certain rules that all employers must follow when paying wages and setting hours of their employees. Unfortunately, some employers try to skirt these rules and pay their employees less than what their work is worth.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to adhere to certain labor practices. If you feel that an employer has wrongfully delayed or withheld money from you, paid you less than you have earned, or misclassified you as an exempt employee or independent contractor, you should consult a skilled Sandusky FLSA lawyer for advice about the next step to take.
In addition to prohibiting most child labor and giving employees the right to seek redress for violations, the FLSA notably sets a minimum wage and dictates rules for overtime pay.
According to the FLSA, most employers must pay their employees the federal minimum wage, unless their state has enacted a higher minimum wage. As of 2020, Ohio’s minimum wage is $8.70 per hour.
Employers who do less than $319,000 in business annually are exempt from Ohio’s minimum wage but they must pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Employers of persons who regularly receive tips for their work may pay their tipped employees a base rate of $4.35 per hour. However, if an employee’s tips in any given pay period fail to bring their hourly rate up to the applicable minimum wage, the employer must pay the difference.
Employers must pay overtime equal to at least one-and-one-half the normal hourly rate for every hour a non-exempt employee works in excess of 40 hours in a single work week. There is no requirement that employers pay overtime rates for working on weekends or holidays.
Some employees are “exempt,” meaning they do not qualify for overtime pay. Exempt employees include most managers, administrators, executive-level employees, commissioned salespeople, workers on certain small farms, fishing boat employees, and many others. The rules around exemption are complicated, and employers often mislabel an employee as exempt, so it is worthwhile to consult a qualified attorney in the area if receiving overtime pay is an issue.
An employer that engages in interstate commerce and does at least $500,000 in business every year must adhere to the FLSA. Any company that ships merchandise to other states, sells or buys from customers in other states, or uses or handles materials shipped from other states, is engaging in interstate commerce..
Some businesses do not meet the threshold of $500,000 in business per year but must comply with the FLSA in any week in which they engage in interstate commerce. In addition, employers in the health care and education industries, as well as all government employers, must comply with the FLSA. If there is confusion as to whether a business must be FLSA-compliant, speak to a local lawyer who works these cases
The FLSA covers employees who work in private homes as nannies, cooks, housekeepers, gardeners, home health aides, and similar professions in certain cases. These employees must not live on the premises, and they must earn at least $2,020 per year from one employer or work at least eight hours in one week for an employer. Employees who live on-site in the private home where they work are entitled to receive minimum wage for their work.
Many employers now hire help as independent contractors rather than full-time or temporary employees. One of the advantages to the employer is that contractors are not covered by most labor laws, including the FLSA.
However, there are specific limits on the way employers can interact with independent contractors and many employers abuse these limits to avoid paying for employee benefits and overtime. An experienced labor standards attorney in Sandusky could clarify whether an individual’s employment conditions are consistent with independent contractor status.
There are numerous ways that an employer could deprive an employee of wages they are owed, such as undercounting work hours, misclassifying the employee, and overstating tip income. When an employer engages in such behavior, the FLSA permits an employee to pursue not just wages owed, but also double damages (officially called liquidated damages) if the employer did not act in good faith.
Do not waste time and energy trying to negotiate with an employer who is engaging in improper practices. Instead, get an aggressive Sandusky FLSA lawyer to fight on your behalf. Contact the office of Tittle & Perlmuter to set up a consultation today.