Getting paid for the hours you work seems like a given, but some employers often short their employees on overtime pay, ask them to work during their lunch break, or require them to make deliveries in their personal vehicle. Both the state and federal governments have rules regarding how employees must be paid.

If you are concerned that you are not receiving fair wages, you should familiarize yourself with the Sandusky wage and hour laws. To discuss your situation and your rights, contact an employment law attorney today.

What Are Wage and Hour Laws?

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has set the current minimum wage at $7.25 per hour. The Ohio Constitution Art. II, § 34a adopted a minimum wage formula tied to inflation based on the consumer price index. As of January 2021, the state minimum wage is $8.80 per hour. Most employers in and around Sandusky are required by law to pay the higher minimum wage. Employers with a gross income of less than $323,000 per year are permitted to pay employees the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour.

Other important wage and hour laws include:

  • Overtime kicks in once an eligible employee works more than 40 hours in one week
  • Overtime wages must be equal to one and half times a worker’s regular rate of pay
  • Prohibitions on child labor
  • Equal pay for men and women performing similar work
  • Whether employees are entitled to take breaks throughout the workday

Because state and federal laws are comprehensive and may differ in application, employees should consult a Sandusky attorney to discuss their concerns about whether an employer is violating wage and hour laws.

Exceptions for Tipped Employees

Under the FLSA, tipped employees, such as restaurant servers, can be paid a lower minimum hourly wage, provided that the wage plus tips equal the Ohio minimum wage. Tipped workers can expect to earn 50 percent of the minimum wage. The tipped employee wage of $4.40 plus tips must add up to at least $8.80 hourly. A skilled Sandusky attorney could do the math to ensure tipped employees are paid according to the wage and hour laws and correct the problem through regulatory agencies and the courts.

Entitlement to Breaks

Employees are permitted to take lunch breaks and short breaks throughout the day, and if an employer asks someone to work while eating lunch, the employee is entitled to be paid for the time spent completing the task. Short breaks, if provided, are considered part of the workday, and employees should not be docked for the five to 20 minutes they take at any given point.

Less Common Wage and Hour Violations

Some violations of wage and hour laws in Sandusky are not as apparent as others. If employees use their personal vehicles on the job, such as for delivering pizza, the FLSA requires employers to reimburse actual expenses or reimburse them using the IRS mileage rate. Many businesses believe paying a flat delivery rate is appropriate, but it is not.

An employee should be aware that his or her employer cannot charge for, or force the employee to provide, items needed to do his or her job, such as branded uniforms or tools. Employers cannot withhold pay by offering an excuse, such as the employee left without finishing a project or did not return a uniform after leaving the company.

Employers cannot evade paying overtime by misclassifying an employee as exempt or offering compensatory time off for the overtime hours. Additionally, employees who are tipped cannot be required to share tips with managers or others who do not receive them.

Discuss Wage and Hour Laws with a Sandusky Lawyer

Both state and federal laws govern how your employer pays you, and the laws are meant to ensure that employees get fair wages for the work they perform.

If you believe you may not be getting the wages you have earned, call Tittle & Perlmuter today to set up your initial consultation and learn more about Sandusky wage and hour laws.

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