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What are common examples of wage violations under Ohio law?

Many workers experience unpaid wage violations, leading to significant financial hardship.

The Fair Labor Standards Act and the Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards Act set requirements to protect workers and ensure fair payment. Employers must comply with both federal and state laws.

Minimum wage

State and national minimum wage laws apply to employers who operate in Ohio. All employers have to pay workers at least the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 per hour. Additionally, Ohio’s state minimum wage is higher than the federal rate, at $10.45 per hour for organizations with annual gross receipts of $385,000 or more. Employers who pay less than the required minimum wage are violating the law.

Overtime pay

Overtime pay violations also occur frequently. The FLSA mandates that employers pay non-exempt employees overtime at one and a half times their regular rate for working over 40 hours in a workweek. Ohio state law aligns with this requirement.

Misclassification of employees can also be a problem. Employers sometimes incorrectly categorize employees as independent contractors or exempt employees to avoid paying overtime and benefits, which results in a violation of wage and hour laws.

Breaks and travel

Off-the-clock work is another common unpaid wage violation. Employers should not require employees to perform tasks before clocking in or after clocking out. To comply with the law, employers must pay for all time worked.

Employers do not have to pay for meal breaks of 30 minutes or longer if the employee is completely relieved of duties. However, shorter breaks require payment. At most workplaces, employees have paid breaks lasting about 5 to 20 minutes.

Employers also need to compensate workers for time spent traveling for work purposes. This does not include commuting to and from work, but it does apply to travel between job sites during the workday.

Tips and deductions

Improper deductions from wages may also be illegal. Employers can deduct money for uniforms, tools or other business-related expenses. However, these deductions cannot reduce an employee’s earnings below the minimum wage or cut into overtime pay.

Tip violations can occur in certain industries. Employers must ensure tipped employees receive at least the federal minimum wage when tips are included. They must also follow regulations regarding tip pooling and tip credits.

Understanding these common violations can help you protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your work.