Legal issues surrounding employment and labor compensation can be complicated: Employees misclassified as independent contractors or exempt so that they cannot be paid overtime, others who simply are not paid the overtime they are due, or who work uncompensated through meal breaks, etc. All of these circumstances can lead to employment law claims, either individually or through a class action lawsuit. Below, we discuss both federal and state laws applicable to wage and hour compensation violations:
Under the FLSA, hourly, non-exempt employees who work in excess of 40 hours per week must be paid overtime for those extra hours. The law not only requires that all covered employees are compensated for every hour worked in a workweek but that non-exempt employees also receive overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for any hours worked in excess of 40 per week. In addition, the PLSA requires that employers maintain and preserve payroll and other documents that detail the total hours worked each day and week for covered employees.
Violations of the FLSA can sometimes occur, for example, via an employer who requires a meal break deduction, regardless of whether they actually provide employees with that break.
The Ohio Wage Act incorporates the FLSA without limitation; In other words, it dictates that employees must receive overtime compensation at no less than 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked beyond 40 hours in one week. This includes employees who had meal break deductions applied, even if they did not receive these breaks. The law also penalizes employers who act willfully and with reckless disregard for the law and incorporates the FLSA’s requirements with respect to the maintenance and preservation of payroll or other records documenting how many total hours per day and week employees work.
The Ohio Prompt Pay Act dictates that unpaid wages cannot remain unpaid for more than 30 days beyond their regularly scheduled paydays. It also penalizes employers who engage in these violations willfully, without a good faith basis, and with a reckless disregard for Ohio law.
As a result of FLSA violations, employees are entitled to unpaid overtime and other compensation, attorney’s fees, liquidated damages, and pre- and post-judgment interest.
These types of hourly wage violations do not simply occur in the context of untaken or interrupted meal breaks; failure to pay employees what they are owed in wages frequently occurs in many other circumstances. If you have concerns that your compensation rights as an employee have been violated, contact our Lancaster, Ohio, employment law attorneys today to find out how we can help.
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