Ohio has clear guidelines for when an employer must pay overtime compensation and how much they must pay. Nevertheless, violations continue to persist, collectively robbing employees of millions of dollars in unpaid wages.
Unfortunately, many employers are skilled at hiding overtime violations. Many employees, as a result, have no idea that they are really entitled to money for the extra hours they have been working. Below, we point out some of the tricks that employers use to convince employees that they are not entitled to overtime.
Under Ohio law, you are entitled to overtime for every hour worked over 40 hours in a week. One trick some employers use is to constantly shift what constitutes a “workweek.” For example, you might work 10 hours Monday through Friday. But your employer will end the workweek on Thursday, so it does not need to pay overtime for Friday’s hours.
One thing we hear over and over is that employees are not entitled to overtime pay because they are salaried. Actually, salaried employees can be entitled to overtime. The fact that you are paid a salary does not mean that you are automatically exempt.
Instead, an employee is exempt when he or she is listed in an exempt profession or:
If you do not work in an exempt profession, then both factors are required. It is entirely possible to be paid a salary and still be entitled to overtime.
Increasingly, employers like to classify their employees as independent contractors because that relieves them of many legal responsibilities, including paying overtime. However, you are not an independent contractor simply because your boss says you are.
In reality, if your boss can control where, when, and how you work, then chances are you are an employee, not an independent contractor, which means you probably are entitled to overtime wages.
If you are paid overtime, you are entitled to 1.5 your regular rate of pay. Generally, your employer also needs to include bonus payments as part of your regular rate of pay.
An employer that is resistant to paying overtime might inaccurately calculate your base rate of pay. Make sure to check your paycheck to see that it was calculated properly. For example, if your base rate of pay is $10.00, then overtime pay should be at least $15.00. If not, then you are being deprived of fair wages.
Although overtime violations are common, employees can stand up for themselves and demand that an employer follow the law. At Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC, we represent employees who are denied overtime when they certainly qualify.
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