Fair Labor Standards Act Violations in Ohio

Sep 20, 2017
By Peter Friedmann

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) [EL1]  covers four major areas of how employers must pay workers and how employers can hire and treat teenagers younger than 18. The most common FLSA violations concern whether people qualify for earning overtime, refusing to pay eligible people overtime and inaccurately paying overtime to employees. Record keeping problems also get many employers in trouble for violating workers’ FLSA rights.

Workers in Columbus, Ohio, who suspect they are not receiving the state’s minimum wage, losing out on deserved overtime pay or working in a place that improperly hires or mistreats young people should contact an unpaid wages attorney to discuss their concerns and legal options. A free and confidential consultation with a Columbus unpaid wages attorney at The Friedmann Firm can be scheduled by calling 614.610.9755 or filling out this online contact form.


Minimum Wage Violations Under the FLSA

The FLSA makes it illegal for any company or government agency in Ohio to pay workers less than the state’s minimum wage. Most nonprofit organizations must comply with the minimum wage law, as well.

During 2017, Ohio’s minimum wage was $8.15 per hour. Tipped employees such as wait staff and bartenders could receive $4.08 per hour, but employers had to prove that anyone receiving the tip credit earned at least $8.15 for each hour they worked.

Salespeople who take commissions must also be paid the minimum wage. An employment contract that specifies “commissions-only” must comply with strict FLSA rules and should be reviewed by an Columbus FLSA attorney.

Examples of how employers may try to circumvent minimum wage requirements include improperly offering trainee wages, miscounting tips and commissions, and assessing fees and penalties against an employee’s pay that are not warranted or allowed under law.


Overtime Violations Under the FLSA

With few exceptions based on job responsibilities and total compensation, most people who get paid an hourly wage qualify for overtime pay when they put in more than 40 hours during a workweek. The federally mandated overtime rate is 1.5 times the employee’s basic wage.

Hourly, non-exempt employees are typically eligible for overtime. Salaried employees generally are not. One of the major ways companies, agencies, and nonprofits violate overtime rules under the FLSA is falsely claiming that hourly workers actually receive a salary. Another common violation involves classifying a person as exempt from overtime even though their job does not meet the requirements for an exemption. Much more information on overtime exemptions can be found on this webpage written by The Friedmann Firm’s unpaid wages lawyers.


Recordkeeping Violations Under the FLSA

Employers must inform workers of their Fair Labor Standards Act rights by, at a minimum, prominently displaying a poster that explains minimum wage and overtime rules. Employers must also keep accurate records on the hours each employee works, when employees are on and off the clock, and how much each employee gets paid in regular and overtime wages. When requested, employers must produce these records to law enforcement officials and regulators from state and federal agencies.

Records kept by employers constitute major evidence in FLSA complaints and lawsuits. When wage and hourly records are incomplete or missing, employees and their lawyers have stronger cases that violations occurred.


Child Labor Violations Under the FLSA

Like the minimum wage, the FLSA enforces Ohio’ minimum working age law. A teen can start working for pay at 14 [EL2] . Permission from a parent or guardian is needed for anyone younger than 18 to take a job, and the hiring organization must pay the teen at least the minimum wage. Some special rules regarding mandatory breaks and restricted shifts also apply to younger workers.

Any company, agency, or nonprofit in Ohio that intends to employ people younger than 18 should consult with a Columbus unpaid wages lawyer to make sure they remain in full compliance with federal and state wage and hour rules.