Who Is Covered by the FLSA?

May 02, 2018
By Peter Friedmann

Nearly every worker in Ohio is covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. State law follows the FLSA almost exactly, so the provisions of this federal statute apply to anyone who is employed by any organization that does business across state lines, serves people who travel across state lines, and makes even a single business-related phone call across state lines, along with individuals who work for businesses that make over a certain amount of money per year. Various amendments and court cases have made it clear that the FLSA covers child care workers, house cleaners, and individuals who do jobs that appear to be several steps away from anything that would normally be described as interstate commerce.

Practically universal coverage under the FLSA provides important protections to Ohio workers. The law requires employers to do all of the following:

  • Pay a state-mandated minimum wage,
  • Pay overtime to qualified employees who work more than 40 hours in a single week,
  • Keep accurate records on the hours employees work and what employees get paid, and
  • Comply with federal and state laws regarding the employment of children.

Ensuring an employer complies with its legal obligations under the law often requires seeking advice and representation from an FLSA lawyer in Columbus, Ohio. This is especially true when it comes to paying minimum wages and overtime to employees who take tips.

Here are a few highlights of what being covered by the FLSA means in Ohio.

  • During 2018, employers must pay a minimum wage of $8.30/hour to employees who do not receive tips and a minimum wage of $4.15/hour to tipped employees.
  • The 40-hour pay for tipped employees must average at least $8.30/hour, or $332/week.
  • Most workers who receive salaries must also average at least $455/week even if they receive commissions on sales.
  • Minimum wage laws get very complicated for home health care workers, freelancers, and contractors. Speaking with a Columbus, Ohio-based Fair Labor Standards Act attorney will clarify compliance issues for employers and workers.
  • Most salaried workers and individuals who supervise other employees do not qualify for overtime. Neither do professionals such as journalists, lawyers, and consultants even if they charge by the hour.
  • The rules for qualifying for overtime are subject to change, but during 2018, an employer was required to pay overtime to employees who got paid by the hour and had no managerial or supervisory responsibilities.
  • The hour and pay records kept by employers must be fully up to date, completely accurate, and available for inspection by state and federal officials.
  • Information on employee rights under FLSA must be clearly communicated to workers. Putting up a poster with wage, hour, and other facts can suffice to meet this requirement, but employers must also honestly answer any questions from workers.
  • In Ohio, it is generally illegal to employ a child younger than 14. Family owned restaurants and farms can receive exemptions from this rule.
  • Also, in Ohio, a parent or guardian must authorize paid work by a child younger than 18.

The employment attorneys in the Columbus offices of The Friedmann Firm work with employees on FLSA issues. Call us with your questions at 614.610.9755 or connect with us online to request a free and confidential consultation.