When companies need to cut back on spending, it’s usually the employees who end up affected the most. Sometimes employers lay employees off. In some cases, employees may get to keep their jobs, but in exchange, they may have to take a pay cut. Their employer may force them to work off the clock or for low hourly pay below minimum wage. An employer might deny overtime pay even if the employee is eligible to receive it.
Sometimes employers have no idea they are in the wrong. They may not know they are violating any wage and hour laws until they receive notice of a lawsuit from a disgruntled employee. It’s crucial that employers understand labor laws so they can avoid such violations and ensure that employers pay fairly and in accordance with the law.
Common Labor Law Violations
The most common labor law violations include the following:
- Not paying overtime. Most employees earn overtime pay for hours in excess of 40 per week. Overtime is time and a half of standard rate. There are a few exceptions to this law.
- Paying below minimum wage. There are both state and federal minimum wages, with the higher-paying one overruling. Minimum wage in Ohio is $8.30 an hour, while the federal minimum wage is $7.25. Therefore, workers in Ohio must earn a minimum of $8.30 an hour except in special circumstances.
- Lack of workplace safety. Employers must take appropriate actions to make the workplace as safe as possible. This means removing hazards and not allowing employees to work in dangerous conditions. Employees must also receive training on proper safety procedures.
- No workers’ compensation insurance. Employers typically must carry some form of workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance pays for injuries in the event that an employee gets hurt on the job. If an employer is required to carry insurance and does not pay for an employee’s workplace injuries, the employer could face hefty fines.
- Worker misclassification. Sometimes employers classify employees as independent contractors so that companies can avoid having to pay for workers’ compensation insurance and overtime. They may also classify hourly workers and salaried staff to avoid paying for overtime. Both of these are labor law violations.
Reporting Labor Law Violations
If you have experienced a labor law violation, it’s a good idea to report the violation so a professional can look into it. You may be able to receive pay for money owed to you.
To report wage and hour violations, contact:
Ohio Department of Commerce, Wage and Hour Bureau
6606 Tussing Road
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068
Phone: (614) 644-2239
Fax: (614) 728-8639
To file a complaint, you can fill out the form here. Be sure to follow the instructions and fill out the form completely. Note that some positions do not qualify for overtime pay, so if you are not eligible, your claim will not be valid.
For workplace injuries and illnesses, contact:
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
30 West Spring Street
Columbus, OH 43266-0581
Phone: 1-800-OHIOBWC (1-800-644-6292)
Fax: (877) 520-OHIO (6446)
Both of these agencies can investigate your claim for no cost. If they find evidence of wrongdoing, they can initiate a claim on your behalf and help you recoup compensation for overtime and wage theft. However, note that these agencies cannot provide you with legal advice.
If your employer owes you a small amount of money, it may not be beneficial to hire an attorney. If the total is $3,000 or less, you may wish to pursue your claim in small claims court. It’s faster and less expensive than hiring an attorney.
However, if you’re owed more than that amount, don’t be afraid to pursue legal help. It’s a good idea to speak to a knowledgeable employment law attorney to make sure you obtain the compensation you deserve. A lawyer can give you advice about your next steps and help you determine your rights to compensation. If your employer is unable to pay you due to a bankruptcy, for example, you can file a claim with the bankruptcy court. This will allow your claim to take precedence over other bills.
Contact Our Ohio Employment Law Attorneys Today
Many companies violate labor laws, either by accident or on purpose. Employers need to stay abreast of the laws and the punishment they could face for not following the rules and regulations.
If you have experienced a lack of pay for hours worked, no overtime or other labor law violations, the Ohio employment law attorneys at Tittle & Perlmuter can help. We know the laws and will help you obtain the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free case evaluation, call us today at (216) 532-3482 or fill out our online contact form.