The Fair Labor Standards Act was passed in 1938 to establish the minimum living standards for workers. The FLSA sets rules for ensuring that non-exempt employees who put in more than 40 hours of work in a single week receive at least one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay as compensation for their extra hours worked. Despite this law, which exists in substantially the same form as part of the Ohio Revised Code, employers still commit wage theft against employees by not paying them the hard-earned hours in conformance with the minimum required under the law.
In fact, refusing to pay overtime properly and fully is one of the most frequent violations of workers’ rights. As an unpaid overtime attorney based in Columbus, Ohio, I have seen employers deny workers their earned wages by altering timesheets, falsely telling tipped employees they were not eligible for overtime, misclassifying hourly employees as salaried workers, and threatening to fire employees who refused to work past eight hours a day or to come in on weekends after already putting in a full workweek.
Employers often think they can get away with not paying overtime because the rules for who qualifies to earn time-and-a-half are complicated. Employers may often operate under the assumption that that since the amount of money involved is relatively small when calculated on a per-employee basis that workers who object to having their extra work hours go uncompensated will simply quit rather than sue.
I urge all Ohio worker who believe they are not receiving the overtime pay due to them to contact a wage and hour attorney. An unpaid wages lawyer will be able to determine if their employer is, in fact, withholding overtime. Doing this requires applying tests developed under the FLSA to decide which employees should be eligible for overtime pay.
When an employee qualifies to receive overtime, an experienced FLSA lawyer can identify the illegal practices the employer uses to hide this fact from the worker and then also calculate how much the employee is owed in unpaid overtime.
A dedicated Columbus unpaid overtime lawyer will also look into whether an employer consistently withholds overtime pay. Employers that underpay one worker usually underpay the employees’ coworkers. Since the policy of withholding overtime pay is rarely written down and almost never discussed, an overtime rights attorney will need to access an employer’s records, speak with current and former employees, and proceed with gathering evidence to support that more than one person has a case to make for receiving unpaid overtime.
When such evidence exists, ground exist for filing a class and/or collective action lawsuit. All similarly situated underpaid employees make up the universe of potential plaintiffs, and the combined weight of their claims can be very costly to an employer who violates the FLSA and Ohio law.