Wage and Hour Lawsuits
Ohio wage and hour provisions are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Lawsuits claiming employers violate wage and hour laws attempt to recover wages owed to employees who allege they were not paid enough for the work they performed, either during regular work hours or during overtime. Sometimes, the employer misclassifies employees as independent contractors to avoid paying workers minimum wage or benefits.
Some Ohio employers misclassify employees as exempt from overtime pay to avoid paying them overtime wages, meaning employees are not paid as much as they should be. Ohio employees are owed one-and-one-half times the regular rate of pay when their hours worked exceed 40 hours in a week.
Ohio Overtime Misclassification
Employees who are exempt from overtime pay must spend more than 50 percent of their time involved in managerial, administrative, professional or outside sales activities. If less than 50 percent of an employee's time is spent in those duties, the employee should be eligible for overtime pay.
Ohio minimum wage and overtime laws cover employees across the state, including but not limited to, Toledo, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Canton, Sandusky and Columbus.
Ohio Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay Laws
Ohio minimum wage is set at $8.10 an hour for non-tipped employees and $4.05 an hour plus tips for tipped employees. Individuals whose earning capacity is affected by physical or mental impairments or injuries may be permitted to work for less than the set minimum wage. Employers who gross less than $297,000 per year must pay their employees no less than $7.25 an hour.
Employers who make more than $150,000.00 per year must pay overtime at one and one-half the employee's hourly rate when the employee works more than 40 hours in a week. Employers who gross less than $150,000.00 are not required to pay overtime for more than 40 hours in a week.
Ohio's prevailing wage law requires public authorities to pay the locally prevailing rate of wages to workers on construction projects commissioned by public authorities. The prevailing rate of wages must be paid for any new construction with a total estimated project cost of more than $73,891.00. Furthermore, any reconstruction, alteration, repair or renovation of any public improvement, with a total project cost of more than $22,166.00 is covered by the prevailing wage law.
Ohio Prevailing Wage Act
Ohio is an "employment at will" state. As such, at-will employees can be terminated for any reason. The only exception is for employees who are covered by a contract or union agreement governing the terms of employment. Employees who are covered by an employment contract can usually only be terminated for the reasons set out in the contract. In Ohio, this extends to contracts that are implied. At-will employment also protects the employee's right to resign.
At Will Employment
Unlawful terminations violate legal protections, including discrimination or harassment, whistleblower protections, absence to serve on a jury, retaliation for asserting legal rights or violations of employment or union contracts. Employees who have been wrongfully discharged may be able to file a lawsuit for breach of contract.
The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal law regarding employee wages and hours worked, including overtime hours and wages. Under the FLSA, some workers can be exempted from overtime pay. However, those workers must fit the criteria the FLSA sets out for exemption. Ohio's laws also apply to employment subject to the FLSA. In cases where both the FLSA and state law apply, the law setting the higher standards must be observed.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
More information on how the Fair Labor Standards Act applies to overtime can be found here.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal act that requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees for the following reasons: birth and care of the employee's newborn child; care for a child after adoption or foster care placement; care for the employee's spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition; or for a serious health condition that affects the employee's ability to work.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Employees are eligible for FMLA coverage if they have worked for a covered employer for at least one year, for 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months (not necessarily consecutive months) and if a minimum of 50 employees are employed by the same employer within 75 miles.
Covered employers are those who employ more than 50 employees within 75 miles of the worksite and have at least 50 employees who work 20 or more work-weeks in the current calendar year or the previous calendar year. Public agencies are covered by the FMLA regardless of the number of employees.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act is a federal law enacted to ensure that employees work in an environment that is free from recognized hazards. It is part of the United States Code, Title 29, Chapter 15.
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
Federal laws also protect employees from sexual harassment and discrimination, including race, age, disability and pregnancy discrimination.
Employees who feel their rights have been violated may have the opportunity to bring their complaint before the courts.
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