Ohio’s minimum wage just increased by ten cents per hour. As of January 1, 2014, hourly workers in Ohio must be paid at least $7.95 per hour, more than the federal minimum wage. Employees earning tips must now be paid by their employer at least $3.98 per hour, in addition to their tips. If you earn minimum wage in the Cleveland area, and you did not receive a raise beginning January 1, 2014, your employer may be violating Ohio wage and hour law, and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
In general, Ohio and federal labor laws require employers to pay non-exempt employees at least a minimum wage, and to pay overtime in excess of forty hours per week at the rate of one and one-half times the worker’s regular hourly rate. Determining coverage under these wage and hour laws can be complicated, as there are many exceptions for the types of employers and employees affected. Still, many Cleveland employees will benefit from the recent bump in the minimum wage—that is, assuming their employers comply with the law.
If your employer violates the minimum wage and overtime laws, it is withholding wages to which you are entitled. The employer cannot simply “make it right” by paying the wages owed. Instead, there are additional remedies available to Cleveland employees whose employers have failed to comply with the minimum wage and overtime laws. Violators are liable to the employee for up to three times the wages owed, and will have to pay the attorneys’ fees incurred by the worker who had to hire a lawyer to enforce the wage laws.
More information about your wage and hour rights can be found at the Department of Labor website. If you suspect that your employer is violating your right to be paid at least minimum wage, or is failing to pay overtime, contact an Cleveland employment lawyer who has experience handling overtime and minimum wage claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act.