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If you are an employee who has been wronged by your employer – such as if you are underpaid for hours worked – you may be entitled to back pay. This is a common remedy for wage and hour violations in Ohio. If state or federal law entitles you to back pay, you may need assistance from an attorney to file this type of claim and seek the amount that you deserve.
Back pay, also referred to as back wages, is an amount of money that is awarded to an employee to make up the difference between what he or she was paid and the amount that he or she lawfully should have been paid by an employer. It is a type of financial compensation that may be available in a claim or lawsuit brought against an employer by the wronged employee. The goal of back pay is to make an employee financially whole again after unlawfully losing wages due to an employer’s law violations.
If a worker in Ohio is the victim of a tort, or wrongful act, committed by an employer that results in financial losses suffered by the employee, the victim may be entitled to back pay. The amount available will depend on the value of the wages that were lost, stolen or unpaid. If an employee was taken advantage of by an employer for many years, the back pay owed could be substantial. Many different wage and hour violations can lead to back pay being awarded to a victim, including:
Various violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) could result in back pay for a victim. Forms of retaliation such as wrongful termination, harassment or demotions could also entitle an employee in Ohio to back pay for wages lost. If an employee was fired for filing a safety hazard complaint against a company, for example, the employee could be entitled to back wages for all of the hours that he or she reasonably would have worked from the time of wrongful termination to when the lawsuit is filed.
If you believe you are entitled to back pay, a few different methods for seeking compensation are available to you under the FLSA. The first remedy is filing a complaint with the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Wage and Hour Division. The Division will investigate the complaint and may supervise the payment of back wages, if applicable. The Secretary of Labor may also file a lawsuit for back wages and liquidated damages. A third option for pursuing back wages is filing a private lawsuit against the employer or company.
An experienced wage and hour attorney in Ohio can help you understand your rights as a victim of wage theft or another type of FLSA violation. Your lawyer will start by investigating the situation and collecting evidence of a violation, such as copies of your pay stubs and employment records.
Then, your lawyer can help you report the issue to the DOL and cooperate with a federal investigation. Your lawyer can take care of the paperwork required to file a claim for back pay and submit it before the deadline. Generally, the recovery of back wages comes with a time limit of two years. In a case of willful violations, however, a victim has three years.