Wage theft is a problem that affects hundreds of thousands of workers in Ohio. Data shows that every year, workers lose $600 million due to minimum wage violations and $790 million due to misclassification violations. It is a staggering amount of money, which hard-working Ohioans are unfairly deprived of. While you can recover unpaid wages from your employer with the help of an Ohio wage theft lawyer, it is important for you to know how to protect yourself against wage theft.
Here are three effective ways in which you can protect yourself against wage theft in Ohio.
Any Ohio wage theft lawyer will tell you that many employers tend to deliberately misclassify their employees as exempt employees or independent contractors to avoid paying overtime pay and other benefits.
To make sure it doesn’t happen to you, review your employment agreement carefully before signing it. If your salary does not meet the criteria for exempt employees or if your job duties are similar to that of a full-time employee, talk to your employer and find out whether you are classified in accordance with state and federal labor laws.
Ask any Ohio wage theft lawyer and they will tell you that you are not required to work off the clock – for any reason. Unfortunately, many employers in Ohio ask their employees to work off the clock, but do not add these additional hours to the workweek, thereby depriving the employees of their rightfully earned overtime pay.
To protect yourself against this kind of wage theft, make sure you clock in before performing any kind of work-related duty.
One of the common strategies used by employers in Ohio to pay sub-minimum wages to their employees is to make several deductions from their paychecks.
For example, if you make $8.70 per hour, which is the minimum wage in Ohio, your employer cannot make any deductions that might cause your hourly rate to dip below the minimum wage. If they do, they are in violation of Ohio labor laws.
It should be noted that the no-deductions-below-minimum-wage rule is not applicable if the deductions are made for insurance premiums, union dues, or loan repayments.
To avoid this kind of wage theft, check your pay stub or your bank account statement for unauthorized deductions and charges. If you find any, bring it to your employer’s attention immediately.
The wage theft lawyers at Scott & Winters are aware of all the dirty tricks used by employers in Ohio to deprive hardworking employees of their wages and overtime benefits. We have helped thousands of wage theft victims in Ohio and recovered millions in wages and other damages. We can hold your employer responsible for violating state and/or federal labor laws and recover every single dollar you are owed.