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Can I Be Forced to Work Overtime in Ohio?

Posted on May 23, 2024 by Legal Team

Working overtime means working more than 40 hours in a single workweek. Whether or not your employer can force you to work overtime in Ohio depends on the circumstances, such as your classification as an employee or an independent contractor. If you are forced to work overtime, you must be properly compensated.

Employees Can Be Required to Work Overtime in Ohio

Both state and federal laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), permit employers to make overtime mandatory for non-exempt employees. It is not against the law for an employer to require employees to work more than 40 hours in a workweek, even without prior notice. 

If you are an independent contractor, however, the rules of the FLSA do not apply to you. You are exempt from employer requirements imposed against your work schedule and hours, as these are things you maintain control of as a non-employee.

Is There a Limit to How Much Overtime My Boss Can Make Me Work?

There is no limit to the number of overtime hours an employee can legally work in a given workweek. Overtime is also not restricted by day of week; your employer can force you to work overtime on Saturday and Sunday. However, your employer must pay you properly for each hour – or fraction thereof – of overtime worked.

How Much Should I Get Paid for Overtime in Ohio? 

State and federal overtime laws require employers in Ohio to pay one and one-half times, or 150 percent, of a worker’s hourly wage for each overtime hour worked. Any amount of time you spend clocked in after 40 hours in one week qualifies you for time-and-half pay.

If you normally make $10 per hour, for example, your employer legally must pay you $15 ($10 + $5) per hour for every overtime hour worked. In this example, if you worked 45 hours in one week, you should receive your regular rate of pay for the first 40 hours ($400), plus overtime pay for 5 hours ($75) for a total of $475.

There are some exceptions to this overtime law. For example, if an employer does not make at least $150,000 annually in gross revenue, he or she generally does not have to provide overtime pay to workers. Certain types of workers, such as babysitters, live-in care providers, newspaper delivery staff and federal employees, are also exempt from the overtime requirement.

Can I Refuse to Work Overtime?

If you are a nonexempt employee, you have the right to refuse to work overtime that is required by your employer. However, your boss will also have the right to take disciplinary action against you, including terminating your employment. Ohio is an at-will employment state, meaning employers can fire employees for any legally valid reason that is not related to discrimination, harassment or retaliation. This includes if an employee refuses to work required overtime hours.

What if I Am Not Properly Paid for Overtime? 

If your employer forces you to work overtime in Ohio but does not properly compensate you for this time, contact an attorney at Scott & Winters Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation about your legal rights and options. You may be entitled to financial compensation from your employer for unpaid overtime, plus additional penalties and interest. Discuss your unique situation with our attorneys in detail at no cost or obligation today.