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How Much Can You Win in a Wage or Overtime Case?

Posted on December 18, 2022 by Legal Team

Under federal and state law, employers in Ohio are legally required to pay employees the correct amount. This includes at least minimum wage and proper overtime pay of time-and-a-half for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours in one workweek. If your employer has failed to pay you proper wages for work performed, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a wage or overtime case.

Types of Compensation Available

Understanding the potential value of your wage or overtime case in Ohio starts with learning the types of damages, or financial compensation, available. If this type of lawsuit is successful in Ohio, the worker may receive different types of compensation for past losses, including the wages that he or she would have earned had the employer obeyed the law. Your list of compensable damages as a plaintiff may include: 

  • Recovery of your unpaid wages
  • Any unpaid overtime
  • The difference if you were paid regular pay for overtime hours
  • Unpaid work expenses, including required gear or equipment you purchased yourself
  • Interest on unpaid wages or unpaid overtime
  • A waiting time penalty
  • Attorney’s fees, litigation costs and out-of-pocket expenses
  • Liquidated damages or “double damages”

Most of these damages are compensatory, meaning they aim to compensate a plaintiff for the actual losses that he or she suffered due to the hour or wage violation. This type of award is meant to make a plaintiff whole again. Liquidated damages, however, are awarded if an employer is found to have violated the law in regard to paying the worker. 

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employee can recover double what is actually owed if an employer is found to have violated the law in terms of wage or overtime pay. Liquidated damages could significantly increase the overall value of a worker’s claim in Ohio.

How to Calculate the Value of a Wage or Overtime Case

 Once you understand the types of compensation that are available should you win a wage or overtime case in Ohio, you can go through the list and calculate the potential value of your case. This will require the use of previous pay stubs or income statements, as well as understanding the amount that you should have been paid under applicable state and federal laws. 

Look over your timesheet or other documents that chart your hours worked. Don’t leave out times when you should have been paid but weren’t, such as “off-the-clock” hours, overtime, meal and rest breaks, etc. Separate your regular hours worked from those that should have qualified for overtime pay. Then, multiply your hours worked by the wages that you legally should have earned. Don’t forget to use 1.5 times your regular rate of pay for overtime hours.

These calculations should give you a baseline for your unpaid wages or backpay that your employer owes you. Next, work with an attorney to calculate the interest on your unpaid wages or overtime, as well as to estimate any potential liquidated damages or waiting time penalties. An attorney will analyze all potential sources of financial compensation to help you calculate an accurate case value.

Do You Need a Lawyer for a Wage or Overtime Case?

Although no law in Ohio requires you to hire an attorney to handle your wage or overtime case, doing so can help you protect your rights and ensure a fair payout. Your lawyer will understand how to navigate state and federal wage and hour laws for a valid claim for damages. Your lawyer will also accurately calculate the value of your claim and know how to pursue maximum financial compensation using proven legal tactics. An attorney will not be afraid to go up against any defendant, big or small, to demand a fair payout on your behalf. 

For more information about the potential value of a wage or overtime case, contact an attorney in Ohio at Scott & Winters Law Firm, LLC.