Professional Advice to Ohio Businesses on FLSA Compliance Issues
Counseling Cleveland businesses on wage and hour laws
Private and public employers must comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for employees’ salaries, the hours they can work, and related issues such as overtime pay. There are additional Ohio laws and statutes, too, that determine the legal standards and what remedies for violations are available.
Our Cleveland wage and hour attorneys understand and keep current with the relevant laws. We help employers prepare company-wide standards for all employees. When employees file claims before agencies and in state or federal court, the attorneys at Gertsburg Licata have the experience, skills and resources to contest invalid claims and negotiate valid actions.
How does the Fair Labor Standards Act affect your business?
The FLSA is a federal law applicable to most companies, and it determines how and when your employees must be paid. Though there are exceptions to the rule – exemptions which apply to different classifications of workers – the statute outlines:
- Minimum wage. As of July 24, 2009, the current minimum wage is $7.25. Starting on January 1, 2017, employers in Ohio who have gross receipts of $299,000 or more must pay a minimum wage of $8.15. All other Ohio companies must comply with the FLSA minimum wage. Some exceptions may apply, such as minimum wage for minors.
- Overtime. Overtime pay is one and one-half times an employee’s regular rate of pay. Employees are eligible if they work more than 40 hours in a week. Employees 16 and over do not have a limit on the number of hours they can work in a week, but must be paid overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a week. Working on a weekend, holiday, or typical day of rest does not automatically entitle the worker to overtime.
- Employer’s recordkeeping duty. Employers must keep proper pay and time records and must post the FLSA requirements.
- Child labor. The FLSA has provisions for how many hours minors can work so that their ability to get an education and their health are protected.
- Breastfeeding Mothers. Pursuant to the FLSA, employers must provide unpaid break periods and space to mothers who wish to breastfeed up to the child’s first birthday.
Additional wage and hour protections
In addition to the FLSA and Ohio laws, union contracts and employment contracts can determine the amount of pay workers should receive. Our hour and wage lawyers routinely provide compliance strategies and counsel for a wide range of FLSA issues, including:
- Lunch breaks
- “Donning and doffing” a uniform
- Proper classification as an employee or independent contractor
- Off-the-clock claims
- Fluctuating workweeks
A note about independent contractors in Ohio
Independent contractors are not generally entitled to overtime pay unless it was agreed to, as they are not employees subject to the FLSA’s regulations. The determination of employee or independent contractor status is not something that can be bargained. It is a legal matter that depends on various factors, such as the right of the employer to control the employee’s actions. Other than the right to control factor, the key employment status factors that Ohio reviews include:
- How important the work is
- The skills needed to do the job
- The length of the work relationship
- Who pays for the equipment and tools
- The ability to profit from the job and who bears the risk of loss
Pay and other issues that are normally included in contracts
The FLSA and Ohio statutes provide minimum standards, though, of course, you may choose to exceed those amounts. We offer our clients practical advice when it comes to creating guidelines and contracts for:
- Pay raises
- Weekend and nighttime pay
- Sick pay
- Vacation pay
- Double time pay
- Work schedules
Employees who do not assert their rights in a timely manner, within the statutes of limitations, can be barred from filing a pay claim.
Contact Cleveland wage and hour lawyers
Employment contracts, the FLSA, state laws, and collective bargaining agreements are all efforts to strike the right balance between employee work performance and employee motivation. Our Cleveland wage and hour lawyers advise companies on their legal requirements and their contract terms. We work to address all relevant employee pay and hour issues. Please call Gertsburg Licata at 216-573-6000 for trusted labor advice. You can also complete our contact form to schedule an appointment.