Minimum wage laws have been around since enactment of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 1938, requiring most Ohio employers to pay employees in accordance with state regulations. The laws are relatively straightforward for many hourly workers, but you could encounter numerous challenges if you receive a portion of your wages in tips. Even though tipped workers are covered by FLSA, a complex formula applies for assessing these amounts as part of minimum wage. Employers often get away with violations, resulting in losses for tipped workers.
At Coffman Legal, LLC, our team is dedicated to protecting your interests and ensuring you get the full wages you are entitled to as a tipped employee. Complicated formulas and tip credits are no excuse for an employer to violate the law. We are ready to aggressively fight for your rights, so please contact our firm to schedule a no-cost consultation with one of our Canton tipped employees attorneys. Some background information may also help you understand the basics.
The basic principle behind FLSA and Ohio law treating tipped workers differently is to even the playing field as compared to other employees. Employers are allowed to pay less than the minimum wage rate because these workers also earn tips, as long as they apply a tip credit against the amount owed to the employee. Still, companies violate the law through various forms of misconduct, which primarily affects individuals who work in restaurants, bars, and other hospitality positions. Examples include situations where: The employer does not properly apply the tip credit; The worker’s entire wage is through tips and not by the employer; An employer does not pay overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 per week; The company unlawfully deducts amounts from the worker’s tips, such as for diner walk-outs, broken dishes; The employer forces tipped employees to share with other workers through a tip pool; and Any other unlawful conduct that drops the tipped workers’ wages below minimum wage.
If you were improperly denied wages as a tipped employee, there are options to pursue through government agencies. However, you may also qualify to file a civil lawsuit in court, though this route precludes you from going through the federal or Ohio officials to obtain amounts owed to you. Our Canton tipped employees at Coffman Legal, LLC can advise you on your remedies and assist with the legal process. We will represent you during litigation to ensure you receive the full damages allowed by law, including: Back pay; Liquidated damages, if your employer willfully violated the law; Attorneys’ fees; and Court costs.