Wage and hour violations can and do occur in any occupation in Columbus and across Ohio. That said, some industries and occupations show up repeatedly with unpaid overtime and other wage & hour issues. Some of these industries have special laws applying to their workers, which make calculating wages and overtime more complex; in other industries, workers find that they are frequently forced to work off the clock or subject to improper deductions from their pay. If you are hit with a wage & hour violation in any Ohio industry, the law office of Coffman Legal in Columbus can help. See below for common violations in certain industries, and contact Coffman Legal for a free consultation on your Columbus Ohio wage & hour claim.
Nurses and other health care workers in hospitals and nursing homes find themselves on the receiving end of wage & hour violations more than just about any other profession. Here are some of the reasons: Travel between job sites – A LPN working at an assisted living facility may also get assigned to work at a sister facility many miles away, either to fill in for a worker who called in sick or as a regular job assignment. Travel time between job sites is compensable time, but employers frequently fail to pay for it or count that time toward overtime. Training and seminars – Residential care facilities frequently offer training on specialized care for certain populations, such as care for residents with Alzheimer’s, dementia or memory-related disorders. To keep their workers on the floor during their shift, the facility may schedule training in the evening for the day shift and during the day for the evening shift. If the training is required and job-related, then you should be paid for your time. Sometimes, the administration may say the training is voluntary, but your supervisor clearly expects you to go and even schedules you to attend. We’ll work through these complicated situations and make sure you get paid when you should. After-hours seminars can also add up to overtime. Working beyond the shift – Nurses are short-staffed at many facilities, but diligent workers won’t ignore patient care. Nurses sometimes stay beyond their shift to update charts or fill in until the new shift gets settled in. Even if the administration does not authorize such work, employees should be paid for all the time they are “suffered or permitted” to work. The eight and eighty rule – Hospitals and residential care facilities can use a consecutive 14-day period instead of a 40-hour workweek. Under this scenario, overtime is paid for hours over eight hours a day or over 80 hours in that 14-day period. Hospitals can only use the 8 and 80 rule with a prior agreement or0 understanding with the affected workers. Dual jobs, shift differentials – Some hospital workers perform two different jobs, such as a nurse’s aide and a receptionist at the nurse’s desk. Other workers receive differential pay when working the night shift versus the day shift. Still other workers may be provided with a supplemental shift bonus when filling in for another employer. All these practices are ripe for errors when determining the proper rate of pay or calculating overtime.
A great number of wage & hour complaints come from workers in the hotel and restaurant sectors. Frequent violations include:
Housekeepers, janitors and maids are frequent subjects of minimum wage violations. Many businesses also misclassify their janitorial staff as independent contractors.
Pizza and package delivery drivers are often paid unfairly. Pizza delivery workers who also make pizzas or perform other duties may be paid a tipped wage for delivery, but they should be paid the full minimum wage for other duties. Package delivery drivers are often paid a day rate for package delivery, but traffic, weather, accidents or road construction can lengthen their workday so that they are no longer making minimum wage. Package delivery drivers are also frequently misclassified as independent contractors and exempted from overtime when they are really employees entitled to overtime. All drivers who use their own vehicle for work should be reimbursed for mileage if the money they spend on gas or maintenance of their vehicle drives their wages down below the minimum wage.
Exotic dancers are routinely subjected to a number of wage violations, including being required to share their tips with non-tipped employees, not being paid any wage at all but working solely on tips, being required to pay for their place on stage, or having wages deducted for unlawful reasons. Some types of payments or deductions may be legal, so long as the dancer is still making minimum wage. The law in this area can be complicated, and many dancers are threatened or intimidated about coming forward and complaining of wage violations.
Workers in certain computer-related fields are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements. These jobs include computer systems analysts, computer programmers, software engineers and other similarly skilled workers. To be exempt, these employees must be paid on a salary basis of no less than $684 per week or an hourly rate of at least $27.63 an hour. The employee’s primary job duty must also meet the appropriate criteria to be exempt. “Computer employee” can mean different things to different people. If you are being exempted from overtime as a computer employee, call us for an analysis of your job to determine whether you may have a claim for unpaid wages or unpaid overtime.
The FLSA includes an exemption from overtime for outside salespersons whose primary duty is making sales or getting orders or contracts and who customarily and regularly work away from the employer’s place of business. Sales must be the employee’s main, major or most important duty to be exempt. Unlike the white-collar overtime exemptions, outside salespersons do not have to be paid on a salary basis to be exempt. Outside salespersons are routinely subject to unpaid wage violations. For instance, they are frequently not paid overtime for promotion work. Promotion work may or may not be exempt from overtime, depending on whether the work is incidental to or in conjunction with sales or solicitations. Employees may mistakenly fail to count non-exempt promotion work in this complicated area. Another common violation involves delivery drivers who also sell products as part of their job. We need to look at several factors to determine whether sales is a primary duty of a delivery driver and whether the driver is unfairly exempted from overtime pay or not.
If you are in an industry that frequently falls prey to wage & hour violations, it pays to know your rights and be alert to questionable conduct on the part of your employer. If you believe that your employer is not paying you correctly regarding wages or overtime, call Coffman Legal at 614-949-1181 for a free consultation with our dedicated and effective Columbus Ohio wage & hour employment lawyers.