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Exceptions to Minimum Wage Rules


Workers have rights, including the right to fair pay for hours worked. Of course, what is considered fair pay has changed over time. Laws need to be followed, employers are not legally permitted to change the rules on their own. The minimum wage in Ohio is set, an employer is not permitted to pay less than that amount, unless the worker has a legal exception, such as a tipped employee.

An employment attorney has the skills you need to secure fair pay, including overtime wages. If you have questions about your pay, talk to an experienced lawyer.

Minimum Wage and Tipped Employees 

For tipped workers, they are entitled to a percentage of a minimum hourly wage. This is true because their tips should be making up the rest (or more) of the amount. If the tipped employee is in a situation where their tips do not push their income into the territory of the minimum wage, the employers need to make up the difference. In this way, no employee should be making less than minimum wage.

In order for an employee to be designated as a tipped employee, they must regularly receive tips through the course of their workdays. These tips should exceed $30 each month. Also, if the tips are processed through credit card payments, the employer is not permitted to deduct any processing fees from the employee’s compensation.

Other Minimum Wage Exemptions

In some cases, employees in Ohio can be paid the federal minimum wage rather than the Ohio minimum wage. The federal rate is lower. It is possible to use this lower minimum wage for workers who are underage and are employed at nonprofit camps, for example.

More examples of when it is possible for an employer to pay less than the Ohio minimum wage include the following:

  • The employer earned 319k or less in the previous year.
  • Certain professions, such as commissioned salespeople.
  • Family businesses that employ relatives.
  • Babysitters and caregivers.

Of course, each situation is unique. For instance, in order for it to be legal to pay a babysitter less than the Ohio minimum wage, the care of the baby should be in the home where the child lives. And, the family could not give the babysitter housekeeping duties that would eclipse the role of being a babysitter. Because then, essentially, the person is a housekeeper who has a right to the Ohio minimum wage.

Disabled individuals also have distinct minimum wage rights. In order for an employer to pay disabled people the adjusted minimum wage, they must secure a license to do so. There are many legal issues when it comes to minimum wage laws. It is important to individuals to understand their rights on a city, state, and national level.

Do you have questions about the pay structure at your Ohio workplace? Do you suspect your employer is violating Ohio minimum wage laws? Contact the lawyers at Coffman Legal LLC today. We are strong and committed advocates for all Ohio workers and use our experience and knowledge to help you. Call 614-949-1181 for a free and confidential consultation.


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